A bipartisan California congressional delegation asked President Bush on Friday to posthumously award the Medal of Honor to a Marine who was chosen to receive the Navy Cross, the second-highest medal the Navy can bestow for valor. The delegation, spearheaded by Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter sent a letter asking for a review of the case of Sgt. Rafael Peralta, who witnesses say covered a grenade with his body to save comrades during vicious house-to-house fighting in Fallujah in 2004. Already wounded by gunfire, Peralta died immediately. His act is credited with saving at least four Marines.
South Korea will withdraw its remaining troops from Iraq by December, ending five years of military deployment aimed at helping to rebuild the war-torn country, an official said Friday. Since 2003, South Korea has stationed troops in Iraq for a reconstruction mission at the request of the United States, its key ally. Troops levels once reached 3,600, but about 520 South Korean army engineers and medics are now stationed in Iraq, and 130 other support personnel -- mostly airmen -- are in Kuwait.
The U.S. commands in Iraq and Afghanistan reported no combat-related deaths on Friday. At least 4,168 members of the U.S. military have died in Iraq from all causes since the war began in March 2003. In Afghanistan, at least 524 members of the U.S. military have died from various causes since 2001.