WASHINGTON, D.C. -- "It's stuff you hear about in boot camp, about World War II and Tarawa Marines who won the Medal of Honor," Lance Cpl. Rob Rogers of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment told the Army Times. Rogers was describing the actions of his fellow Marine, Sgt. Rafael Peralta, a Mexican immigrant who enlisted in the Marine Corps the day he received his green card.
Most readers of this column probably haven't heard about Rafael Peralta. With the exception of the Los Angeles Times, most of our mainstream media haven't bothered to write about him. The next time you log onto the Internet, do a Google search on Rafael Peralta. As of this writing, the Internet's most used search engine will provide you with only 26 citations from news sources that have bothered to write about this heroic young man.
Then, just for giggles, do a Google search on Pablo Paredes. Hundreds of media outlets have written about him. The wire services have blasted his story to thousands of newspapers. Television and radio debate programs gladly provide the public with talking heads that can speak eloquently on the actions of Pablo Paredes.
You see, Pablo Paredes, a Navy petty officer 3rd class, did something the liberal elites consider "heroic" and the media consider "newsworthy" -- he defied an order. Last week, Paredes refused to board his ship bound for Iraq along with 5,000 other sailors and Marines. He showed up on the pier wearing a black t-shirt that read, "Like a Cabinet member, I resign."
We know this because Paredes had the courtesy and forethought to notify the local media that he would commit an act of cowardice the following day. Perhaps he hoped to follow the lead of another famous war protestor who went on to become a U.S. senator and his party's presidential nominee by throwing away his military medals. Paredes stopped short of trashing his military I.D. in front of the cameras because he said he didn't want to be charged with the destruction of government property. The media, we are promised, will continue to follow this story intently.
It is a shame that the media focus on such acts when they could tell stories about real heroes like Peralta, who "saved the life of my son and every Marine in that room," according to Garry Morrison, the father of a Marine in Peralta's unit -- Lance Cpl. Adam Morrison.
On the morning of Nov. 15, 2004, the men of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines awoke before sunrise and continued what they had been doing for seven days previously -- cleansing the city of Fallujah of terrorists house by house.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.