He will be the first, but that may very well be more to follow. President Donald Trump will present the Medal of Honor later this month to an Army staff sergeant for his service during a mission in Fallujah. This honor will make the soldier the first living Iraq War veteran to receive the award.
The White House announced on Friday that Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia will receive the nation’s highest military honor for his actions on Nov. 10, 2014. President Trump will present the award during a ceremony on June 25th.
Staff Sergeant Bellavia was clearing a block of houses in Fallujah as part of Operation Phantom Fury when his unit was pinned down, the White House said. He provided cover fire so that he and other members of his squad could exit safely.
A military vehicle arrived to provide aid, but was unable to fire into one insurgent-held house. Bellavia willingly entered the building and was engaged by and killed five insurgent fighters in total.
“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,” the White House said in a statement.
The U.S. Army posted this message on their Twitter account: BREAKING: Soldier who fought in Fallujah to receive the Medal of Honor. Staff Sergeant David Bellavia will receive the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the @WhiteHouse, June 25.
BREAKING: Soldier who fought in Fallujah to receive the Medal of Honor.— U.S. Army (@USArmy) June 10, 2019
Staff Sergeant David Bellavia will receive the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the @WhiteHouse, June 25.
Here is his remarkable story of bravery: https://t.co/JapOsJSWyH#ArmyValues pic.twitter.com/S1ISNqofcm
Bellavia’s actions are shared in detail in his 2007 memoir, “House to House.”
Five other servicemen have received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the Iraq War. Each was honored posthumously.