President Donald Trump presented the honorary medal on Tuesday to former army personnel Sgt. David G. Bellavia for his actions as a troop leader in Fallujah, who made him the first living war veteran in Iraq to receive recognition.
President Trump said Bellavia showed "exceptional courage to protect his men and defend this nation".  During Operation Phantom Fury 2004, the Bellavian platon was knocked down while cleaning a block of houses. Bellavia then swapped his M16 rifle for an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and entered the house where his squad was caught to provide cover fire so that the soldiers could leave safely, the White House said.
"A Bradley Fighting Vehicle came up to help suppress the enemy, but it couldn't shoot straight into the house," it added in a statement. "Then Sergeant Bellavia went into the house … and assaulted uprisers firing rocket-fired grenades."
There he engaged five different fighters and pursued them through the house until the threat was neutralized.  IRAQ WAR HERO'S FAMILY ACCEPTS MEDAL OF HONOR FROM TRUMP
"The remarkable day when Staff Sergeant Bellavia rescued a whole group, cleared a rebellious stronghold, and saved many members of his peloton from imminent threats
He spoke to journalists after the ceremony on Tuesday, Bellavia described that he received the honorary medal as "overwhelming."
He said Operation Phantom Fury "is impossible to think of."
Bellavia told reporters that he is proud over being a veteran of the Iraq war and said it has been "an absolute honor to serve in the US military".
"All this I cannot even understand it," Bellavia says, referring to being first life
He added: "I want to thank my army for giving me the purpose, meaning and direction."
Bellavia was released from the army in August 2005 after serving six years and has been awarded the Silver Star, Bronz e Star and New York State Conspicuous Service Cross. He wrote about the battle in a 2007 book, "House to House: An Epic War Event".
Bellavia hosts a radio talk show at the WB in Buffalo, NY. He said on Friday that the experience of being elected for the honorary medal is "very uncomfortable and troublesome" but noted that he wants to represent Iraq war veterans who have not lived with an honorary recipient.
"When you go to basic education, you clear your weapons and you read the quotes from these recipients and it is as if they are superheroes, Bellavia says." They are not real. … I can't take my head around it. I still can't. "
CLICK HERE TO FOX NEWS APP
The White House said Bellavia" continues to serve the military and veterans through a number of philanthropic organizations. " Bellavia lost a Republican primary for 2012 to rep. Chris Collins. His name is in play once received as Collin's potential successor as representative – whose attempt at insider trading is waiting – determines if he will run for re-election by 2020.  Medal of Honor can trace its origins back to the Civil War.
Fox News & # 39; Tyler Olson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.