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Iraq War veteran David Bellavia to receive Medal of Honor

Staff Sgt. David Bellavia.

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT

By ROBERT J. MCCARTHY | The Buffalo News, N.Y. | Published: June 8, 2019

(Tribune News Service) — Sometime later this month, a former Army staff sergeant from Albion will stand before the president of the United States, who will drape around his neck the nation's highest military award for his heroics in the Iraq War.

David Bellavia – veteran, author, former congressional candidate and current talk radio co-host – will become the 3,469th American to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, according to the Army Times, which first reported the award late Friday. The White House ceremony presided over by President Trump will cap years of behind the scenes efforts by those championing Bellavia's cause to receive the award for his efforts during the 2004 siege of Fallujah.

Bellavia acknowledged reports of the award during his Bauerle and Bellavia Show on WBEN Radio Friday evening, but deferred further comment until the official White House announcement. Now sources familiar with the situation say the upgrade of the Silver Star he has already received for his war efforts could set him on a life-changing course that may include speaking tours and some kind of continued service to the Army.

Bellavia, 43, has become a well-known figure in Western New York in recent years as an unsuccessful GOP primary candidate for the House of Representatives in 2012, his advocacy for veterans causes, and his conservative, talk-show views. He also has been mentioned as a potential Republican congressional candidate in the 27th District next year, though it is not known how the award could affect his plans.

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