I am beyond irritated at Defense Secretary Panetta for his denial of the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Peralta for his actions in Fallujah, Iraq 2004.

I was operating in that battle as a forward observer (calling air & artillery strikes on enemy positions) when we got word Sgt. Peralta had been killed. The news of his heroics spread like wildfire throughout the lines of Marines battling through insurgent positions.

This Marine scooped a grenade into his own body after being mortally wounded, as on last act of heroism, and saved the men of the house clearing team he was with.

One of the young Marines knew that had Sgt. Peralta not placed the grenade under his own body, the other Marine would have surely been killed, stating he was “five feet away.”

Why are heroes so deserving not getting the recognition their actions earned? We have been so quick to condemn the men fighting and slow to praise heroes.

This is not an acceptable way to honor those who sacrificed everything for this nation. I am disgusted.

Panetta just added another notch as to why I despise him. This hero deserves that medal for giving hi

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