There isn't much that Democrats and Republicans agree on these days, but today several bipartisan members of California's Congressional delegation came together to ask the Secretary of the Navy to give the case of Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta a second look.
A letter sent by Rep. Duncan Hunter and other members of Congress claims new evidence has come to light that should make Peralta, a San Diego native, eligible for the Medal of Honor, the military's highest honor.
Some background: Sgt. Peralta covered a grenade with his body in Iraq in 2004, saving the lives the Marines around him, according to the Associated Press. But a scientific panel put together by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates found Peralta was not conscious when he did so, excluding him from getting the Medal of Honor. Instead, the Navy posthumously awarded Peralta the Navy Cross.
The letter sent to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus says new scientific evidence proves Peralta conscious when he pulled the grenade to his body, making his heroic actions worthy of the Medal of Honor:
Rep. Hunter has made the forensic report available on his website. You can click here to read it.
The History Channel produced a documentary on the Sgt. Rafael Peralta controversy. You can watch a clip of it here:
Members of Congress and veterans leaders called for federal action to absolve the debts of nearly 10,000 soldiers in California alone who have been ordered by the Pentagon to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after they signed up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The state reached a $252,000 settlement with two contractors over the companies' unlawful evictions of 18 military service members and their families from private military housing in San Diego and Orange counties.