The White House has announced that former Army Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia will become the first living Iraq war veteran to be awarded the Medal of Honor. President Trump will present the medal to Bellavia on 25 JUNE in a White House ceremony.

On 10 November, 2004, Staff Sergeant David G. Bellavia was serving as a Platoon Leader in Task Force 2-2 of the 1st Infantry Division. While clearing houses in Fallujah, Iraq, his platoon was pinned down by insurgents in another room.


Staff Sergeant David S. Bellavia distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company A, Task Force 2-2, 1st Infantry Division, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM during the battle for Al Fallujah, Iraq, on 10 November 2004. On that date Sergeant Bellavia’s platoon was ordered to clear a block of 12 buildings from which Jihadists were firing on American forces. The first nine buildings were unoccupied, but were found to be filled with enemy rockets, grenade launchers and other kinds of weapons. When Bellavia and four others entered the tenth building, they came under fire from insurgents in the house. Other soldiers came to reinforce the squad and a fierce battle at close quarters ensued. Many American soldiers were injured from the gunfire and flying debris. At this point, Sergeant Bellavia, armed with a M249 SAW gun, entered the room where the insurgents were located and sprayed the room with gunfire, forcing the Jihadists to take cover and allowing the squad to move out into the street. Jihadists on the roof began firing at the squad, forcing them to take cover in a nearby building. Sergeant Bellavia then went back to the street and called in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle to shell the houses. After this was done, he decided to re-enter the building to determine whether the enemy fighters were still active. Seeing a Jihadist loading an RPG launcher, Sergeant Bellavia gunned him down. A second Jihadist began firing as the soldier ran toward the kitchen and Bellavia fired back, wounding him in the shoulder. A third Jihadist began yelling from the second floor. Sergeant 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. Sergeant Bellavia fired back, killing the man. Sergeant Bellavia then came under fire from the insurgent upstairs and the staff sergeant returned the fire, killing the man. 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. 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. The wounded insurgent fired at him but missed. He followed the bloody tracks up the stairs to a room to the left. Hearing the wounded insurgent inside, he threw a fragmentary grenade into the room, sending the wounded Jihadist onto the roof. The insurgent fired his weapon in all directions until he ran out of ammunition. He then started back into the bedroom, which was rapidly filling with smoke. Hearing two other insurgents screaming from the third story of the building, Sergeant Bellavia put a choke hold on the wounded insurgent 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. 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. Without warning, another insurgent dropped from the third story to the second-story roof. Sergeant Bellavia fired at him, hitting him in the back and the legs and causing him to fall off the roof, dead. At this point, five members of 3d Platoon entered the house and took control of the first floor. Before they would finish off the remaining Jihadists, however, they were ordered to move out of the area because close air support had been called in by a nearby unit.

Trump Goes to Iraq

President Trump and the First Lady visited U.S. troops in Iraq on the day after Christmas.  Like Presidents Bush and Obama before him, he flew in unannounced.  Unlike the previous Presidents, the First Lady accompanied him.  Melania’s visit was a bold yet subtle statement of the safety and stability in the region.  She did not dodge sniper fire.


Nick Buys a Tank and Finds a Crackerjack Prize Inside

Nick Mead really is living the dream of many tank enthusiasts. He collects military tanks and keeps them on his farm in Helmdon, England. The collection has 150 vehicles from the British, U.S., and Russian military.  His  business is called “Tanks-alot”, the perfect name for a business that supplies those massive military vehicles for a whole range of movies and TV shows. So, when you see a chase scene featuring a tank in your favorite movie, it could just be one of his vehicles.

For a modest fee, you can ride on the tank or drive it and run shit over.


When Nick found a Russian designed,  Chinese made T-54 tank on EBay, he immediately jumped at the opportunity. Joe Hewes was the 23-year-old owner of the Russian T-54 tank, and Nick Mead immediately negotiated the barter-exchange of an Abbott self-propelled gun and an army lorry, with a combined worth of nearly $39,000 USD. If Hewes had known what was hidden in the gas tank of that huge vehicle, it’s unlikely he would have allowed the tank to go for such a low price tag.

Nick brings his new toy home.

The providence of the T-54 is a bit vague.  The design says it was built in the 1980’s.  Joe said it came from Iraq.  It has only 1500 miles on the odometer.  When President H.W. Bush ripped Saddam Hussein a new asshole during Desert Storm, the First Armored Division claimed they destroyed all of the tanks Saddam had.  How was this one spared?  During Operation Iraqi Freedom (AKA Desert Storm II- The Sequel) the 1st AD went back and cleaned up what they missed the first time.

Enter Todd Chamberlain, one of Nick’s mechanics.  It fell to Todd and his team to disassemble and rebuild the new addition to the collection.  The first thing they came across was a cache of ammo hidden in the turret.  The Bomb Squad was called and they dutifully hauled the ammo away.

Todd continued to root around in the Russian T-54 tank, as he cleaned it up and prepared it to be deployed as part of the Tanks-alot fleet. One of the external fuel tanks wouldn’t move, so he worked on it with a crowbar. He felt something heavy and cold in the fuel tank, so he pulled it out.







You Won’t Believe What Happens Next

Nick asked his crew what they’d do with their cut of the Booty.  Some were buying Land Rovers.  Others were buying their own tank.  But then he called the Coppers again and told the operator,

“We’ve found umpteen bars of gold bullion in an Iraqi tank.” 


The best guess is  that the gold might have come to be in the tank when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, since wholesale looting took place. The United Nations had ordered Iraq to return everything that had been stolen, but a good deal of property was never returned. In fact, the summary end of the report was that two Northamptonshire police officers arrived at the farm to take the gold bars away for investigation.

Nick and his crew got a hardy handshake and a “Job well done”.