ELLISVILLE, MS. (WDAM) - During the first lecture of the year for the Charles Pickering Honors Institute at Jones County Junior College Monday, an Iraq war veteran described his combat experience in Fallujah.
Former Staff Sergeant David Bellavia served with the Army's First Infantry Division for over six years. In November 2004, he led his unit on an assault in the terrorist ridden city of Fallujah.
During his presentation at JCJC, Bellavia described the harsh conditions of urban combat combined with an artificially high enemy bent on the destruction of Americans. For his unit's valor, they were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.
Bellavia said he hoped the students of JCJC learn the importance of being a respectful person that honors the sacrifice service men and women have made for our country.
"Serving your country doesn't necessarily have to be with a rifle and a grenade. You know service is paramount, it's what makes our culture and our way of life so great. That you can serve your country just by walking out the door and doing things in your community," said Bellavia.
Bellavia is a New York native who has also been awarded the Silver and Bronze Stars in addition to the Conspicuous Service Cross, New York State's highest combat valor award.