Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Navy announced today that it will name two Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyers after Marine Corps Sergeant Rafael Peralta and Navy Medal of Honor recipient John Finn. Congressman Duncan Hunter successfully offered an amendment to the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act, urging the Navy to name the next available vessel after Marine Corps Sergeant Rafael Peralta. Hunter also introduced legislation in the 111th Congress urging the Navy to name a ship after John Finn.

“For Sergeant Peralta and John Finn, this is recognition that’s well-deserved,” said Congressman Hunter.  “Two ships carrying the names of such heroic Americans—and San Diegans, in fact—will inspire future generations of Marines and sailors, and tell countless others who come in contact with these ships about the extraordinary actions and selflessness of Sergeant Peralta and John Finn. 

“This is a very special day for Sergeant Peralta’s family, in particular.  They have waited patiently for the Navy and the Department of Defense to recognize the actions of Sergeant Peralta, which are consistent with the Medal of Honor—an award he was nominated for but was wrongly denied.  This is a fitting tribute to Sergeant Peralta—and other Marines of his generation—and will carry his legacy around the world.

“A destroyer was a great pick by the Navy.  Sergeant Peralta is in good company along with Jason Dunham, Michael Murphy, John Finn and others.  These combat heroes are as tough as the steel used to make these ships and they are proud examples of the unrelenting fighting spirit of America’s military.   

“It’s also good to see the Navy finally returning to a more traditional convention of ship-naming.  Hopefully it stays this way, and the Navy will stick to the high standard it set for itself in this latest set of ship-naming decisions.”  

Yesterday, Hunter sent a letter to the Secretary of Navy on Sergeant Peralta.  Read the letter here.

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