Bellavia, members of platoon discuss Medal of Honor award

well right now the electric shower in Buffalo and other western New York landmarks are lit up in gold and blue the colors of the Medal of Honor for Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia who will receive the Medal of Honor from President Trump in Washington tomorrow afternoon 2 on your side's Dave McKinley is in the nation's capitol tonight and spoke with Bellavia before the big day Dave at the Pentagon soldiers who served with David Bellavia in Iraq and who were members of his platoon say they haven't seen him in almost 15 years but 2a1 they said there's no one more deserving of this great honor from a fellow sergeant not retired I just won't tell y'all that were it not for David Bellavia I wouldn't be sitting here today to is Captain back then now a colonel who first put him up for the award 14 years ago David Belva is one of those guys that exemplifies selfless service and sacrifice to a journalist that was working for Time magazine in 2004 had while embedded with bellavia's platoon saw it for himself I'm Medal of Honor moment to see a man perform such an act of valor that was humbling to behold they're all talking about that day in November of 2004 bellavia's 29th birthday when he's credited with saving his entire squad by killing five enemy insurgents while under heavy fire for by gunfire the fifth in a brutal hand-to-hand struggle it's just so surreal and even though it's been seven months since the president called to inform him he'd be awarded the nation's highest honor he's still getting used to it it's almost like your own funeral you're at your you know you're all these people are saying these things about you and it's it's kind it's wonderful but it's awkward it's uncomfortable and he knows that might not ever go away it's a traumatic event that occurs that you have to relive now every time someone says hey what's that thing on your neck that you've got to be mature to handle it I if I would have gotten this right after the war twenty-nine I don't think I would have been able to handle it the way I could handle it now but he will endeavour to handle it on behalf of himself and all the others he fought alongside the burden is something that is it could be overwhelming but it really hasn't sunk in yet I don't have this award yet I have not met the president yet I haven't gone through all of the ceremonies yet but I here's my take the iraq war veteran is is now represented by a son of western new york the only Medal of Honor winner from the Iraq war who actually lived to tell about it so today it was the Pentagon tomorrow we're going to venture across the Potomac to the White House where President Trump himself will strap the Medal of Honor around the neck of David Bellavia in Washington Dave Paquette Lee channel 2 News

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