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Thirty-four Marines have earned the Navy Cross, the nation’s second highest valor award, since Sept. 11, 2001.
Of those Marines, 14 remain on active duty, 11 have left the Corps and nine were killed in action.
Two Navy Cross awards have also gone refused. One active-duty infantryman elected not to accept his award for heroism in Iraq, and chooses to remain in the shadows to this day, according to a Marine official. The family of Sgt. Rafael Peralta also refused his posthumous Navy Cross after finding out he would not be awarded the Medal of Honor, for which he had been nominated.