Official White House announcement of Medal of Honor for Batavia resident David Bellavia
On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, President Donald J. Trump will award the Medal of Honor to David G. Bellavia for conspicuous gallantry while serving as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army.
Then-Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia will receive the Medal of Honor for his actions on November 10, 2004, while serving as a squad leader in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq. Then-Staff Sergeant Bellavia was clearing a block of houses when his platoon became pinned down. He quickly exchanged an M16 rifle for an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, entered the house where his squad was trapped, and engaged insurgents, providing cover fire so that he and his fellow soldiers could exit safely. A Bradley Fighting Vehicle arrived to help suppress the enemy, but it could not fire directly into the house. Then-Staff Sergeant Bellavia reentered the house, armed with an M16, and assaulted insurgents who were firing rocket-propelled grenades. He proceeded to kill one insurgent and wound another, who then ran to another part of the house. Then-Staff Sergeant Bellavia was soon engaged by another insurgent rushing down the stairs when the previously wounded insurgent reemerged to engage him as well. Then-Staff Sergeant Bellavia returned fire, killing both attackers. He then took enemy fire from an insurgent who had appeared from a closet across the room. He pursued him up the stairs and killed him. Soon thereafter, he moved to the roof where he engaged and wounded a fifth insurgent, who fell from the roof of the building. That remarkable day, then-Staff Sergeant Bellavia rescued an entire squad, cleared an insurgent strongpoint, and saved many members of his platoon from imminent threat.
David Bellavia enlisted in the United States Army in 1999. After previously serving in Kosovo, he deployed to Iraq in 2004 with Company A, Task Force 2-2, 1st Infantry Division. He was released from duty on August 16, 2005. David now has his own daily radio talk show for WBEN in Buffalo, New York. He continues to serve the military and veteran communities through a number of philanthropic organizations.
THE MEDAL OF HONOR:
The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their own lives above and beyond the call of duty while:
- engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
- engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
- serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
The meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.
Congratulations David, you are a true Patriot and American hero. Thank you for your bravery in the face of adversary, and above and beyond service to our Country. It is an honor to know you.
Last year, my reenacting group the Hoisington Rangers, (portraying Americans) along with the Brandts (portraying the British), had the privilege to honor David with musket volleys, followed by presenting him with a plaque at Fort Niagara on Patriots Day. Patriot’s Day commemorated the battles at Lexington and Concord near Boston in 1775.
This is actually the third version I've read about this whole episode. The official white house adaptation, as with the 2nd changes the chain of events. Each seems to increase the image of heroics. The 1st on I read back in July of 2018 mentioned that one of the "insurgents" was a woman. That fact was omitted in the subsequent versions. Both of the 2 prior versions stated that the Bradley vehicle had indeed already pummeled the house. This was after the whole area had been pummeled by air and artillery to the point that the area was virtually deserted. The Bradley vehicle poured 25mm cannon and m240 machine gun fire into the house. Balavia armed with a SAW automatic weapon which fires better than 13 rounds per second, was a walking example of the uneven odds. This "mop up situation" calling for the Congressional Medal of Honor, if fairly distributed across our wars, would result in thousands and thousands of more deserving men receiving the award. Men who didn't embellish. Men who didn't lobby. Men who didn't sell their soul.
Thank you Debbie Downer.
In my opinion, invading a foreign country is like a home invasion, and not a good recipe for a hero. Michael Paladino was a hero, he followed his heart, not orders. Nothing against our brave men and woman in the military, my slam is totally directed at our war mongering leaders.