David Bellavia should not be a stranger to most of you (see above links) - SSG Bellavia was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star (and nominated for the DSC and the MoH) for his actions in Fallujah. He's one of the founders of Vets for Freedom and now he's written a book about his experiences. This promises to be very, very good. "House to House - An Epic Memoir of War" will be out soon on September 4th. I've got an advance copy and will review it next week right here. Here is an interview with David about the book:
David's commander was Captain Sean Sims (one of the Soldiers that "The Blog of War" is about and dedicated to). In this excerpt from the book, on the eve of the Battle of Fallujah (November 2004), we find out the reason why David Bellavia decided to become a soldier....after the Jump:
...It is clear that Captain Sims genuinely wants our opinion. Eventually, the conversation takes another turn.
"Where are you both from?" Sims asks.
"Randolph, Mississippi," replies Fitts.
"Buffalo, New York," I answer.
"Why'd you two join the infantry?"
I reply first, "Stephen Sondheim."
Both Fitts and Sims stare at me.
"Stephen fucking Sondheim."
"You mean the composer?" asked Sims.
"What the fuck are you talking about, bro?" says Fitts. So there's one thing about me the guy doesn't know.
"I was a theater major," I begin to explain.
"No fucking way."
"Sure. Musical theater direction and stagecraft. I ended up starting my own theater company in Buffalo. Sondheim, well, I loved his work. He was my idol, man."
"This is a very different side of you, Sergeant Bellavia."
"He wrote a musical called Assassins. Basically disenfranchised Americans kill presidents, except that he got his history all screwed up. John Wilkes Booth commits suicide, Leon Czolgosz kills McKinley over a girl, Lee Harvey Oswald actually shoots JFK -- shit like that."
I take a drag on my cigarette. Both Fitts and Sims are just staring at me. I guess a grizzled infantryman who loves Sondheim is more shocking than one who loves Michael Moore.
"Okay, so I rewrote it to make it historically accurate and show why these losers killed our presidents. When my theater company put it on, Sondheim stopped my show and threatened to sue me. I called his bluff. Only he wasn't bluffing.
"Next thing I know I'm field-dressing machine guns."
Sims and Fitts burst out laughing...
You can read the rest of the excerpt here.
I'll review the book next week with more about Bellavia and the 1st ID in Fallujah.