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K00562 Summary:

MLTSPNSRMorinello, Norris
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K00562 Memo:

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K00562 Text:

Assembly Resolution No. 562
BY: M. of A. Hawley
        HONORING  United  States Army Staff Sergeant David
        Bellavia upon the occasion of his designation  as  a
        recipient of the Medal of Honor
  WHEREAS, Members of the Armed Services who have served valiantly and
honorably  in wars in which this country's freedom was at stake, as well
as in the preservation of peace, deserve  a  special  salute  from  this
Legislative Body; and
  WHEREAS,  This  Legislative  Body  is  justly  proud to honor United
States Army Staff Sergeant David  Bellavia  upon  the  occasion  of  his
designation  as a recipient of the Medal of Honor for rescuing his squad
and clearing out a house full of Iraqi insurgents during the  Battle  of
Fallujah; and
  WHEREAS, This meritorious veteran will be honored for his bravery by
President  Donald  J. Trump in a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday,
June 25, 2019, with his family and other members of  his  Army  unit  in
attendance; and
  WHEREAS,  The  prestigious  Medal  of  Honor  is  the United States'
highest military honor and enshrines recipients in the  history  of  our
Nation; and
  WHEREAS, Born on November 10, 1975, David "Bell" Bellavia was raised
in  Waterport,  New York, where he grew up listening to stories from his
grandfather, a World War II veteran;  after  attending  Franklin  Pierce
College  in  Rindge,  New  Hampshire,  and the University at Buffalo, he
enlisted in the United States Army in July of 1999; and
  WHEREAS, After serving in Kosovo, David  Bellavia  was  deployed  to
Iraq;  on November 10, 2004, Squad Leader David Bellavia exposed himself
to enemy fire  defending  his  soldiers  during  the  Second  Battle  of
Fallujah, Iraq; and
  WHEREAS,  Third  Platoon,  A  Company,  Task Force 2-2 was with U.S.
Marines facing about 1,500 to 3,000 insurgents who had  been  using  the
mostly  abandoned  city  as  cover;  A  Company  learned  six  to  eight
insurgents were hiding somewhere in a block of  12  buildings,  and  the
company  would  have  to  search  each  one  to try and find them; after
unsuccessfully searching  the  first  nine  buildings,  Platoon  members
entered  the  next  structure and encountered heavy gunfire from within;
  WHEREAS, Squad Leader David Bellavia used his M249  squad  automatic
weapon  to  suppress  and  counter  the insurgent attack, allowing Third
Platoon members to escape the house; however,  they  began  taking  fire
from  insurgents  on  the  house's  rooftop;  Staff  Sergeant  Bellavia,
realizing the only way to keep his platoon from taking casualties was to
eliminate the enemy, re-entered the house; and
  WHEREAS, Squad Leader  David  Bellavia  called  for  an  M2  Bradley
Fighting Vehicle to provide suppressing fire with its 25 mm cannon as he
headed  inside;  he then fought his way up three floors, using his rifle
and grenades to kill four enemy insurgents and mortally  wound  another;
the  first  insurgent Staff Sergeant Bellavia killed had been loading an
RPG launcher to fire upon the Third Platoon; and
  WHEREAS,  Squad  Leader  David  Bellavia's  actions ultimately saved
three squads of Third Platoon; for his  courageous  actions  during  the
firefight, he received the Silver Star; on June 7, 2019, he was informed
his  Silver Star would be upgraded to the Medal of Honor, making him the
lone survivor of this esteemed award from the Iraq War; and
  WHEREAS, Staff Sergeant David Bellavia also earned the  Bronze  Star
Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal; and
  WHEREAS,  Upon  the completion of his military service in 2005, with
the rank of Staff Sergeant, David Bellavia co-founded and served as Vice
Chairman of Vets for Freedom; in 2006, he was an honored  guest  at  the
State of the Union address; and
  WHEREAS,  In  2007, David Bellavia published a memoir entitled House
to House: An Epic Memoir of War, co-written with  John  R.  Bruning;  in
September  of 2010, the book was chosen as one of the top five best Iraq
War memoirs by journalist Thomas Ricks; two years later,  he  signed  an
agreement  with Oscar-winning producer Rich Middlemas to make his memoir
into a major motion picture; and
  WHEREAS, From late 2012 through  October  of  2013,  David  Bellavia
served  as  the late-night host for WBEN; on October 31, 2016, he joined
WBEN's Tom Bauerle as co-host Bauerle and Bellavia, a  drive  time  talk
show in Buffalo, New York; and
  WHEREAS,  Today,  David  Bellavia  holds  the  title of President of
EMPact America, an American  energy  resiliency  organization  based  in
Elma, New York, and is in the process of writing his second book; and
  WHEREAS, In addition to these roles, David Bellavia has been a force
in Western New York politics, serving as a candidate for New York's 26th
and 27th Congressional district; and
  WHEREAS, Residents of this great State must never forget the courage
with which men and women like Staff Sergeant David Bellavia served their
country; and
  WHEREAS,  Through  his  sacrifice,  Staff  Sergeant  David  Bellavia
demonstrated his love for his country and this merits  forevermore,  the
highest respect of this State and Nation; and
  WHEREAS,  Our  Nation's veterans deserve to be recognized, commended
and thanked by the people of the State of New York for their service and
for their dedication  to  their  communities,  and  their  Nation;  now,
therefore, be it
  RESOLVED,  That  this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
honor Staff Sergeant David Bellavia upon the occasion of his designation
as a recipient of the Medal of Honor; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this  Resolution,  suitably  engrossed,  be
transmitted to Staff Sergeant David Bellavia.
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