Marine veteran Ricardo Peralta spoke out in defense of his brother’s legacy last night, saying Sgt. Rafael Peralta deserves the Medal of Honor regardless of the Defense Department decision.
Ricardo Peralta, who served a term in the Marine Corps after his brother was killed in Iraq in 2004, appeared on The Kelly File on Fox News in the wake of new accounts in a Washington Post story that allege Peralta never covered a live grenade with his body, as his Medal of Honor package claims. These reports came as Chuck Hagel became the third Secretary of Defense to turn Peralta down for the military’s highest award.
In the four-minute interview, Ricardo Peralta challenged the new accounts, which were made, he said, by three Marines who could not have seen what happened in his brother’s final moments. Two of them were outside the building; the other sustained shrapnel wounds to his backside.
“There was no was for him to have witnessed this himself when he was turned away,” Ricardo Peralta said.
The Peralta family has countered the Marines’ claims with letters questioning their veracity and challenging the integrity of the reporter who published them.
But at the end of the day, Ricardo Peralta told Kelly, Peralta’s legacy in the eyes of his family remains unchanged.
“We’ll always be proud to the fullest of him,” he said. “Whether they change their minds and give him the medal tomorrow, we’re proud to the fullest.”