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Medal of Honor recipient SSG (Ret.) David Bellavia & Southern Eagle joins IRSC

FORT PIERCE — SSG (ret.) David Bellavia, the nation’s only living Operation Iraqi Freedom Medal of Honor recipient, has joined Indian River State College to help promote and expand its Military and Veterans Services programs.

SSG Bellavia served in Operation Iraqi Freedom during the battles for Najaf, Mosul, Baqubah, Muqdadiyah, and Fallujah. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on November 10, 2004, in Fallujah during Operation Phantom Fury, “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.”

He began his role as Special Assistant to the President for Veterans Issues in October.

“Indian River State College’s elite-level service for veterans, active members of the military and their families, coupled with their flexible and supportive educational environment, is essential for helping our service men and women build a solid future, especially those transitioning to the civilian world,” explains SSG David Bellavia. “I am honored to join Dr. Moore to raise awareness and support of the College’s critical work in this area, help enhance these services, and encourage more veterans to take advantage of these opportunities.”

SSG Bellavia is the author of Remember the Ramrods and House to House and hosts the syndicated radio program The David Bellavia Show, heard daily on His unique experience fighting house-to-house during the Iraqi conflict has established him as a sought-after expert for national news programs. He is presently providing analysis for Fox News and other networks on the conflict in Gaza City.

Bellavia’s connection with Indian River State College began in early 2023 when College President Dr. Timothy Moore, inspired after reading Remember the Ramrods, urged him to address the Spring 2023 graduating class. Bellavia has maintained a friendship with the College since. (Listen to the commencement address.)

“Throughout his life, David Bellavia has exemplified ‘service above self,’ and his work with Indian River State College is an extension of that personal drive and mission,” said Dr. Timothy Moore, President of Indian River State College. “We are energized by what his affiliation with the College will mean to our current and future student veterans, how he will inspire all students to maintain optimism throughout their journeys, and how, with his assistance, we can move with velocity to provide the best wrap-around services for the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our nation.”

SSG Bellavia’s association with the College has already inspired a gift supporting student veterans. In October, Philip A. Busch, President of Southern Eagle Distributing and the Busch Family Foundation, donated a high-fidelity racing simulator for the Indian River State College Veterans Center of Excellence.