Disneyland honors Medal of Honor recipient from the Iraq War

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Disneyland honored a veteran and the only living Medal of Honor recipient from the Iraq War by naming him an "honorary citizen" of the resort.

Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia, who received the Medal of Honor in June, was honored July 13 during the daily flag retreat ceremony at the park.

After the ceremony, Disney Ambassador Rafa Barron presented Bellavia with a certificate, naming him an "Honorary Citizen of the Disneyland Resort."

"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 in the park's blog. "This is my first time at Disneyland, and the cast members are very friendly and kind. There are smiles everywhere!"

The resort's business-employee resource group, SALUTE, was also in attendance. The group provides support for veterans as they transition into civilian life and offer resources.

"David is a hero," said Jason Kolons, a senior mechanical engineer at Disneyland Resort and a team member of SALUTE. "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."

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