From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Kevin Rafferty, Jr.
The nation’s only living Iraqi War veteran to receive the Medal of Honor, Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, was honored during the daily flag retreat ceremony at Disneyland park July 13. Disneyland Resort had the privilege of honoring Bellavia, who received the nation’s highest military award last month, for his heroic actions.
Following the ceremony at Disneyland park, Disney Ambassador Rafa Barron presented Bellavia with a certificate proclaiming him an “Honorary Citizen of the Disneyland Resort.” Also in attendance was SALUTE, the business-employee resource group (BERG) at the Disneyland Resort that provides veterans with a supportive cast network and resources for development as they transition into civilian life.
“David is a hero,” said Jason Kolons, senior mechanical engineer at the Disneyland Resort and SALUTE BERG team member. “Thanking him for his service and giving him one of our SALUTE pins was an honor. A lot of the other veterans at the flag retreat ceremony were excited to see David and say ‘thank you,’ as well.”
“This is a very patriotic ceremony, and I’m impressed with the way the Disneyland Resort has treated me and our veterans who have served in other generations across all branches of the military,” Bellavia said. “This is my first time at Disneyland, and the cast members are very friendly and kind. There are smiles everywhere!”