Views of a Veteran

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Vets on the Hill 2

Well it has been a few weeks since the event in DC, but I just know have a chance to write about the event. This time the event was much larger and more successful then last Sept. Luckily no one was assaulted this time! Well the best place to start would be on Sunday and move on from there:

The event got kicked off with the state captains getting together in the hotel bar for a few drinks and to sit around and tell old war stories and talk about the events going on for the weekend, and hopefully how events might play out over the course of the next year. We then took a ride on the Vets for Freedom bus to dinner at an awesome Italian place. On the bus I was lucky to meet a guy that by all means every red blood American should met: Uncle Jimbo from Blackfive

The dinner was awesome, after dinner a group of us got a lovely tour of Virginia and Maryland trying to get to a party that was being thrown by Army Aviation Society. Its was at some new club that was in Maryland, hence the tour of Maryland and Virginia, the cabbies didn’t know where this place was. After the party we went to another bar to finish the night off, so all in all it was a fun and entertaining night. The next morning was somewhat interesting, having a hang over and trying to put together over 400 packets for all of the Veterans that were coming into town for the event. Afterwards we were able to catch up on some sleep and meet the delegates from our states as they came in.

Monday night wasn’t as much fun as Sunday, well at least not for me. A group of us had a nice dinner at Ruth Chris, then afterwards went to the hotel bar to mingle with everybody. Having leaned my lesson from the event last Sept I knew that I needed to get all of my things together because it was going to be an early morning. So i turned in early just to stay up to watch the Memphis Tigers give the national championship to Kansas, so like i said it wasn’t as much fun as Sunday.

Tuesday morning started out really really early with a breakfast. At the breakfast we had former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Myers speak at our breakfast, then we had the Georgetown Mens Basketball Coach, Coach John Thompson III. We also had the low down for the events of the day given to us by Pete Hegseth and Joel Arends of VFF. After breakfast we all load the buses to take us to Union Station were we all walked together to Upper Senate Park for the rally that was being held. During this rally we had the fortunate to hear from Sen McCain, Sen Lieberman, Sen Graham, and many more Senators and Congress Persons.

After the rally the over 400 veterans from all 50 states went to the hill to meet with our Senators and Congressman and talk to them about the fight going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. we asked them all to listen to the testimony of Gen Petraeus on the hill ans to let the troops on the ground keep the fight going and to “Let them Win!”

I was fortunate to have a face to face meeting with Senator Lincoln of Arkansas and with Congressman Boozman, Arkansas 3rd District congressman. The first meeting was with Congressman Bozzman, he has been a full supported of the troops in Iraq and a supporter of the mission in Iraq. I spoke with him in Sept. This meeting I was lucky to have one of the founders of VFF to join me, Mark Seavy, better know as TSO at Sniper

After the meeting ith Boozman, I had a meeting with Sen Lincoln’s office. The meeting went on for about 10 minutes with myself and with Sen Lincoln’s veterans affair person. After about 10 minutes the Sen joined us, even thought it was for a short period of time, she manged to make it very clear to me that she does not support the mission in Iraq, nor does she support the troops like she claims she does. Her and I had a heated discussion about the events in Iraq and how in my eyes, and the eyes of the commanding General of Iraq the surge was and is working in Iraq and how the government of Iraq have also made political gains even thought the Democrats say they haven’t. Sen Lincoln’s main stance was that the political gains weren’t being made, which I had to inform her that not only they were being made but I had to give the examples of what was being done. O course she wanted nothing to do with that, even after I told her that the Iraqi government was able to do something that not even her or the other 99 senators and 435 Congresspersons were not able to do, that make a balanced budget. Well after that I could tell she was getting heated, and I was as well, so to be the better person I told her that we will have to agree to disagree. After that meeting I had a long trip to the airport and home, and during that trip I was thinking about something the Sen said to me that stuck out like a sore thumb: ” I fully support our troops, i will make sure they have what they need, but the surge is not working and we need to leave now”. Now let me get into this statement in greater detail.

How can a person in the same breath say they support the troops but then say the same troops they “support” aren’t getting the job done? Is it me or does that sound idiotic? To support the troops means to give them everything thy need to fight, everything they need to survive while fighting, and to give them 100% support here at home. Support isn’t saying you support them and then turn around and play arm chair general from the comfort of your air conditioned office in DC and try to put a time table on when the troops should come home. All that does is play into the hands of the enemy and gives them hope that we will turn and run with our tails between our legs. It gives the enemy the support they need to continue to fight because the people that we elect to make the laws and to keep Americans safe are in fact acting in a way that can be compared to Treason against this country. It is up to every American over the age of 18 to look at the issue at hand and make the correct decision on who they vote for.

I will get off of my soap box now and thank the other person from Arkansas that attended the event with me, Mr. Wayne Bowen. I would like to thank him for taking time out of his busy schedule and go to DC. Hopefully at the next event the Arkansas Chapter will have a bigger and better showing.

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May 1, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

WTF!@!!

Well I really need to do a post about Vets on the Hill, but I am to pissed off right now. There are a couple of things that have sent me over the edge:

1.Are people really that stupid that when there here a true American hero say that his kids will grow up to know heroes like McCain and not Tiger woods that he was a. being racist, and b. he was talking about Obama?? Come on people get a fucking life!! Not everything people say deal with race, fucking read a book, get an education and grow the fuck up!

2. My piss ass company are about to lay some more people off, we all know it, but they are to chickshit to tell us it is coming. it would be nice to get prepared and get my shit together just in case. Isn’t it nice how your employer expects a 2 week notice when you quit, but they can let you go with out warning?? Am I the only one that sees the problem with this???

When I finally calm down and have some time i will get on my reports about Vets on the Hill

April 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vets on the Hill

Well with a week left before the Vets on the Hill event, I have started to prepare myself for what may or may not come. the biggest thing that may or may not come are the protests. The last time I was in DC for the first Vets on the Hill, our rally was protested by everybody and their grandma’s. It was during our rally that a Blue Star Mom was assaulted, and would lead to my trip to DC in Feb. to testify against the guy (he was found guilty!!)

Hopefully this time around that will not happen. But with the moonbats out and about, and it being just a few weeks after the 5 year anniversary, I would not be surprised if there are out in force!

With a week left to go, it has me wondering and pondering what the future holds. With the election not so far in the future, it has me wondering what will happen to this great country?

i had dinner this weekend with my wife’s boss, her soon to be husband, and a couple that my wife and her boss knew. While we were eating the topic of my being in the Army and me having the possibility to go back to Iraq came up. I tried not to get to political, because a. my wife threatened me if I did, and B. I did not know what the 3rd couple believed in. One of the questions that came up was about the “intense mortar attacks in the Green Zone”. They wanted to know if I knew anything about this. That questions opened a door that I was able to bring the entire Army thru. i was able to inform them that attacks like those go on all the time. Granted the number of attacks have sub-dued, it still happens. in fact I told them that while I was in country if I had a dollar for every rocket and mortar that was shot at my base, i would not have to be working right now! now don’t get me wrong, since the surge started and the year that has passed these kinds of attacks are becoming rare, what the issue at hand is the MSM (main stream media), are only reporting the bad things when they happen. I explained to this nice couple that not everything you hear on TV or read in the newspapers is true. That if you want to know what is really going on then ask someone ho has been there, seen what is going on, and had first hand knowledge of the events. Hopefully this one conversation has cleared some of the confusion for them and will lead them to get the real news from better sources. Now what does this have to do with Vets on the Hill, well not a whole lot, but it gets me into the correct mid frame I need to be in when I sit down with my Congressmen and Senators next week and discuss these issues.

So many things have happened since Sept. I have to hope that i can remember them all, to talk about. Things from the surge, working, to the moonbats going nuts in Berkley, and even to some of the crazy events in the elections so far! Granted this will be a huge challenge, but I believe that as the State Captain for Vets for Freedom here in Arkansas, and as an Army engineer for over 11 years, I can handle this challenge and I look forward to taking it on head first. Just like the Engineer creed: Can do! Will do!!

I look forward to talking about the trip when I get back, and I look forward to meeting new folks, and visiting with friends made on the last trip!

March 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vets for Freedom National Heros Tour

Thank you to Michelle Malkin for the following story, it was so good I felt the was no need to improve on it:

Vets for Freedom Heroes Tour spurned by Minneapolis high school
By Michelle Malkin • March 25, 2008 09:33 AM
I told you about the non-partisan Vets for Freedom National Heroes Tour last week. Jim Hanson at Blackfive has a blood pressure-raising update on how some of your fellow Americans are responding to the tour. He minces no words:

The National Heroes Tour is in Minneapolis today for a number of events however we will not be visiting Forest Lake High School, because the right of whiny left-wing buttheads to censor the troops out weighs the right of American students to hear from and meet the folks who have risked their lives for the freedoms we all enjoy. This is Pete Hegseth’s High School and he had personally arranged for a non-partisan event where students could hear from the vets and ask them questions about their service. This so offended the delicate sensibilities of the usual suspects that they began hassling the Principal and threatening protests.

From the Star Tribune:

Steve Massey, the school principal, said the decision to cancel was prompted by concerns that the event was becoming political rather than educational and therefore was not suitable for a public school.
He said the school had received several phone calls from parents and others, some of whom indicated that they may stage a protest if the event took place.
“The event was structured to be an academic classroom discussion around military service. We thought we’d provide an opportunity for kids to learn about service in the context of our history classes,” Massey said. “As the day progressed, it became clear that this was becoming a political event … which would be inappropriate in a public setting.“We decided to cancel,” Massey said. Organizers of the National Heroes Tour then scrambled to relocate the event to the American Legion building in Forest Lake. The visit, which U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Stillwater, had been scheduled to attend, is sponsored by Vets for Freedom, a national organization run by Pete Hegseth, a 1999 graduate of Forest Lake Area High School who served with the 101st Airborne in Iraq in 2005-06.
“I think it’s extremely unfortunate that a school would bow to the political pressure of outside groups and not bring in a veterans organization,” Hegseth said. “Are we saying that patriotism and duty and honor have no place in our public schools?”

Yes, that seems to be the message, doesn’t it?

Again Thanks to Michelle Malkin: http://michellemalkin.com/2008/03/25/vets-for-freedom-heroes-tour-spurned-by-minneapolis-high-school/

March 25, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

RE: Calling all Iraq and Afgan Vets!!

For those of you that have been hearing about the Vets on the Hill happening April 8th in Washington, DC and think it is to late to sign up…well I have good news for you, there is still time! If you are a Iraq or Afgan vet and agree that the missions in both countries need to continue until the job is complete then go to http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/heroestour/voth_signup.aspx and sign up! It’s that easy. Once you sign up you will get a link to a web site, similar to Orbitz to set your flight up. Now for those vets that served during peace time or during a different war, do not feel left out, Vets for Freedom would like you there as well. But due to the overwhelming sign up by vets from all service times, Vets for Freedom is asking that any vet that has not served in Iraq or Afgan. to go out and recruit 4 vets that have. Send those 4 names and your name to travel@vetsforfreedom.org

Once the names are receives the names and the vets sign up to go, you will receive a link to make your flight arrangements. Its that easy! Now if you have any questions regarding this please email me at jacob@vetsforfreedom.org and I will gladly help you out!

Remember on thing: the trip is paid for!! Your flight and hotel will be provided by Vets for Freedom and you will only have to miss the one day from work!!

March 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Calling all Iraq and Afgan Vets!!!

There is still time to sign up to attend Vets on the Hill, April 8th. Just go to http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/heroestour/voth_signup.aspx and sign up!

March 4, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vets on the Hill-April 2008

I had the privilege to attend the Vets on the Hill in September, and it is something I will never forget. To be able to go to the nation’s capitol and be with 250 vets of Iraq and Afghanistan was a beautiful sight of democracy at work! The trip not only brought our message to the law makers in a polite way, it also allowed those of us that have served to come together and make new friendships that will last a lifetime. I would encourage all vets and supporters of the brave men and women fighting to insure our freedoms are safe, to attend this event and show the lawmakers and the country that the cause is just, and we are in it to the end!


For those who would like to attend please read below:
Vets For Freedom
Sign-up for “Vets on the Hill” on April 8

On April 8, 2008 in Washington, DC, Vets for Freedom will hold America’s single largest gathering of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
Click here: http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/heroestour/voth_signup.aspx to be a part of “Vets on the Hill,” the culminating event of the Vets for Freedom National Heroes Tour.
If you’re a veteran of Iraq, Afghanistan, or another theater of the War on Terror, sign up today to show up on April 8 and tell Congress to support General Petraeus and our fellow troops as they continue to succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Unlike our anti-war opponents, we will not stage protests, chant slogans, or impede the work of government. We will meet constructively with as many members of Congress as we can to express our first-hand experiences and explain why it is important that the sacrifices of our comrades-in-arms not be in vein.

Vets for Freedom will cover all travel expenses for the trip. So mark your calendar, sign up today, and tell your fellow veterans. For more details about the event, see the “What You Can Do” section.

As many of you will recall, this isn’t the first time we’ve done this. In September of 2007, Vets for Freedom brought 250 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to Capitol Hill to support General Petraeus and urge Congress to provide the troops the resources, manpower, and time necessary to compete their important mission.

At the time, it was the largest single gathering of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to-date on Capitol Hill; and that day, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle heard the on-the-ground truth from soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen who’ve seen the battle first hand. Soon thereafter, they voted to fund the troops.

On April 8th, 2008 we’re going to do it again. And we’re going to bring even more veterans to Capitol Hill this time!

And remember, if you’re on active duty-you can still participate. Current DOD regulations allow you to participate as long as you are: 1) out of uniform; 2) not speaking on behalf of “the military”; and 3) not protesting. The same goes for National Guard and Reserve troops. Please join us.

What You Can Do!
1. Sign Up. Sign up on our web-portal, and within two weeks your travel will be arranged. Veterans will be flown in to Washington, DC late on Monday, April 7th, will participate in events and meetings on Capitol Hill on April 8th, and will be flown home on the evening of the 8th. Attendance should only require one day off of work.
Ask any of the 250 veterans who joined us on Capitol Hill in September, and they’ll tell you what a great trip it was-especially since we helped stop Congress from voting to undercut the troops. Don’t miss your chance to do the same on April 8…on an even larger scale.
But we need you to sign up early. By signing up in the next two weeks, Vets for Freedom can schedule meetings for you with your Senator and Representative. In September we had hundreds of meeting, and we’ll do so again.
There is no reason not to attend. You have 8 weeks notice, travel will be paid for, and our cause is just. Tell your buddies. Meet them in Washington, DC. And together, tell your representative where you stand.

Pete HegsethExecutive DirectorVets for Freedom
© 2007 Paid for by Vets for Freedom1200 Eton Court, NWSuite 300Washington, DC 20007www.vetsforfreedom.org

February 4, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Year

Well it is officially 2008 and I can not believe how 2007 flew by so fast. Sine my last post I found out I was going to be re-activated soon. So now I am doing the Army waiting game. A lot of people have been asking me if I am afraid to go, and I keep telling them no, since this will be my second time going, I know what to expect and that makes it easier. Now my family on the other hand don’t think so, but that is to be expected.

I learned last night the Vets for Freedom will be converging onto Capitol Hill once again in March for another Vets on the Hill. We will be on the hill in support of General Petraeus coming back to testify in front of Congress about the state of the “surge”. Which for most people do not realize, but the surge is working and we need to allow the troops more time to finish the job! This is not the time to pull the troops out and admit defeat when we are winning!

We did a Vets on the Hill back in September of 07 were we had over 25 states represented and over 250 members there to show our support for the President, General Petraeus, and the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I you have not heard of Vets for Freedom, please visit the website at http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/ If you believe in the mission in in Iraq and Afghanistan then this is the group for you. I am currently the State Captain for Arkansas, and we are always looking for fellow vets from Iraq and Afghanistan to join our cause and to support our brother’s and sister’s in arms! The easiest way to join is to visit the web page above fill out your information and the state captain for you state will get in contact with at some point. A lot of the states have individual state chapter sites on the main page so try to check them out as well.

January 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

SSG David Bellavia-Vets for Freedom

I had the privilege to meet a hero of OIF back in September, when I was invited to Washington D.C. as a State Captain for the Vets for Freedom. Vets for Freedom is a nonpartisan organization established by combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our mission is to educate the American public about the importance of achieving success in these conflicts by applying our first-hand knowledge to issues of American strategy and tactics—namely “the surge” in Iraq. We support policymakers from both sides of the aisle who have stood behind our great generation of American warriors on the battlefield, and who have put long-term national security before short-term partisan political gain. Bellavia is one of the founders of the organization.

While in DC I got to talk to Bellavia about a common ground him and I had, and that is Fallujah. I had the honor of serving our country in Fallujah in 2003-2004. I left Iraq, right before the Marines went into Fallujah for the first time. Now some people reading this might not have heard of Bellavia which is a shame. Bellavia as been nominated for this nation’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. He has already been awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star (v), and the Conspicuous Service Cross from New York State, his home state. His actions in Fallujah can be read at the bottom of this post, as well as his book he wrote with John Bruning: House to House.

I have not been able to read the book since I received a copy of it while in DC, but I have read the nomination write up for the Medal of Honor. As a vet that was in Fallujah, for a year, it brought back some memories I had only hoped to never re-live again. Luckily this time around I was able to move past them and go one with life. But what I have not been able to get past is the fact that only a few people have heard of him. One thing people do not realize is that most recipients of the Medal of Honor are given post humously. In fact the all 3 heroes that have been awarded the Medal of Honor for Iraq and Afghanistan have been awarded to them post humously. So to have a solider that is not only nominated but is in fact alive to tell the story of Fallujah is a wonderful opportunity. It is an opportunity for all Americans to see what this new generation fighting an important war against terror is capable of.

In my opinion, the reason you do not hear of such heroics on “main stream” media, is due to the fact that it isn’t a bad thing. Most news agencies only report the bad things happening in Iraq, and about the death tolls in Iraq. Now had Bellavia died while saving his platoon, maybe the story would be more wide spread, but again that’s my opinion. So in closing if you have time and you want to read about a hero that has been referred to as being “badder the john freaking Wayne” (Michael Ware-Blackfive.com), then pick up a copy of House to House. For a view about the book itself check out David Bellavia’s web site: http://www.davidbellavia.com/ As promised here is the nomination write up for Bellavia’s Medal of Honor, it is a long read but well worth it:

NARRATIVE NOMINATING SSG DAVID BELLAVIA FOR THE MEDAL OF HONOR DURING OPERATION PHANTOM FURY FALLUJAH, IRAQ

On the night of 10 November 2004 Third Platoon, A Company, Task Force 2-2 IN near OBJ Wolf in Fallujah, Iraq, was ordered to attack to destroy six to eight Anti Iraqi Forces (AIF). 1LT Edward Iwan, the A Company Executive Officer, had identified six to eight AIF who had entered a block of twelve buildings. These AIF had engaged A55 and tanks from Team Tank with automatic weapons and rocket fire. Having a 25 mm cannon malfunction, 1LT Edward Iwan cordoned off the area and called Third Platoon to enter and clear all buildings until the AIF were killed or captured.

The first nine buildings yielded many AK47s, Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers, rockets, assorted ammunition, and flak vests. When they came to the tenth home, SSG Colin Fitts, 1st Squad Leader, led his squad of soldiers into the house, with four soldiers from SSG Bellavias 2nd Squad. SGT Hugh Hall, 1st Squad, B Team Leader and SGT Warren Misa 1st Squad, A Team Leader, established a quick foothold in the interior of the house. When SGT Misa attempted to clear the second room he encountered heavy enemy fire. Two AIF were under a stairwell, well covered behind a three-foot barrier, engaging SGT Misa and SPC Lance Ohle as they attempted to move into the room. At that point, multiple bursts of automatic and semi-automatic gunfire were exchanged from extremely close quarters. As rounds impacted near the entry point of the house, nine Third Platoon soldiers became fixed inside the house. At that moment, fire erupted from a kitchen ground floor window onto the inner cordon in the carport of the house. At one point, gun fire was being exchanged inside and outside of the house, as a total of three dismounted squads from Third Platoon were in contact.

SSG Bellavia quickly requested a M240B machine gun and a M249 SAW to suppress the AIF under the stairs in an effort to break contact and consolidate the platoon. Rounds from the insurgent side of the wall began impacting through the poorly made plaster. Multiple soldiers were bleeding from the face from flying debris. Two soldiers had glass and metal shards in their face, one soldier had been grazed on the side of his stomach underneath his vest and at least six others were bleeding from some cut or scrape from the point blank fire they were receiving. As two soldiers answered the request for support, it became apparent that the entrance to the building was extremely dangerous from ricocheting rounds.

Rather than place his soldier at risk, SSG Bellavia moved quickly to come to the aid of the squad. He exchanged weapon systems with a M249 SAW gunner and entered the fatal funnel of the room. The enemy was crouched behind the barrier and continued to fire at the doorway of the house where SSG Bellavia was positioned. With enemy rounds impacting around him, he fired the SAW at a cyclic rate of fire, forcing the enemy to take cover and allowing the squad to break contact and move into the street to consolidate. SSG Bellavias actions undoubtedly saved the lives of that squad.

As the platoon gathered outside to get accountability of personnel, two or more AIF engaged Third Platoon from the roof. Rounds ricocheted off the ground and SSG Fitts moved his squad to an adjacent building to over watch the AIF on the roofs. SSG Bellavia grabbed an M16 rifle and headed back to the outside of the house. SSG Bellavia called for a Bradley Fighting Vehicle to come up and suppress the outside of the building. The high walls of the enemy strong point made it difficult at close proximity to get well-aimed 25mm cannon fire into the actual building. AIF again engaged Third Platoon from windows.

After the BFV suppressed the house, SSG Bellavia decided to move back inside the house to determine the effects of the BFV fire and whether the AIF still occupied the bottom floor of the house. He placed two SAW gunners and SSG Scott Lawson into the courtyard as the inner cordon. Michael Ware, a TIME magazine journalist, entered the house with SSG Bellavia. SSG Bellavia entered the house and told SSG Lawson to stay outside until he was needed in the second room. The only two people that went into the house at first were Michael Ware and SSG Bellavia. SSG Bellavia heard AIF whispering from the other side of the wall. Mr. Ware was told to run out if anything happened inside the second room. The journalist insisted on going into the second room. SSG Bellavia got in a low crouched fighting position and quickly pie wedged the first room and fired his M16A4. The enemy immediately fired back with a belt fed RPK machine gun. SSG Bellavia quickly turned away from the fire. The AIF had fire superiority and SSG Bellavia didnt have time to get off well-aimed shots.

As SSG Bellavia moved again to get eyes on the room and determine the enemy disposition, he identified one of the AIF loading an RPG launcher. Understanding how devastating this weapon could be to his platoon, he moved quickly to eliminate the threat. SSG Bellavia told Mr. Ware to remain in the first room. As debris and smoke filled the room the insurgent with the RPG was killed first near the stairwell. A second AIF with a PKC machine gun fired as he ran for the kitchen. SSG Bellavia shot and wounded him in the back of the shoulder. He was heard screaming from outside the building. At that point an AIF yelled from upstairs. SSG Bellavia quickly realized how many insurgents were in the house. Despite the odds he continued the assault.

SSG Lawson entered the room with SSG Bellavia. He was armed with only a 9mm pistol. SSG Lawson was across the room firing into the kitchen door, and SSG Bellavia was near the doorway of the master bedroom using the stairs as his cover. The wounded AIF was firing back, this time with an AK47. The insurgent was screaming loudly as he fired. SSG Lawson fired an entire magazine toward the kitchen, when a piece of debris lodged in his right shoulder. Thinking he was shot and with only one 9mm magazine remaining, SSG Bellavia told him to leave to get medical aid and to retrieve a shotgun with buckshot and other soldiers. SSG Lawson and Mr. Ware exited the house.

SSG Bellavia realized that his back was facing a room he had not cleared. In order to secure his position he entered the master bedroom of the house. SSG Bellavia heard movement in the room and fired into the dark corners to clear them by fire. There was a closet directly in front of him with six closed doors, and multiple areas of dead space. At that point an insurgent ran down the stairs and started firing into the room. SSG Bellavia moved behind a protruding corner of the wall to acquire cover. Over the loud noise of small arms fire from across the hall, he could hear screaming from upstairs and to his immediate left. Confused and trying to locate if another insurgent was in the corner of the room, SSG Bellavia began to scan the room with his PEQ-2A. Thinking the noise originated from the closet, SSG Bellavia took a few steps to his left and began to fire into each door from left to right. Before he could finish clearing the closet the wounded AIF from the kitchen ran toward the bedroom door and began blindly shooting at him from outside. Finding his position of cover behind the elbow of the wall, SSG Bellavia fired back. As the enemy fire came closer, he moved his position into the far opposing corner of the room. The AIF exposed his shoulders as he fired into the bedroom and SSG Bellavia fired wounding and then killing him.

He then noticed a closet door was open and he witnessed tracer fire hit the side of the room. Unsure of where the fire originated, SSG Bellavia looked for a target. Suddenly the insurgent on the stairs began shooting at him again. As the wounded AIF turned and exposed his position in the doorway he was hit and fell near the stairs. He was moaning and slowly moved away from the door, mortally wounded. Simultaneously, a closet door opened and clothing flew everywhere, as an insurgent leapt out and fired wildly all over the room. In his rush out of the closet he tripped on something in the closet and the entire wardrobe fell down resting on the open doors. This actually was a benefit to SSG Bellavia as it provided more cover. When the AIF attempted to cross over the bed, he lost his balance on the mattress and was shot multiple times. The insurgent fell to the ground and with his back to the front door, fired an accurate burst directly into the closet and the wall near SSG Bellavia. SSG Bellavia crouched low to the ground, the insurgent was screaming loudly in broken English. Someone from upstairs was yelling back in Arabic. SSG Bellavia responded in Arabic in an attempt to intimidate the men into surrendering. The insurgent then picked himself up and ran out of the room and up the stairs. SSG Bellavia fired, missing the insurgent and then pursued him as he fled up the stairs. Blood was soaked all over the stairs causing SSG Bellavia to slip, nearly catching a burst of AK fire. The wounded AIF turned and shot an automatic burst from the first landing of the stairs but once again missed SSG Bellavia, who was now well behind cover.
Tracking the blood, SSG Bellavia followed the AIF into a room immediately to the left on the second story. He heard the AIF inside and tossed a fragmentary grenade into the room. The blast sent the screaming AIF onto the second story roof. The AIF began shooting his weapon in all directions, until it was empty of ammunition. Bellavia noticed the AIF was seriously wounded in the right side of his body from the blast of the grenade. The insurgent stumbled back into the room and began to dry fire his weapon. As SSG Bellavia scanned the inside of the room, it was quickly filling with thick smoke from burning foam mattresses ignited from the blast. Two AIF could be heard screaming at each other from a third story of the building. Not wanting the AIF to give away his position, SSG Bellavia quickly grabbed the wounded AIF in a choke hold to keep him quiet. SSG Bellavia met resistance as he attempted to quiet the screaming AIF. Bellavia was bit on the arm and struck in the face with the barrel of the wounded insurgents small AK47. A .45 caliber pistol shot off against the wall and SSG Bellavia, whose helmet was loosened when it was jarred by the barrel of the AK, began to thrash the AIF in attempts to pacify him. Exchanging blows in the struggle, SSG Bellavia fearing that the screaming insurgent was issuing instructions to his peers upstairs, opened his IBA vest and attempted to use his front sappy plate to forcibly subdue the insurgent into compliance. Hearing multiple foot steps over his position, Bellavia used his Gerber tactical blade and cut into the left side of the insurgent’s throat. Not wanting to discharge his weapon as to give away his position and in fear of the many propane tanks near the wall, SSG Bellavia bled the insurgent with applied pressure as he was spastically kicked and scratched in the melee. Two other insurgents, only feet away yelled to their comrade in Arabic, simultaneously firing their weapons. SSG Bellavia confirmed the insurgent was dead and exited the room as his eyes and the fresh scratches on his face were stinging from the smoke and heat of the growing fire.

SSG Bellavia moved to secure the two doors to his right. Suddenly an AIF dropped down from the third story roof, onto the second story roof. The AIF dropped his weapon as he fell to his knees. SSG Bellavia moved to the window and as the AIF went to grab his weapon SSG Bellavia shot in his direction multiple times, wounding him in the lower back. The AIF was prone and SSG Bellavia assumed he was dead. He moved to the door leading to the roof and found the insurgent straddling a large water tank at the edge of the roof. He shot the remainder of his ammunition into the insurgent’s legs and went back inside to grab a dead insurgent’s weapon. As he moved inside the house the insurgent fell off the roof and into the garden. Moments later, five members of Third Platoon entered and secured the downstairs of the house and yelled up to SSG Bellavia who was still on the second floor.

SSG Bellavia moved to link up with the rest of his platoon. However, before the search could begin for the fifth or sixth insurgent the platoon was ordered to move out of the area due to a close air support mission called in by an adjacent unit.

SSG Bellavia single handedly saved three squads of his Third Platoon that night, risking his own life by allowing them to break contact and reorganize. He then entered and cleared an insurgent strong point, killing four insurgents and mortally wounding another

http://coolblue.typepad.com/the_cool_blue_blog/2007/10/sgt-bellavias-h.html
http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/
http://www.blackfive.net/main/
http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/22965/22652228

October 23, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment