Honoring Operation Iraqi Freedom Hero
Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sgt. David Bellavia.
On June 25, 2019, the President of the United States, President Donald Trump, presented the Congressional Medal of Honor to Staff Sargent David Bellavia (United States Army). SSgt Bellavia became the first living recipient from OIF to receive this honor.
This distinguished honor is the highest honor given to anyone serving in the U.S. military for actions that go above and beyond their call of duty.
The Medal of Honor was awarded to Bellavia because of his courageous actions during the bloodiest battle of the Iraq war, in November 2004. It came during a time of fierce fighting to push back at the terrorist stronghold that had controlled Fallujah.
Bellavia’s courageous actions, which risked his own life while saving the lives of his fellow squad members. A fuller description of his actions can be heard during the reading of the citation in the provided video below.
Before bestowing the Congressional Medal of Honor to Staff Sargent David Bellavia, President Trump made mention of several notable people in attendance, which included Bellavia’s family and his squad.
Ssgt Bellavia has been quoted as saying that America’s soldiers do not want to fight but if someone picks a fight with them, they will take action and will win because they do not fight to get any recognition or awards, but for love of country, Army, and family.
President Trump stated that Staff Sargent David Bellavia “carries a legacy of American valor that makes our nation and military the best in the world”.
After receiving the Medal of Honor, Staff Sargent Bellavia was joined on the platform by his family and then by his squad, who were there to honor him.