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Medal Of Honor Recipient David Bellavia Is Someone You Should Know

Medal Of Honor Recipient David Bellavia Is Someone You Should Know

Medal Of Honor Recipient David Bellavia Is Someone You Should Know

Today Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia (ret.) was awarded our nation’s highest award, the Medal of Honor, for ‘taking out the kill house’ on his 29th birthday in hand to hand combat during the second Battle of Fallujah.

The unit had a journalist embedded with them. One who, for a while, David Bellavia wanted nothing to do with. Yet, as David notes, without Michael Ware, we would not know what our soldiers faced in Iraq. 

““Essentially, to protect the platoon and members of his squad, David Bellavia had to go back into a darkened nightmare of a house.” said journalist Michael Ware, who had embedded with Bellavia’s unit as a Time Magazine correspondent.

The platoon had been clearing a block of houses the night of Nov. 10, coming under fire when they reached the tenth. From a barricaded position under the stairwell, the insurgents fired on them with belt-fed weapons.”

There is so much more to this story. I first found out about David Bellavia through the guys at Blackfive. Keep in mind Bellavia and his entire unit had been dealing with multiple firefights for over 48 hours straight by this time. 

““We’re not going to die!” yells U.S. Staff Sergeant David Bellavia as his rattled platoon of soldiers takes cover from machine-gun fire in the streets of Fallujah. The platoon has been ordered to hunt down and kill a group of insurgents hiding somewhere in a block of 12 darkened houses. It is 1:45 a.m., and the soldiers have been running from fire fight to fire fight for 48 hours straight with no sleep, fueled only by the modest pickings from their ration packs. As they searched through nine of the houses on the block, the soldiers turned up nothing. When they trudged into the 10th house, though, a trap was sprung: the insurgents had lured them in and then opened fire, forcing Bellavia’s men to scramble out of the house as shards of glass peppered them and bullets ricocheted off the gates of the courtyard. Bellavia yelled for a Bradley armored fighting vehicle to get “up here now!” The Bradley drew along the gate and poured 25-mm-cannon and M-240 machine-gun fire into the house, blasting a shower of concrete chips and luminescent sparks.

“Bellavia, a wiry 29-year-old who resembles Sean Penn, is pacing the street, preparing to go back in. Bellavia’s bluster on the battlefield contrasts with his refinement off it. During lulls in the fighting, he could discuss the Renaissance and East European politics. “Get on me now,” he says, ordering his squad to close in. There is little movement. He asks who has more ammunition. Two soldiers stand up and join him in the street. “Here we go, Charlie’s Angels,” Bellavia says. “You don’t move from my goddam wing. You stay on my right shoulder. You stay on my left shoulder. Hooah?” The men nod. “I wanna go in there and go after ’em.”

Reaching the barred window near the front door, Bellavia tells two soldiers to perch by the house corner and watch for insurgents trying to leap out the side window. He looks at Staff Sergeant Scott Lawson and says, “You’re f______ coming. Give suppressive fire at 45 degrees.” Bellavia and Lawson step nervously into the house. From the living room, Bellavia rounds the corner into the hallway. The insurgents are still alive. Their AK-47s fire. Bellavia fires back, killing them both. “Two f_____s down,” he says.”

David talks about that battle and more in this video.

HAND TO HAND combat going House to House. Unimaginable.

David wrote a book about the battle. House To House: An Epic Memoir About War. He also went on to found Vets For Freedom, went back to Iraq as a reporter himself in 2006 and 2008, ran for Congress, and has run a talk show in Buffalo for several years.

Except that the men who served with him don’t view any of this as awkward. They are, perhaps, even more proud of David Bellavia than he is for receiving this great honor.

Again, we wouldn’t know about any of this if it weren’t for the story Michael Ware wrote for Time Magazine, one the magazine chose as its cover story in 2004.

David Bellavia plans to become an ambassador for the U.S. Army. He wants to reach out to young people in an effort to show them that the military can give them the same purpose and direction that he benefitted from.

We are eternally grateful for having the opportunity to know of and learn from men such as David Bellavia. Thank you Sir! It is an honor to know you.

Feature Photo Credit: U.S. Army PEO EIS Twitter feed, cropped and modified

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  • GWB says:

    one the magazine chose as its cover story in 2004
    Before it lost its last shred of journalism and ethics. Back when some on the left still loved America enough to support our folks fighting a war.

    Hooah, SSgt Bellavia!

  • Dave says:

    Read his memoir when it came out… jeez, must have been about 10+ years ago. It was pretty harrowing.

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