NPR

Medal Of Honor Awarded To Iraq War Veteran

Retired Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia received the nation's highest medal for heroism for saving his squad in Fallujah, Iraq. Bellavia is the first living veteran of that war to be so honored.

In 2004, on the day he turned 29, then-Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia charged into a darkened house in Fallujah, Iraq and fired his weapon at lurking insurgents as the squad he led scrambled outside.

"Staff Sgt. Bellavia single-handedly saved an entire squad, risking his own life to allow his fellow soldiers to break contact and reorganize when trapped by overwhelming insurgent fire."

So reads the U.S. Army official narrative of the battle that first earned Bellavia a Silver Star medal, the military's third most distinguished decoration.

On Tuesday, at a White House ceremony, that distinction was upgraded.

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