SSGT David bellavia was just awarded the Medal of Honor. He took out a building that was threatening his platoon. His battle devolved into hand-to-hand combat at times. In his speech, he gave credit to his squad, his platoon and his company. He recognized his interpreter, Sammy, who was just made a U.S. citizen. Sammy, Muslim, doubtless did much to save lives at Co. A, 2/2 Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. SSGT Bellavia is an articulate young man, who talked about why he values his military service. Because it brings out the best in him and in his compadres.

As he mentioned, every war, except for World War II, has some controversy.  The Iraq war was no different. As he mentioned, there is no political affiliation on our dog tags. No one cares what you look like, who you voted for, who you worship, who you love, who father was, if you inherited millions from your father, if you know who your father was. The military unit will become well honed into a machine of lethal moving parts that will give pause to anyone who seeks to do us harm. We go where we are sent. We serve because we do not want our children to have to serve. We stand ready to protect our country, so help us God.

The interpreter for his unit, Sammy, was just made a U.S. citizen. The crowd gave him a standing ovation, as they should. Interpeters kept us out of so many accidental confrontations. They saved our lives in a wide variety of ways.

His father wanted him to attend dental school, but as he mentions, he learned more  from fighting with these wonderful comrades than he would have learned from a lifetime of root canals. See SSGT Bellavia’s speech here.