Monday, May 4, 2020

Cable Gabfest*

So...There I was**... Manning my post as usual last Monday checking the blog to make sure  my post had, in deed, posted.  Seeing the usual suspects had already commented at their usual Oh-dark thirty time frame, I ripped off a few riveting responses, per Sarge's Standing Op Order #1 "Never leave a comment, unanswered".

¡Sí, sí, el sargento de la Fuerza Aérea más antiguo y quisquilloso!

 Having complied, I mosied over to view the "usual suspects" (Sarge refers to them as "Stuff I haven't placed yet" (or ever, most likely) and "Stuff I like to read").  One of my favorites is Proof Positive

Well, last Monday, under his usual "Quote Du Jour" section, he had the following quote.

“We don’t want war, but if you want a war with United States of America, there is one thing I can promise you, so help me God: someone else will raise your sons and daughters.” 

This was attributed to Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia with no further info.

I agreed with the sentiment, but was a bit confused about how/why a Staff Sgt would be quoted. Not that a Staff Sgt, wouldn't think or say that, rather why anybody would have kept a record of it.

So, curiosity piqued, I dialed up 1-800-DuckDuckGo.com (You don't
still use Google, do you?) to see what I could see.

Well...

Seems the Staff Sgt, back in November of 2004, was involved in a fight in Iraq that resulted in his being awarded the Silver Star.  For those who may not know, the Silver Star is the Nation's third highest award for Valor, behind the Service Crosses and the Medal of Honor.  It is not given out lightly.

But, Silver Star recipients are not usually quoted.

Turns out when the current President took over, there was a review ordered of all awards for valor with the view to upgrade them if appropriate.

The Army Times describes what his Silver Star was awarded for.

"A squad leader at the time, Bellavia, now 43, was clearing a block of buildings when his platoon was pinned down on Nov. 10, 2004, in Fallujah, Iraq.
The first nine buildings were found to be unoccupied, but were filled with rockets, grenade launchers and other weapons. When Bellavia and four others entered the 10th building, they came under fire from insurgents in the house, according to his Silver Star citation.
The ensuing gun battle injured several soldiers. Bellavia switched out his M16 rifle for an M249 SAW gun and entered one room where the insurgents were located to spray it with gunfire, forcing the Jihadists to take cover and allowing the squad to move out into the street.
Other insurgents on the rooftop of the building began firing on his squad below, forcing them to seek cover in a nearby building. Bellavia then went back to the street and called in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle to shell the houses before re-entering the building to assess the scene.
 Upon entering, Bellavia gunned down one insurgent who was loading an RPG launcher. A second enemy fighter began firing as he ran toward the kitchen and Bellavia fired back, wounding him in the shoulder. A third insurgent then began yelling from the second floor.
Bellavia then entered the uncleared master bedroom and emptied gunfire into all the corners, at which point the wounded insurgent entered the room, yelling and firing his weapon, the citation reads. Bellavia fired back, killing the man. Bellavia was then shot at by another insurgent upstairs and the staff sergeant returned the fire, killing him as well.
“At that point, a Jihadist hiding in a wardrobe in a bedroom jumped out, firing wildly around the room and knocking over the wardrobe. As the man leaped over the bed he tripped and Sergeant Bellavia shot him several times, wounding but not killing him,” the citation reads. "Another insurgent was yelling from upstairs, and the wounded Jihadist escaped the bedroom and ran upstairs. Sergeant Bellavia pursued, but slipped on the blood-soaked stairs."
Bellavia followed the bloody tracks of the insurgent up the stairs to a room on his left. Hearing the wounded insurgent inside, he threw a fragmentary grenade into the room, which caused the insurgent to flee to the roof. Two more insurgents began yelling from the third story of the building.Bellavia grabbed the wounded insurgent and put him in a choke hold to keep him from giving away their position.“The wounded Jihadist then bit Sergeant Bellavia on the arm and smacked him in the face with the butt of his AK-47. In the wild scuffle that followed, Sergeant Bellavia took out his knife and slit the Jihadist’s throat,” the Silver Star citation reads. "Two other insurgents who were trying to come to their comrade’s rescue, fired at Bellavia, but he had slipped out of the room, which was now full of smoke and fire."
A final insurgent dropped from the third story to the second-story roof. Bellavia saw the fleeing man and fired at him, hitting him in the back and the legs and causing him to fall off the roof and die.
By this point, five members of the platoon had entered the house and took control of the first floor. Before they would finish off the remaining insurgent fighters, however, they were ordered to move out of the area because close air support had been called in by a nearby unit." (Source)
 Unsurprisingly, the review panel thought the Staff Sergeant's actions warranted an upgrade, and on June 25th, 2019, President Trump awarded him the Medal of Honor.

Staff Sgt Bellavia's complete induction speech can (and should) be read here.  It is much like similar speeches by other recipients, He mentions the actions of others in his unit in the battle, remembers, by name, those who didn't make it and generally downplays his own actions.

But...At the end of his speech, you realize ...






He is a warrior! 


Oh, by the way, since Sarge promised an update.



We have a roof on the house.



Update: Tom in NC asked a question.

Yes, yes it has.






*
Cable gabfest... If you don't get it....watch the video....Loved it!)
** SJC

41 comments:

  1. "House to House" is a fine read, I've had it for years ever since the Military Book club first offered it.La Casa is coming along nicely juvat, do you folks have a tornado bunker?

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    1. Thanks, Nylon (BTW you're one of those Oh-Dark-thirty commenter's mentioned above)

      Re: tornado bunker. Not per se. The laundry room is an interior room with double stud walls, so should provide some protection if needed.

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    2. The daily postings here arrive at 6AM Minnesota time and I'm usually up by that time. What with spring here and warmer temps a bedroom window is open and those birds start their cacophony rather early. A little jack-hammering involved eh?

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  2. SSG Bellavia is well-spoken, a patriot, and a fine soldier. Talk about your role models, there's one right there.

    Excellent post mi antiguo piloto de poderosos pájaros de guerra.

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    1. BTW, love the roof on the casa nueva!

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    2. Thanks. Sí, esos eran los días!

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    3. BTW have you visited PawPaw's House today? The video he's got posted is hilarious!

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  3. Reminds me of this one - "Beware of an old man in a profession where men usually die young."
    Frank

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    1. Yep. One of my favorite T-shirts says "Youth and strength are no match for Old Age and Treachery."

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    2. I have a shirt similar to that. It says something like "Yes, I'll fight you, but remember I am old for a reason..."

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    3. I LIKE that one, DrJim!

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    4. I actually bought this one--

      https://www.medalsofamerica.com/never-underestimate-dd-214-t-shirt

      Tech note: they are 100% cotton and will shrink when you wash them.

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    5. Think I'm gonna get that one RHT447. So 3X and wash in cold water and expect it to fit thereafter like a superhero's costume?

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    6. Yeah, pretty much. Drives me nuts--not that there is shrinkage, just that you never know.

      I was accused of being set in my ways before I was 30. I would reply that part of my lineage goes to Scotland. I'm not "set", I'm frugal.

      I wear T-shirts almost exclusively during summer. I am average build, 5'11", and have (ahem) "outgrown" my earlier wardrobe. Forever I have bought Stafford brand 100% cotton POCKET t-shirts at J.C. Penny. Buy the large size, wash and shrink, and get a nice relaxed fit. Took the same approach with the "DD-214" shirt. Yeeeah. Skin tight. Will have to try again with an XL. If I meet a skinny vet some day, I'll make him/her a deal.

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  4. Hey Juvat;

    Very good post and a very good video, Like the part about "someone else will raise your sons and daughters" He isn't afraid to speak his mind. Like to see your casa de Juvat moving along.

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    1. Thanks, Mr G. I also liked "God has already blessed America." Thought that was a class act.

      Yeah, just got back from a private walk through with the Boss. She's already figuring out furniture placement. My back is aching with anticipation.

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  5. Outstanding and inspirational sentiments from a true warrior. His photo is in the dictionary next to the word "badass", for sure! Thanks for sharing his story and video.

    The roof looks great - has the plumbing mistake been corrected yet?

    I laughed until I cried at that video at PawPaws'. What a hoot! If it was staged, she's a very good actress! I sent another funny face mask instructional video to Sarge a bit ago, auf Duetsch, and it was funny, but the other one takes the cake!

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    1. Tom, dang it! I knew I forgot something. See update above.

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    2. When she brought out the rotary cutter, I fully expected a Monty-Pythonesque blood spurting, or at least a Tarantino-level. I do know how to sew, but I avoid those round knives of death like, well, round knives of death. Scythes are so old-school...

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    3. Beans. I treat "those round knives of death" with the utmost respect, and after watching this video titled, "Storytime: How I Cut Off Part of My Finger" I took Whitney's suggestion to heart and bought a Klutz glove.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90XdI_SQviM

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    4. I don't know exactly where it was that I realized this was a put on, she was good! I think it might have been the "matching" 7" bands. (I hadn't had my second cup of coffee yet. My excuse and I'm sticking to it.)

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  6. I'm working on a post for my measly blog about the night we lived through on May 11, 1970. Juvat, I'd seriously consider a stand alone in the garage if nothing else. I know we aren't in the alley like Lubbock, but it bears consideration. These guys have inward opening doors. That's a must have. https://www.groundzeroshelters.com/above-ground-safe-rooms

    Nice house, great post.

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    1. I was in Big Spring that night. They hit near there also. I knew we were in deep kimche when my Dad looked scared.

      I'll look into that. Thanks

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    2. having seen a couple or three of tornadoes up close, but not directly overhead, I think some sort of shelter would be wise. But looking at the disaster index for Fredericksburg, it's well below the Texas average for tornadoes. As opposed to Wichita Falls - if I lived up that way, or about anywhere in that area or Oklahoma, I'd have a full bunker underground!

      Glad your plumbing has been repaired - just curious, what's the flooring going to be?

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    3. The flooring is going to be Luxury Vinyl. Our allergies won't tolerate carpeting any longer, my knees won't handle that "Fancy Cement" or whatever they call it, hardwood would have pushed the price out of range, and frankly the sample houses we saw the flooring looked pretty good. They likely got more traffic than we ever will and still looked good.

      I knew that about the 'Burg, but never want to tempt fate. I may talk over Bean's suggestion for plywood sheathing.

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  7. BZ to SSGT Bellavia. But I'm still dismayed by all the doodads upon his uniform. There have always been a very few E-5s for which it might be well deserved, but for a totally OT rant that isn't intended to detract from SSGT Bellavia at all, The US of A's military has gotten to be positively Italian or even 3rd World in bestowing medals, ribbons, or other doodads. I thought the Army and Air Force were bad 35 years ago, but we've reached the point that the Navy and Marines of today are reaching that point, even to the point of the Navy adopting blue camouflage, though thankfully that is now going in the dustbin.

    It's damned hard to tell the real heroes from more than a few feet away when everyone has visible awards for as little as keeping one's room tidy (I jest, but only barely).

    But, damn, we still raise people like Bellavia!

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    1. I couldn't agree more Larry. By the time I retired, my Class A jacket weighed a ton, and there was only one thing on it that that I was proud to wear. My pilot wings of course.

      I think there's still a lot of people like Staff Sgt Bellavia in the military. Very few of them are at Headquarters and virtually none at the Northern Virginia Penitentiary for wayward Fighter Pilots. That's a good thing both for them and the longevity of the people that actually like being at headquarters. Those folks tend to have an attitude much like a governor is exhibiting in, oh say, Michigan among others.

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    2. The current military's affection for awards for everything is kind of crazy. I mean, look at General Eisenhower's photo at the end of WWII. Very few medals and ribbons.

      But we live in the world of participation trophies and 'everyone wins' and, more important, 'can't get promoted unless you've collected the whole deck.'

      Sigh.

      Maybe after we go back to naming ships like we did in WWII (one of my many frequent rants) and go back to at least Vietnam era office uniforms, maybe back even further, to WWII (another one of my frequent rants, I mean, not everyone has to or should wear BDUs or the equivalent, we could go back to a sane number of ribbons and awards on a uniform.

      I also believe, deep in my heart, that Leftists can be taught (at least, to hit the ground at terminal velocity as they take a ride on Pinochet Airlines,) that the UN can actually do something good (like load it up with all the world's tyrants, despots and bureaucratic bunglers and then push the whole mass into the river) and other happy thoughts.)

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  8. Good on President Trump for kicking the medal recommendation system squarely in the nuts. We've ranted (well, I have) for a long time about the inequities of the awards system.

    As to the good Sergeant. Yeah, baby. This, this is what we are capable of if not constrained by ROE that won't allow our troops to shoot an enemy after he drops a weapon or other stupid bull-scat like 'law enforcement' and 'reading the enemy their rights.' Sorry. Law Enforcement role in a war zone is pretty easy, shot-in-the-head or hung-from-a-tree. And the enemy has the right to poop him/her/itself while dying. That's it. When we allow the American soldier to fight unbound, there are few to none that can stand toe-to-toe.

    Grrrr. 1st Rule of Americans in a combat role is: All fight, no rules. Only vague suggestions like "Sure, take them prisoner after they've surrendered, after a strip search, oh, wait, not wearing a uniform with rank markings on it, screw it shoot him/her/it."

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  9. As to the Casa. Roof looks great. Love a metal roof, probably the best thing that's happened to the American housing market in the last 40 years.

    And even better, you now don't have Euro-plumbing in your house! Glad they finally fixed the boo-boo.

    As to a stand-alone Tornado Shelter. Yes. Get one or get the interior room fortified now to shelter standards (not hard, now, with no drywall on the walls, just entails some strapping and extra sheeting with real plywood, not OSB. Seriously. Please. For you and your wife and your animals. Having one in the interior of the house would also get it above drowning level during a really bad storm.

    Or get a dedicated one in the yard.

    Or both.

    Now is the time to do it.

    Other than that, looking forward to the drywalling and actually seeing the rough interior.

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    1. Just spoke to the super. Had some light rain and fairly strong winds this morning, so the Roofers left at lunch. All they've got left to do is frame the edges. The Super said he's got the frame and mechanical inspection scheduled for Friday. Assuming nothing major is found, insulation will be in early next week, then drywall. I think we'll be able to put up a Christmas Tree.

      NLT 2021.

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  10. Juvat! I'm glad your curiosity got the better of you. You did a fine job of pointing out exactly why the Staff Sergeant was both quote worthy and worthy of our respect.

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    1. Thanks Proof, it was a badass quote and I figured there'd be a story there. If there wasn't I was fully prepared to mesmerize y'all with a riveting tale of grocery shopping yesterday. I know, I know, I can always use that tale again next week and the week after....

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  11. SSG Bellavia has written a great book on the Iraqi campaign-
    https://www.amazon.com/House-Bellavia-David-September-Hardcover/dp/B014I8Q64S/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=bellavia&qid=1588629827&sr=8-4

    It is an absolutely superb narrative account, and riveting.

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    1. Thanks, wish it were in Kindle format, then he'd get a little coinage out of it.

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    2. And Then I found it in the Kindle store. Looking forward to reading it.

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  12. He DESERVED that MOH the FIRST time around... And yea on the pipes getting moved!

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    1. Yeah, I may be overly suspicious, but I think politics came into play in the first round. 9/11 fever was wearing off and killing those who "need killing" was no longer acceptable to the anti-Americans. You know who I'm talking about. Fortunately, Somebody Trumped that.

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  13. I missed commenting yesterday- too busy writing today's manifesto! Glad to see that house getting closer.

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    1. Thanks, Tuna, and a Fine Job you did on today's post!

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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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