Disneyland recently honored Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, who, according to the Disney Parks Blog, is “The nation’s only living Iraqi War veteran to receive the Medal of Honor.”
Bellavia was honored during the daily flag retreat ceremony on July 13th.
Following the ceremony, Disney Ambassador Rafa Barron presented Mr. Bellavia with a certificate making him an “Honorary Citizen of the Disneyland Resort.”
Also in attendance for this event was SALUTE, a “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.”
Jason Kolons, senior mechanical engineer at the Disneyland Resort and SALUTE BERG member had this to say:
“David is a hero. 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.”
Bellavia also had kind things to say about the cast members at 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. This is my first time at Disneyland, and the cast members are very friendly and kind. There are smiles everywhere!”
One thing that I do believe Disney does right is the way they treat veterans. Both parks have a flag retirement ceremony and veterans are invited to watch. My father is a US Navy Vietnam veteran and he loves to wear his Navy hat. Every time he’s at a Disney park the cast members always acknowledge him and other service men and women. I know it means a lot to my dad and I’m sure it means a lot to other veterans as well.
Disney also seems to appreciate their past military employees and I think their SALUTE BERG program sounds like an amazing resource.
I was really happy to see the Disney Parks Blog report on this story. I do hope Disney keeps up the good work in remembering and honoring our service men and women.
What do you think? Comment and let us know!
Source: Disney Parks Blog