President Trump Presents Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, U.S. Army – (Video and Transcript)…

Earlier today in the East Room of the White House U.S. President Donald Trump presented the nation’s highest honor for bravery to Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, U.S. Army [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] – 3:36 P.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Please. Thank you, Chaplain, very much. It’s really beautiful.

Today, it’s my privilege to award the highest military honor to an American soldier who demonstrated exceptional courage to protect his men and defend our nation. Will you please join me in welcoming Staff Sergeant David Bellavia? David, thank you. (Applause.)

David is the first living recipient to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery in the Iraq War. (Applause.)

We are honored to have with us distinguished leaders of our military. I want to recognize Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist. David, thank you very much. And congratulations. Acting Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy. Come here, Ryan. Let me just say hello to you. (Laughter.) Congratulations. Just happened yesterday, so I have to congratulate. Congratulations. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Paul Selva. Thank you, Paul. Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley. Hi, Mark. And Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel Dailey. Thank you, Daniel, very much.

Thanks as well to members of Congress who join us: Representative Liz Cheney. Thanks, Liz. Chris Collins. Thanks, Chris. Dan Crenshaw. Tom Reed. Thank you. Thank you, Tom. I see you over there, Tom.

REPRESENTATIVE REED: (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

Joining David for this special ceremony is his wife Deanna and three children, Evan, Ayden, and Vivienne, along with his mother Marilyn, and his brothers Daniel and Rand. I want to thank you all for being here. A very special day for you and for all of us. For the nation, actually. Thank you. (Applause.)

David’s father William passed away in 2017. And though he’s no longer with us, we know that today he must be one of those proud dads. He’s looking down upon us from Heaven, and he’s very proud of his son and his son’s family. I have to say that. Thank you, David.

Finally, we are gratified to be joined by eight previous Medal of Honor recipients. And, I have to tell you, I’ve got to know just about all of them. You are forever with us. You inspire us. You are truly brave, great people. Thank you very much for being here. (Applause.) Brave people. Thank you.

David grew up in Western New York. He was the youngest of four children. As a boy, he would listen to stories from his grandfather, a World War Two veteran, and hero in his own right, who earned a Bronze Star in the Normandy campaign. I just came back from Normandy. That was something.

As David remembers, his grandfather’s stories were always “vivid with a source of pride.” And they were delivered very beautifully. There was a nobility and purpose in the infantry. And David saw that a very young age. “I wanted to be what my grandfather was,” David would often say. “I wanted to be part of this noble adventure.” Is that right? That’s a pretty good quote, would you say? Better say “yes,” otherwise I have a problem. (Laughter.)

In 1999, David followed the example of his grandfather, and joined the United States Army Infantry. Several months after the September 11th attack on our nation, David deployed, saying goodbye to his wife and his son, Evan. He served in Germany, Kosovo, and then in Iraq.

In November of 2004, after nearly a year of intense enemy combat in Iraq, David led his squad into battle to liberate the city of Fallujah and anti-Iraqi forces. That was a tough place. This operation was the bloodiest battle of the Iraq War.

For three days straight, David and his men kicked down doors, searched houses, and destroyed enemy weapons, never knowing where they would find a terrorist lurking next. And there were plenty of them.

The third day of battle was November 10th, David’s 29th birthday. That night, his squad was tasked with clearing 12 houses occupied by insurgents. A very dangerous operation. They entered house after house, and secured nine of the buildings.

Then came the 10th. That was a tough one. It was a three-story building surrounded by a nine-foot wall. As they entered the house and moved into the living room, two men were behind concrete barricades. They opened fire on David and everybody.

In the dark of night, shards of glass, brick, and plaster flew into the air, wounding multiple soldiers. The rounds of fire ripped holes into the wall separating the Americans from the terrorists. The wall was ripped to shreds. David knew they had to get out. David thought that they had had it. He leapt into the torrent of bullets, and fired back at the enemy without even thinking. The insurgents — he just took cover. David took over.

He provided suppressive fire while his men evacuated, rescuing his entire squad at the risk of his own life. Only when his men were all out did David exit the building. But the fighting was far from over. Militants on the roof fired down at them with round after deadly round. A Bradley Fighting Vehicle came to the scene to suppress the enemy and drove them further into the building.

Knowing that he would face almost certain death, David decided to go back inside the house and make sure that not a single terrorist escaped alive, or escaped in any way. He quickly encountered an insurgent who was about to fire a rocket-propelled grenade at his squad. David once again jumped into danger and killed him before he had a chance to launch that grenade.

Next, two more insurgents came out of hiding and fired at David. He returned fire, killing them both. Then, a third assailant burst out of a wardrobe — wearing a wardrobe — and opened fire. David shot and wounded the man, but he escaped up the stairs. Racing after him, David engaged in hand-to-hand combat and killed him too.

Bleeding and badly wounded, David had single-handedly defeated the forces who had attacked. Just then, yet another combatant jumped down from the third-story roof and attacked. David shot him, and the assailant fell off the balcony.

Alone, in the dark, David killed four insurgents and seriously wounded the fifth, saving his soldiers and facing down the enemies of civilization.

Here with us today are 32 American service members who fought with David in Iraq, including 12 who were with David on that very, very horrible and dangerous November night. Please stand. Please. (Applause.)

Did he do a good job?

PARTICIPANTS: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: If not, you know, it’s not too late. (Laughter.)

Thank you very much for being here. We appreciate it very much.

Also with us are five families of David’s brothers-in-arms who made the supreme sacrifice. To the Gold Star families of Sean Sims, Steven Faulkenberg, Scott Lawson, JC Matteson, and Michael Carlson: Our entire nation expresses our love, loyalty, and everlasting gratitude. Please, stand. Please. (Applause.) Thank you very much for being here. Appreciate it. Thank you.

David often tells young people, “Americans don’t want to fight, but if someone picks a fight with us, we will always win. Because we don’t fight for awards or recognition. We fight for love of our country, our homeland, our family, and our unit — and that’s stronger than anything the enemy has.” So, thank you. And thank you to his family very much. Great family, David. Thank you.

David exemplifies the same warrior ethos that gave his grandfather and all the heroes of Normandy the strength to defeat evil exactly 75 years ago. I hear that his grandfather Joseph is now 99 years old and that today he’s watching this ceremony at his home in Jamestown, New York. A lot of people are watching, David.

America is blessed with the heroes and great people like Staff Sergeant Bellavia whose intrepid spirit and unwavering resolve defeats our enemies, protects our freedoms, and defends our great American flag.

David, 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 anywhere in the world. And we’re doing better today than we’ve ever done. Our country is stronger now, and we’re doing better economically than ever before. We’re setting records, and you fought for something that’s really good, and we appreciate it, David. We really appreciate it. Thank you.

And now I’m very pleased to ask the military aide to come forward while I present the Congressional Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant David Bellavia. Please.

MILITARY AIDE: The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3rd, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.

Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on November 10, 2004, while serving as squad leader in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq.

While clearing a house, a squad from Staff Sergeant Bellavia’s platoon became trapped within a room by intense enemy fire coming from a fortified position under the stairs leading to the second floor. Recognizing the immediate severity of the situation, and with disregard for his own safety, Staff Sergeant Bellavia retrieved an automatic weapon and entered the doorway of the house to engage the insurgents.

With enemy rounds impacting around him, Staff Sergeant Bellavia fired at the enemy position at a cyclic rate, providing covering fire that allowed the squad to break contact and exit the house.

A Bradley Fighting Vehicle was brought forward to suppress the enemy; however, due to high walls surrounding the house, it could not fire directly at the enemy position. Staff Sergeant Bellavia then re-entered the house and again came under intense enemy fire. He observed an enemy insurgent preparing to launch a rocket-propelled grenade at his platoon. Recognizing the grave danger the grenade posed to his fellow soldiers, Staff Sergeant Bellavia assaulted the enemy position, killing one insurgent and wounding another who ran to a different part of the house.

Staff Sergeant Bellavia, realizing he had an un-cleared, darkened room to his back, moved to clear it. As he entered, an insurgent came down the stairs firing at him. Simultaneously, the previously wounded insurgent reemerged and engaged Staff Sergeant Bellavia. Staff Sergeant Bellavia, entering further into the darkened room, returned fire and eliminated both insurgents. Staff Sergeant Bellavia then received enemy fire from another insurgent emerging from a closet in the darkened room.

Exchanging gunfire, Staff Sergeant Bellavia pursued the enemy up the stairs and eliminated him. Now on the second floor, Staff Sergeant Bellavia moved to a door that opened onto the roof. At this point, a fifth insurgent leapt from the third floor roof onto the second floor roof. Staff Sergeant Bellavia engaged the insurgent through a window, wounding him in the back and legs, and caused him to fall off the roof.

Acting on instinct to save the members of his platoon from an imminent threat, Staff Sergeant Bellavia ultimately cleared an entire enemy-filled house, destroyed four insurgents, and badly wounded a fifth. Staff Sergeant Bellavia’s bravery, complete disregard for his own safety, and unselfish and courageous actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

(The Medal of Honor is presented.) (Applause.)

END 3:50 P.M. EDT

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46 Responses to President Trump Presents Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, U.S. Army – (Video and Transcript)…

  1. beaujest says:

    Wow ! What a man !

    Liked by 14 people

  2. ATheoK says:

    I thought this was old news.

    “Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on November 10, 2004”

    What took them so long to award the medal!?

    I believe this was reconstructed on TV, with the TV show glossing over many of the key details, and it was still impressive.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bill Jeans says:

      SSgt Bellavia is most certainly a stud, and was originally awarded a lesser decoration which has now been appropriately upgraded. While the President is at it there are two Navy Crosses that, while high decorations, should also be upgraded to the MOH. Those would be John Ripley and Bradley Kasal. Ripley from my war and Kasal from Iraq.

      Like

  3. sucesfuloser says:

    To place the needs of others above ourselves. Thank you sir.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. no-nonsense-nancy says:

    Thank you, Sundance, for always bringing us these touching ceremonies. God Bless all of our brave service men and women.

    Liked by 14 people

    • bertdilbert says:

      No President I can remember has honored our Military like Trump. I have no clue how our President gets so much done. If there is chaos in the WH, it is keeping up with the President. Like an aircraft carrier, controlled chaos.

      Liked by 9 people

  5. Dutchman says:

    I rarely/never post on threads with this theme.
    Stupid phone screen. For some reason the letters get all screwey, so its hard to read or write, and trying makes my eyes,…hurt.

    Our nation is truly blessed, to have such men as this.

    Liked by 8 people

  6. Dekester says:

    S/Sgt. Bellavia is one true American hero.

    One can see the admiration in PDJTs eyes, and hear the sincerity in his voice when he presents these medals of honour.

    I can’t vote in your elections. For those that can, please do, and ensure another four years of PDJTs positive influence on the U.S.A. and the world.

    God bless PDJT.

    Liked by 15 people

  7. ristvan says:

    This is what a true Commander in Chief does. Always.

    Liked by 13 people

  8. Big Jake says:

    It’s the Medal of Honor, not congressional (sic).

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Vito Romano says:

    In November of 2004, after nearly a year of intense enemy combat in Iraq, David led his squad into battle to liberate the city of Fallujah and anti-Iraqi forces. That was a tough place. This operation was the bloodiest battle of the Iraq War.

    GOD Bless – Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia, U.S. Army

    Liked by 6 people

    • Vito Romano says:

      Direct quote from President Trump’s speech. I neglected to include quotation marks in my initial comment.

      “In November of 2004, after nearly a year of intense enemy combat in Iraq, David led his squad into battle to liberate the city of Fallujah and anti-Iraqi forces. That was a tough place. This operation was the bloodiest battle of the Iraq War.”

      GOD Bless – Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia, U.S. Army

      Liked by 7 people

  10. popaclay says:

    Truly amazing. I never knew. I listen to him regularly on a local news station – Buffalo. WBEN
    He is a great Trump supporter.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. RobInPA says:

    As the saying goes –

    “Don’t bring an RPG to a M249 SAW fight!”

    BALLS. OF. MADE. IN. USA. STEEL.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. sundance says:

    Liked by 12 people

  13. Tom Idlewood says:

    Maybe it was a decade ago, but the paperwork move slowly. That’s the medal that’s typically won having already given everything. Too bad for the bad guys he ran into than night didn’t get the memo.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Charlotte Powell Brooks says:

    God Bless you and yours, Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia.
    If only we had a few like you in congress.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. GB Bari says:

    We are completely humbled by SSG Bellavia’s bravery and valor.
    And we are deeply grateful for President Trump’s leadership, especially in recognizing these very special individuals.

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Gunner says:

    This retired jarhead is honored to salute you, SSG Bellavia. A hearty ‘Hooah’ — and thank you!

    Liked by 6 people

  17. I am always amazed by these medal of honor winners…wow, I could never be as brave as them Thank you Sgt Bellavia for your bravery. You are the best.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. CorwinAmber says:

    there is a room in the Pentagon dedicated to those who have earned the Medal of Honor…all of their names are listed therein…it is quite a somber place, solemnity akin to Arlington. I was fortunate to receive an award there from the Deputy Secretary of Defense some years ago…an award more than I deserved (methinks) in a location honoring men much greater than myself, sigh. No greater love…the stories are beyond belief, if someone in Hollywood wrote them, no one would believe it! I’m kinda partial to Scooter Burke myself, but that’s just me. God Bless All of Them!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Are you saying that you, too received the Medal of Honor?

      Well … no matter what Award you may have received, let me now (no doubt, on behalf of this entire online community …) insist that you “properly take your place of Honor among them all.” Surely, you belong there: accept the moment. There are no words sufficient to describe our debt to you – nor to all of those among whose number you properly count yourself.

      “Thank you.” (Beyond this, words fail me.)

      Like

      • CorwinAmber says:

        oh geez, NO…I did not receive the MOH!

        This room is used for many such award ceremonies, to include promotions and retirements…so it is a place of joy as well as remembrance. As far as the award was concerned, it was the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award for a lengthy project I supported…but I was just doing my job, nothing heroic or worthy of special recognition IMHO. In fact, when I attended the ceremony, I didn’t even know I was receiving an award…the look of bewilderment on my face is obvious. Now don’t get me wrong, it is recognition I treasure in my dotage, but as I read the requirements for earning this award, I feel like I fell way short…but I’m not gonna pull a Brando when my boss thought me worthy of such an honor. Personally, I think Sundance works much harder than I ever did!

        Liked by 1 person

  19. CirclinTheDrain says:

    All I can say is, thank God for toxic masculinity!! May we be blessed with much more of it.

    Liked by 6 people

  20. AnObserver says:

    The verbal description doesn’t even begin to do justice to the story. Read his book – definitely worth the time…. House to House: An Epic Memoir of War (2007), David G. Bellavia with John R. Bruning

    Liked by 2 people

    • mac says:

      I’ve read it. Given the disgusting individuals that the “Rats have provided for American leaders, it’s nothing short of miraculous that we still have men like this willing to make such sacrifices for our nation.

      I am always glad to see a living MOH recipient. Far more of them have received it posthumously than have lived to receive it in person. I am deeply grateful to President Trump for his actions, taken in behalf of all patriotic American citizens, in honoring these heroes who have gone so far above and beyond the call of duty.

      Some of them have gone neglected for many years. Only President Trump had the willingness to look back at our military history and use his position to honor those who have sacrificed so much and served our nation so well. May God bless both our heroes in uniform and our President.

      Like

  21. Alas … And how many of the somber stone crosses, today arrayed “row on row, in Flander’s Fields,” represent just such acts of heroism?

    Here is the only meaningful promise that we might offer: that we shall strive to ensure that no one will be required to face the awful fields of War, let alone to make the Ultimate Sacrifice thereupon. That we will, instead, strive to preserve their lives … and, indeed, those of their erstwhile enemies. That we will soberly remember: “War Is Hell.™” That, while we respect the sacrifices of War, we shall always strive to avoid them.

    Like

  22. CharterOakie says:

    Awesome.

    Like

  23. Ghost says:

    Observations from a smaller limb.

    Unless they changed the rules, the children of those who win the Medal of Honor receive automatic admittance to any military academy of their choice if academically qualified. Thought you might like to know that fellow treepers.

    Liked by 3 people

    • azgulch says:

      Yep, looking at his two sons thinking the same thing.

      Like

      • azgulch says:

        Had an Ag Science professor MOH recipient from WW2, TAMU. He was very old and I was a very young graduate student with a common coffee room. The “community” protects them, or at least provides for them. They meet yearly and are honored country wide. A&M let him be a professor until the end. He wiped out about 15 germans singlehanded protecting his squad. It was all about his men, a common tread amongst MOH recipients. He did an “Audy Murphy” and used the machine gun from a disabled tank at the end, until a shell hit it.

        He said the medics that were transporting him back to the hospital said he was a gonner. They were wrong, a good humble man.

        Liked by 1 person

    • sturmudgeon says:

      Thank you for that info.

      Like

  24. Emuuuu says:

    CNN was reporting that President Trump was “seen choking a man” in the White House.

    Like

    • slowcobra says:

      LOL, yes, they can spin anything.
      God bless PDJT, and God love him for honoring a brave, heroic, honorable soldier. Unlike PT’s predecessors, who were apparently unwilling or unaware to pay homage.

      Like

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