David Bellavia made history Tuesday by becoming the first living Iraq War veteran to receive the Medal of Honor, the highest military honor the government can present.
In the east room of the White House, President Donald Trump said of the ceremony honoring the Lyndonville, Orleans County native and Batavia resident that this is “a special day for all of us, and our nation.”
Bellavia was a staff sergeant in 2004, when he along with his platoon in Fallujah became cornered. He provided cover for soldiers to escape, then killed four of the attackers.
His squad mates credited Bellavia with saving their lives. Bellavia has repeatedly said this was an honor he shares with all of them; and also for all Iraq War veterans.
Twelve of Bellavia’s fellow service members who were with him on that day attended the ceremony. Twenty others who served with him in Iraq also attended.