The Peralta family will donate the fallen Navy’s Navy Cross to the ship
Almost seven years after the award was approved, the family of the deceased Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta will be holding his Navy Cross next month. But not for long.
“It was his motivation to receive the Navy Cross,” said Peralta-Donald. “She thinks it will take Rafa’s mind and keep everyone on the crew safe. She thinks it will be up to them.”
A photo of the newly appointed Navy destroyer Rafael Peralta is displayed during a ceremony in San Diego.
Photo credit: Lance Cpl. Anna Albrecht / Marine Corps
The family plan to cherish the Navy Cross over the summer and donate it to the ship for her christening on Oct. 31, Peralta-Donald said.
She said the Marine Corps quickly agreed when her brother Ricardo contacted officials and explained the family’s interest in having a ceremony.
The only challenge, she said, had been finding free time in Mabus’ schedule to present the award.
Peralta-Donald said the family’s decision to accept Navy Cross was not a concession or an indication that they would stop seeking a higher reward.
“Deep in our hearts we still believe that someone will do the right thing and move on to the Medal of Honor,” she said.