David Bellavia Recollection

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David Bellavia Recollection

Found this excerpt from David Bellavia, useful, lots of detail form the man himself.

“The gunman on the roof was a teen aged boy maybe 16 years old. I could see him scanning for targets. He held an AK 47 without a stock. Was he just a stupid kid trying to protect his family? Was he one of the insurgent fanatics?

I kept my eyes on him and prayed he would put the AK down and just get back inside his own house. I didn’t want to shoot him. He turned and saw me. I could see the terror on his sweat streaked face. I put him in my sights just as he adjusted his AK against his shoulder.

I had beaten him on the draw. My own rifle was snug on my shoulder, the sight resting on him. The kid stood no chance. My weapon just needed the flick of the safety and a butterflies kiss of pressure on the trigger.

‘Please don’t do this. You don’t need to die’

The AK went to full ready up. Was he aiming at me? I couldn’t be sure, but the barrel was trained at my level. Do I shoot? Do I risk not shooting? Was he silently trying to save me from some unseen threat? I didn’t know. I had to make a decision.

‘Please forgive me for this’

I pulled my trigger. The kids chin fell to his chest and a guttural moan escaped his lips. I fired again, missed, then pulled the trigger one more time. The bullet tore his jaw and ear off.

Sgt Hall came up alongside me, saw the AK and the boy and finished him with four shots to his chest. He slumped against the low rooftop wall.”

- David Bellavia, US Army. Iraq 2004

Credit: Battles and Beers, Instagram post by graphicwar_
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