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Sgt. David Bellavia Iraq MOH Awarded 6-25-19
California, United States
Joined: September 04, 2002
KitMaker: 1,410 posts
Historicus Forma: 9 posts
Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 02:48 PM UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday awarded the nation's highest military honor to an Iraq War veteran who took on an insurgent stronghold and allowed members of his platoon to move to safety during heavy fighting in Fallujah.

The president presented the Medal of Honor to former Army Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia, of New York. He is the first living Iraq War veteran to receive the honor.

"That whole night in Fallujah. The entire thing is impossible to think about unless you're talking about the men we lost," Bellavia said after the ceremony. "Those men we think about every single day."

Bellavia was leading a squad in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah in November 2004. After helping his platoon escape fire, he entered a house and killed at least four insurgents who were firing rocket-propelled grenades, the White House said.

Bellavia, who left the Army in 2005, has been awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross.

During the ceremony, the events that led to Bellavia's honor were recounted. Bellavia’s squad was tasked with clearing 12 houses, and on the 10th house, insurgents opened fire, wounding multiple soldiers.

Bellavia provided suppressive fire, while his men evacuated, rescuing his entire squad at the risk of his own life. Only when his men were all out did he exit the building. But the fighting was far from over."

Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia pauses during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 25, 2019, before receiving the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry while serving in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq. President Trump said Bellavia reentered the building, killing four and seriously wounding a fifth.

"Bleeding and badly wounded, David single-handedly defeated the forces who had attacked his unit and would have killed them all had it not been for the bravery of David," President Trump said.

This is the ninth Medal of Honor President Trump has presented. The honor goes to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty.