President Donald Trump has only been in office for a few weeks, but he and his cabinet members have already shown that they are shaking up our nation’s capital.
The case of a fallen Marine, Sgt. Rafael Peralta, may be another early indication of just how different the Trump administration is. Peralta has been nominated by California GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter to receive the Medal of Honor posthumously, The Daily Caller reported.
What made this case unusual was that Peralta was nominated three times for the Medal of Honor while President Barack Obama was in office, but he was denied our nation’s highest military honor each time by Obama’s secretaries of defense.
Hunter was hoping things will change now that former Gen. James Mattis — who served in Iraq — is the secretary of defense.
Peralta reportedly pulled a grenade under his body in 2004 to protect his fellow Marines. This sort of action has been grounds for a Medal of Honor in the past, though in Peralta’s case there was admittedly some room for doubt, Military.com reported.
Some forensic experts have questioned whether Peralta could have moved the grenade underneath his body as he had been wounded in the back of the head by a bullet, leading to a question of whether he was even conscious when the grenade exploded.
“The benefit of Secretary Mattis is that he’s commanded Marines in Iraq and he knows better than anyone in government right now — along with (Homeland Security) Secretary (John) Kelly — how politics can be infused in a valor award case and how the bureaucracy if left unchallenged will win every time,” explained a spokesman for Hunter.
Peralta already received the Navy Cross and has had a ship named after him, though his family still hoped he will receive the Medal of Honor for his actions that went above and beyond.
Mattis will undoubtedly study this carefully, and whatever decision he makes will be grounded in reality and fact, not political posturing.
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