June 10 (UPI) — President Donald Trump will award the Medal of Honor to the first living recipient later this month.
The White House announced Monday that Trump will present former Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia, 43, with the highest military honor on June 25 for his actions defending fellow soldiers while serving in the second battle of Fallujah, Iraq, on Nov. 10, 2004.
“President Donald 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,” the White House said.
During the battle, Bellavia suppressed and countered an attack to allow members of his platoon to escape a building where insurgents were hiding.
He then re-entered the house and exposed himself to enemy fire, after he realized the only way to prevent his team from experiencing casualties was to engage the enemy.
Bellavia killed and injured multiple insurgents in the building while taking on enemy fire.
“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.
Bellavia enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1999 and was released from duty in on Aug. 16, 2005.
He has previously been awarded the Silver Star for his actions in Fallujah and also received commendations including the Bronze Star and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross.