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Character Education: Interview with Medal of Honor Recipient David G. Bellavia (Iraq)
Wednesday, September 30, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
Hosted by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
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Please watch an edWebinar interview with Medal of Honor Recipient David G. Bellavia. Staff Sergeant Bellavia was awarded the Medal of Honor for risking his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving in Iraq.
Interviews with Medal of Honor Recipients are part of the Medal of Honor Character Development Program, a free program that helps middle – high school students build character and promotes responsible citizenship. The Medal of Honor is awarded for “gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of one’s life, above and beyond the call of duty.” Those awarded it drew upon their deepest convictions and values in the most challenging of circumstances. Their examples of courage and sacrifice can inspire us as we face our own challenges.
Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia distinguished himself by acting above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader in Fallujah, Iraq. While clearing a house, a squad from his platoon became trapped in a room by intense enemy fire coming from a fortified position under the stairs leading to the second floor. Recognizing the immediate severity of the situation, and with disregard for his own safety, Staff Sergeant Bellavia retrieved an automatic weapon and entered the doorway of the house to engage the insurgents. Acting on instinct to save the members of his platoon from an imminent threat, he ultimately cleared the entire enemy-filled house. Staff Sergeant Bellavia’s courageous actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States.
Here are ways you can share this inspiring story and interview with your middle – high school students:
- Share Staff Sergeant Bellavia’s story with your class.
- Watch the edWebinar above to share and discuss with your class.
- Take advantage of the free lessons provided by the Medal of Honor Character Development Program. For shortened activities specifically for you to use while learning has shifted to an online format, follow the Character Development Program on Facebook.
- Please note that students are not permitted to log into the edWebinar to protect student privacy.
This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to all teachers and school and district leaders for their middle – high school students.
About the Presenter
Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on November 10, 2004, while serving as a squad leader in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq. While clearing a house, a squad from Staff Sergeant Bellavia’s platoon became trapped within a room by intense enemy fire coming from a fortified position under the stairs leading to the second floor. Recognizing the immediate severity of the situation, and with disregard for his own safety, Staff Sergeant Bellavia retrieved an automatic weapon and entered the doorway of the house to engage the insurgents. With enemy rounds impacting around him, Staff Sergeant Bellavia fired at the enemy position at a cyclic rate, providing covering fire that allowed the squad to break contact and exit the house. A Bradley Fighting Vehicle was brought forward to suppress the enemy; however, due to high walls surrounding the house, it could not fire directly at the enemy position. Staff Sergeant Bellavia then re-entered the house and again came under intense enemy fire. He observed an enemy insurgent preparing to launch a rocket-propelled grenade at his platoon. Recognizing the grave danger the grenade posed to his fellow soldiers, Staff Sergeant Bellavia assaulted the enemy position, killing one insurgent and wounding another who ran to a different part of the house. Staff Sergeant Bellavia, realizing he had an un-cleared, darkened room to his back, moved to clear it. As he entered, an insurgent came down the stairs firing at him. Simultaneously, the previously wounded insurgent reemerged and engaged Staff Sergeant Bellavia. Staff Sergeant Bellavia, entering further into the darkened room, returned fire and eliminated both insurgents. Staff Sergeant Bellavia then received enemy fire from another insurgent emerging from a closet in the darkened room. Exchanging gunfire, Staff Sergeant Bellavia pursued the enemy up the stairs and eliminated him. Now on the second floor, Staff Sergeant Bellavia moved to a door that opened onto the roof. At this point, a fifth insurgent leapt from the third floor roof onto the second floor roof. Staff Sergeant Bellavia engaged the insurgent through a window, wounding him in the back and legs, and caused him to fall off the roof. Acting on instinct to save the members of his platoon from an imminent threat, Staff Sergeant Bellavia ultimately cleared an entire enemy-filled house, destroyed four insurgents, and badly wounded a fifth. Staff Sergeant Bellavia’s bravery, complete disregard for his own safety, and unselfish and courageous actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States.
About the Host
Cathy Ehlers Metcalf joined the Medal of Honor Character Development Program as Vice President of Education in 2015 after serving as a Regional Curriculum Trainer. She now serves as the Executive Director of Education for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Cathy taught college-level writing for over 33 years in Southern California. Cathy’s father was a World War II Medal of Honor Recipient. Those experiences gave Cathy a great respect for both the Medal of Honor and a passion for service to our Nation’s Veterans.
Join The Medal of Honor Character Development Program community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.
The Medal of Honor Character Development Program is a curriculum resource built on the values of courage, commitment, sacrifice, citizenship, integrity, and patriotism. Its living history videos and accompanying lessons teach students that ordinary people can meet great challenges and make the world around them a better place. Each lesson highlights skills such as writing, collaboration, and critical thinking. With two available curriculum options (elementary and secondary), the resources are appropriate for K-12 students and beyond. Assignments and activities fit efficiently into existing disciplines, time periods, and schedules.