Text: H.Con.Res.26 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)

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Introduced in House (03/19/2013)


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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Con. Res. 26 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
H. CON. RES. 26

  Recommending the posthumous award of the Medal of Honor to Sergeant 
                            Rafael Peralta.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             March 19, 2013

  Mr. Hunter (for himself, Mr. Becerra, Mr. Valadao, Mr. Turner, Mr. 
 Jones, Mr. Grimm, Mr. Cardenas, Mr. Vargas, Mr. Peters of California, 
Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. Cook, Mr. Kinzinger of Illinois, Mr. Gallego, Mr. 
 Grijalva, Mr. Miller of Florida, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Guthrie, Mr. Wilson 
  of South Carolina, Mr. Diaz-Balart, Mr. Murphy of Pennsylvania, Mr. 
LaMalfa, Mr. Southerland, Mr. Denham, Mr. Amodei, Mr. Issa, Mrs. Roby, 
   Mr. Runyan, and Mrs. Davis of California) submitted the following 
  concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Armed 
                                Services

_______________________________________________________________________

                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION


 
  Recommending the posthumous award of the Medal of Honor to Sergeant 
                            Rafael Peralta.

Whereas in November 2004, the Marine Corps led combat operations to retake the 
        insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, Iraq, as part of Operation Phantom 
        Fury;
Whereas Marine Corps Sergeant Rafael Peralta and thousands of other Marines 
        entered the city of Fallujah, coming into immediate contact with the 
        enemy and engaging in some of the most intense combat of the entire Iraq 
        war;
Whereas Sergeant Peralta, serving with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, cleared 
        scores of houses for days and on November 14, 2004, asked to join an 
        under-strength squad;
Whereas the following morning, as Sergeant Peralta and his squad of Marines 
        cleared their seventh house of the day, a close-quarter firefight 
        erupted;
Whereas Sergeant Peralta, attempting to move out of the line of fire, was hit in 
        the back of the head by a fragment from a ricocheted bullet;
Whereas the insurgents, in the process of fleeing the house, threw a 
        fragmentation grenade through a window, landing directly near the head 
        of Sergeant Peralta;
Whereas Sergeant Peralta reached for the grenade and pulled it into his body, 
        absorbing the blast and shielding the other Marines who were only feet 
        away;
Whereas Sergeant Peralta, on November 15, 2004, made the ultimate sacrifice to 
        save the lives of his fellow Marines;
Whereas Sergeant Peralta was posthumously recommended by the Marine Corps and 
        the Department of the Navy for the Medal of Honor;
Whereas seven eyewitnesses confirmed that Sergeant Peralta smothered the grenade 
        with his body, with four of the accounts, taken independently, stating 
        that he gathered the grenade with his right arm;
Whereas the historical standard for the Medal of Honor is two eyewitness 
        accounts;
Whereas in 2008, Sergeant Peralta's Medal of Honor nomination was downgraded to 
        the Navy Cross after an independent panel determined that Sergeant 
        Peralta could not have deliberately pulled the grenade into his body due 
        to his head wound, despite seven eyewitness accounts stating that he did 
        so;
Whereas in 2012, new and previously unconsidered evidence, consisting of combat 
        video and an independent pathology report, was submitted to the 
        Department of the Navy;
Whereas based on the new evidence, a review of the case was initiated;
Whereas in December 2012, despite an announcement of the Navy's support for 
        upgrading Sergeant Peralta's Navy Cross to the Medal of Honor, the 
        upgrade was declined;
Whereas the citation for Sergeant Peralta's Navy Cross states, ``without 
        hesitation and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, 
        Sergeant Peralta reached out and pulled the grenade to his body, 
        absorbing the brunt of the blast and shielding fellow Marines only feet 
        away'';
Whereas Sergeant Peralta wrote to his brother in the days preceding his death, 
        saying, ``I'm proud to be a Marine, a U.S. Marine, and to defend and 
        protect the freedom and Constitution of America. You should be proud of 
        being an American citizen.'';
Whereas Sergeant Peralta, who was born in Mexico and immigrated with his family 
        to San Diego, California, enlisted in the Marine Corps on the same 
        morning he received his proof of permanent residence, commonly known as 
        a green card; and
Whereas Sergeant Peralta and his fellow Marines are an inspiration for their 
        service, selflessness, and sacrifice: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), 
That Congress--
            (1) honors Sergeant Rafael Peralta, as a Mexican-American 
        who joined the Marine Corps on the same day he received his 
        permanent residence status, for his dedication to the Marine 
        Corps and the United States and for upholding the highest 
        standards of military service;
            (2) recognizes that Sergeant Peralta's courageous and 
        selfless actions in combat saved the lives of his fellow 
        Marines;
            (3) concurs with the Marine Corps and the Department of the 
        Navy that Sergeant Peralta's actions are in the spirit and 
        tradition of the Medal of Honor;
            (4) maintains that, consistent with previous Medal of Honor 
        awards, the eyewitness accounts confirm that Sergeant Peralta 
        deliberately pulled the grenade into his body and the 
        eyewitness accounts should be the leading and deciding factor 
        in evaluating Sergeant Peralta's Medal of Honor nomination; and
            (5) recommends that Sergeant Peralta be posthumously 
        awarded the Medal of Honor.
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