Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia says he likely wouldn't have made it out of the Second Battle of Fallujah alive had it not been for his knife
""We have a volunteer force that does it every single day ... We are not kicking down doors because we want to make sure we get paid on the 1st and the 15th. We do that because we love our country, we love our Army, and we love each other"
The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
As a Medal of Honor recipient, former Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia will also be eligible for retroactive monthly pension payments stretching back to 2004
A former Army staff sergeant who took on enemy fighters at close range, first with an M249 light machine gun and then with a knife, will be the first living veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom to receive the Medal of Honor