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In Army video, Bellavia describes actions in Iraq that will result in Medal of Honor

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 June 2019 at 1:47 pm

David Bellavia, a Waterport resident and Lyndonville graduate, will receive the Medal of Honor on June 25 during a ceremony at the White House. He will be the first living veteran from the Iraq War to receive the nation’s highest honor.

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. Bellavia was then a staff sergeant in the Army. He describes that day in this video from the Army.

The Army provides this description of Bellavia’s heroic actions in Fallujah:

Staff Sgt. 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, the Army said.

A Bradley Fighting Vehicle arrived to help suppress the enemy, but it could not fire directly into the house. Bellavia re-entered 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.

Bellavia was soon engaged by another insurgent rushing down the stairs when the previously wounded insurgent re-emerged to engage him as well. 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.

On that remarkable day, Bellavia rescued an entire squad, cleared an insurgent strongpoint, and saved many members of his platoon from imminent threat.

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