David Bellavia, afternoon co-host at Entercom news/talk WBEN Buffalo (930), will receive the Medal of Honor in a ceremony June 25 in Washington, DC. Bellavia will become the first living recipient for the war in Iraq for his heroism during the second battle of Fallujah, where he is credited with saving his entire squad.
The news conference announcing the honor was broadcast live on WBEN Tuesday morning (June 11). Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) praised Bellavia ahead of the news conference saying, “America has always depended on its heroes, and the Medal of Honor is the greatest honor any person in combat can ever get, so hats off to Dave.”
In November 2014, Bellavia’s squad was pinned down by enemy fire coming from a block of buildings. “He quickly exchanged an M16 rifle for an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, entered the house where his squad was trapped and engaged insurgents, providing cover fire so that he and his fellow soldiers could exit safely,” the White House statement announcing his award reads. He later re-entered the home with an M16 and killed off the remaining insurgents. Bellavia was awarded the Silver Star, the nation's second highest award for valor. His award is being upgraded to the Medal of Honor as part of the Pentagon's review of valor awards, ABC News reports.
Bellavia told his listeners about the award during his program on Monday (June 10). “One guy gets attention, but none of that's possible without the work of, you know, 25 guys that nobody talks about,” he said. “And in this fight, in this circumstance, it was just a group of guys that were out-gunned, and we fought our way through it together.”
President Trump will present the award to Bellavia at a White House ceremony on June 25.