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News | July 16, 2021

Summer Kick-Off Future Soldier Swear In With Medal of Honor Recipient David Bellavia

By Grace Douglas Richmond Recruiting Battalion

More than 140 Future Soldiers, supporting family members and community partners gathered in Virginia Beach, VA., for a Summer Kick-Off Future Soldier event with Medal of Honor recipient, Retired Staff Sgt. David Bellavia, on June 24.

SSG David G. Bellavia was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Second Battle of Fallujah, during the Iraq War. The audience was captivated by his story and his level of honor, courage and commitment to our country. During his speech he emphasized that now more than ever is important for our Future Soldiers to be a part of the United States Army.

“The Army provided me with purpose and appreciation for the blessing America has bestowed upon us all. I am forever grateful to the United States Army for making me able to count and cherish those blessings in a way that is unique to most, and to those who wear the uniform. I think the uniform, I think my Army, has made us all better men, fathers, employees, husbands, and citizens.”

After Mr. Bellavia concluded his speech, more than 60 of the Army’s newest recruits lined up for their enlistment ceremony with U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion, Commander Lieutenant Colonel Erik Peterson. A simple ceremony was turned into a memorable moment for all as Mr. Bellavia took the time to meet and greet each Future Soldier, allowing them to hold and wear his medal.

“This was an amazing experience to be a part of and I’m excited to serve my country, said Future Soldier Connor.”

The Delta Virginia Beach Bayfront Suites provided a lovely venue overlooking the oceanfront. The ceremony also had remarks from Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) Mike Flanagan and representation from Hot 100 radio, WTKR News, VIP guest from the Virginia Beach Congressional District, AUSA's and PAYs partners.

With COVID shutting down face-to-face operations for a year, this Summer Kick-Off event was a great way to come back together to continue to showcase the diverse opportunities the Army offers.



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