Rep. Duncan Hunter says he has spoken with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who has assured him the Medal of Honor denial of Sgt. Rafael Peralta will get a thorough review.
Hunter told the North County Times he talked with Panetta about Peralta's case, and the conversation left him feeling positive:
"I have not said previously that I am encouraged. I am encouraged now."
At issue is whether or not Peralta was conscious when he pulled a grenade to his body during a battle in Iraq in 2004, saving the lives of the men around him. The initial review of Peralta's case found Peralta did not knowingly cover the grenade with his body, as he had already been mortally injured.
But Hunter, and members of the California congressional delegation, have called on Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Defense Secretary Panetta to review new medical evidence that proves Peralta was conscious at the time of his live-saving actions - thus making him worthy of the Medal of Honor.