From Gathering of Eagles:
A Tale of Two Heroes Betrayed
It has come to my attention that two of our brothers need a little numerical support. Both live in states where the Congressional delegation mouths the party line that they support the troops, but the opposite is truly the situation. One lives in Pennsylvania and the other in New York. Both were responsible for acts of valor so audacious as to be worthy of a John Wayne movie. Both performed acts of heroism in combat that are so extraordinary that they deserve, in my estimation, the Medal of Honor. At the very least they deserve the consideration involved with the MOH. Neither is getting even that because politics have, once again, trumped sacrifice and selflessness.
Neither man asked for help. Both have suffered with the stoicism so common to our most heroic brothers. The first, Richard Gresko, came to my attention back at GOE I. He limps badly and is in quite obvious constant pain, but there he was on that bitterly cold day in March standing up to A.N.S.W.E.R. and Code Pink. Long story short, Richie, a Marine in Vietnam, leapt upon a grenade to save his squad, and though painfully wounded continued to direct his unit until he was evacuated. The second, David Bellavia, came to my attention because I saw his book on the shelf in a local bookstore. After I got it home I realized he was one of our brothers from Vets for Freedom. David was a one man task force who nearly single-handedly cleared a building in Fallujah. Before all was said and done he had dispatched multiple terrorists to their final resting place; one with his helmet and a Gerber knife. Both men are the stuff of the type of lore we who have served respect, and neither know that I’m about to solicit your help.
I would like to ask that each of you read the citations below. When you are done I would ask that you then call your Congressmen and both Senators and tell them that these men are worthy of our nation’s highest honor. Email or snail mail a letter too, demanding that the politicians in Washington give these men the honor they are due. Richie has Arlen Specter and Bob Casey in the Senate and Patrick Murphy in the House. David has Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer and Reynolds in the House. Both men were recommended by their commanders for the Medal of Honor. Both have impeccable witness statements. Both have done the deed; now let’s get them the award to accompany it.
Seldom do I use this venue for such a blatantly personal reason, but I am asking each of you reading this to do me a personal favor. Please follow up on this request. I truly want nothing more than to see both David and Richie with that awe-inspiring light blue ribbon and medal around their necks. I can do many things alone, but this I cannot do without your help; each and every one of you. Read the citations and tell me that politics is not at play. I, for one, am through with building bridges to our elected officials. I am starting to demand that they remember they work for us. Please help me, or our brothers will just be another casualty of Capitol Hill. Manchu.
National Director for Operations
GRESKO, RICHARD W.
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Richard W. Gresko (2516983), Sergeant [then Lance Corporal], U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with Headquarters and Service Company, Third Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam. On the night of 11 March 1970, Sergeant Gresko was in one element of an ambush set up to protect a village from enemy attack. Around midnight, his element ambushed a Viet Cong unit which was attempting to enter the village. During the ensuing fight, Sergeant Gresko observed an enemy hand grenade land near his position. With complete disregard for his own personal safety and fully aware of the dangers involved, he unhesitatingly threw himself on top of the grenade, absorbing most of the blast fragments with his own body in order to protect his men from certain injury and possible death. Although painfully wounded, he continued to direct his men’s actions until the squad made their sweep. By his bold and heroic action on behalf of his fellow Marines, Sergeant Gresko reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Proposed Citation for SSG David Bellavia
For valorous and heroic actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom while serving as a squad leader in Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq from 04 November 2004 to 20 November 2004. On 10 November 2004, during an attack on Objective Wolf, SSG Bellavia repeatedly showed incredible courage and complete disregard for his own personal safety. With a squad from his platoon pinned down inside a room in an enemy controlled building and taking casualties, SSG Bellavia entered the “fatal funnel” of the doorway, and directly in the enemy line of fire. With rounds impacting all around him, he suppressed the enemy, allowing the squad to break contact. His actions saved the lives of the squad. After coordinating for the suppressing of the enemy stronghold with 25mm BFV cannon fire, SSG Bellavia re-entered the house. After being forced out of the room by overwhelming enemy fire, SSG Bellavia identified an AIF preparing an RPG. Realizing the danger the RPG posed to his platoon, SSG Bellavia decided to assault the room and destroy the enemy with the RPG. With complete disregard for his own safety SSG Bellavia assaulted the room while under intense enemy fire. He immediately killed the RPG gunner and wounded another AIF with an RPK machine gun who escaped to another room in the house. With an un-cleared room behind him, SSG Bellavia continued his attack. While moving into the un-cleared room he was attacked by two AIF from behind. Despite rounds impacting all around him, SSG Bellavia held his position and returned fire, ultimately killing two AIF. Almost simultaneously a fourth AIF attacked from inside a closet of the room. Exchanging rifle fire at almost point blank range, SSG Bellavia wounded the AIF who fled out the door and up the stairs. SSG Bellavia courageously pursued the AIF up the stairs of the building, exchanging gun fire on the stairwell. Pursuing the AIF into a room, SSG Bellavia used a grenade in an attempt to kill the AIF. Following the detonation of the grenade, SSG Bellavia entered the room and found the AIF preparing to fire his weapon. The ensuing close quarters melee resulted in hand to hand, ending with Bellavia destroying the AIF using his rifle barrel, Kevlar helmet, sappy plate, and ultimately a Gerber knife blade. A fifth AIF leaped from a roof above SSG Bellavia onto the second floor roof. After engaging the AIF through the window, SSG Bellavia moved out onto the roof and continued to engage the AIF until he ran out of ammunition. The AIF fell off the roof into the garden, badly wounded. SSG Bellavia acted on instinct to save the members of his platoon from an imminent RPG attack and ultimately cleared the entire house, destroying four AIF and badly wounding a fifth. His incredible bravery and complete disregard for his own safety to protect the lives of his platoon members was an incredibly unselfish and courageous act. Staff Sergeant Bellavia’s dedication to his fellow soldiers on the battlefield upholds the finest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself and the United States Army.
It goes without saying that Hillary Clinton HATES our military and I'm sure it will be a cold day in Hell before she does the right thing on this.
Let's make sure these two heroes get the recognition and help that they deserve. Contact your Senators and Representatives now.
Once and Always, an American Fighting Man