In a historic moment today, President Trump presented the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia at the White House. Bellavia became the first living veteran of the War in Iraq to receive America’s highest military recognition.
In November 2004, then-Staff Sgt. Bellavia was serving as a squad leader in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq. He was clearing a block of houses when his platoon became pinned down. Without hesitation, Bellavia leaped into harm’s way—entering the house where his squad was trapped, providing cover so his fellow soldiers could escape, and then reentering the home to kill the insurgents who attacked his troops.
That remarkable day, then-Staff Sgt. Bellavia rescued an entire squad, cleared an insurgent strongpoint, and saved members of his platoon from imminent threat.
“David exemplifies the same warrior ethos that gave his grandfather, and all of the heroes of Normandy, the strength to defeat evil exactly 75 years ago,” the President said.
Staff Sgt. David Bellavia – today, we honor your extraordinary courage, we salute your selfless service, and we thank you for carrying on the legacy of American Valor that has always made our blessed nation the strongest and mightiest in the world! pic.twitter.com/pQ3dhhaSpE
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2019
Photo cover: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
Photo caption: President Donald J. Trump is joined in prayer by Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia in the East Room | June 25, 2019