David Bellavia To Receive Medal of Honor

Long-overdue, and well deserved. To those who don’t know him or his story, allow me to recommend:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2019
President Donald J. Trump to Award the Medal of Honor
 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 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.  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.
 
PERSONAL BACKGROUND:
 
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. 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 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; orserving 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.

Jumping Back To D-Day

I really wish I could have been back again this year, as they are fast leaving us. So many are like this gentleman: They still have that gleam in their eye and are still willing to do it again. Bravo Zulu sir!

Memorial Day 2019

Safety Brief: Don’t be stupid. Do not add to or subtract from the population without due thought.

General Orders: Enjoy. Have a good time. Take the time to have good food, good drink, good times — all with good friends and family. Laugh, a lot if possible. Remember those who gave all for our lives and freedoms, for this is their day.

As I noted both here at at Blackfive over the years, none of the troops (or veterans) I know would want anyone to don sackcloth and ashes and mourn today. They would have been first about raising a beer, eating something tasty, or doing something fun with the important people in their lives.

So, go drink something good; eat something tasty; do something fun; and, if possible, do it with good people. Just take the time to raise a glass to them, to remember them.

And follow the safety brief, as only Carl does not want you to follow the safety brief. Don’t be Carl.

*****

Today, I honor all who made the ultimate sacrifice; and, in particular, I remember:

ENS Albert Foster Powers, MIA 1945 Japan

LCPL Bill Stelpflug, Beirut

COL Rick Rescorla, NY 9/11

SPC Ryan Dallam, Iraq

PFC Damian Lopez, Iraq

SPC Marieo Guerrero, Iraq

CPT Anthony Palermo, Iraq

SPC David Behrle, Iraq

SPC Joseph Gilmore, Iraq

PFC Travis Haslip, Iraq

SGT Jean Medlin, Iraq

SSG Christopher Moore, Iraq

PVT Alexander Varela, Iraq

LCPL Jeremy W. Burris, Iraq

SSG Brian Cowdrey, Afghanistan

MAJ Andrew Olmstead, Iraq