CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) — Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is recommending the Defense Department upgrade a fallen San Diego Marine's Navy Cross to the Medal of Honor.
Mabus told reporters at an unrelated Navy Cross ceremony at Camp Pendleton on Monday that he has recommended that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta give Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta the military's highest honor.
The Defense Department ruled that Peralta was not conscious when he smothered a grenade with his body in Iraq in 2004, saving the lives of other Marines.
The case was reopened earlier this year after U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter obtained a video of the battle action and a newly released report by a forensic pathologist that the lawmaker says prove Peralta was conscious and his actions intentional.
Mabus says the case is in Panetta's hands.