A Medal of Honor Recipient's Speech at the Pentagon Is Going Viral on TikTok

Former Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia is the first living veteran of the Iraq War to receive the Medal of Honor, and only the sixth U.S. servicemember to receive the nation’s highest award for combat valor for actions in Iraq. His speech at the Pentagon is going viral on TikTok.(U.S. Army/Sgt. Kevin Roy)

"We don't want war. But if you want war with the United States of America, there's one thing I can promise you, so help me God: Someone else will raise your sons and daughters."

It might be one of the most badass things anyone has ever said, and when combined with the music of Metro Boomin, it's got TikTok-ers ready to enlist.

"This vid almost made me want to sign up," said TikTok user Joaquin.

"I almost Googled a recruitment center just off this," said Jorge L.

"Single-handedly just convinced me to enlist in March," said FantaMane.

The line was spoken by Medal of Honor recipient Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia. He received the Silver Star for actions he took during a house raid at the Second Battle of Fallujah during the Iraq War in 2004. His Silver Star was upgraded to the Medal of Honor and presented by President Donald Trump at the White House on June 26, 2019.

In August of that year, Bellavia gave a speech at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes. In the speech, he talked about America's warrior class and those who died on the mission in Fallujah that day. The excerpt used in the minute-long TikTok video, called "If the US Military sampled MetroBoomin," came toward the end of Bellavia's speech.

It's a speech that's on par or better than any motivational speech ever written by speechwriters, generals or even Hollywood screenwriters.

"Iran, Russia, China, North Korea, ISIS, al-Qaida. They may be watching this right now. Our military should not be mistaken for a cable news gabfest show. We don't care what you look like. We don't care who you voted for, who you worship, what you worship, who you love. It doesn't matter if your dad left you millions when he died or if you knew who your father was. We have been honed into a machine of lethal moving parts that you would be wise to avoid if you know what's good for you.

We will not be intimidated. We will not back down. We've seen war. We don't want war. But if you want war with the United States of America, there's one thing I can promise you, so help me God: Someone else will raise your sons and daughters."

From there, the video goes into a quick few stanzas of a Metro Boomin song. The video, made by Ohio-based TikTok user JHaleProductions, has garnered 7.9 million views and more than 13,000 comments, mostly about how "hard" or "cold" the quote is and how this is the kind of recruiting video the Army needs to make.


It's enough to make one wonder whether the Army should give a chunk of its $600 million advertising budget to Metro Boomin and some TikTok-ers and produce the kind of Army ads the people (apparently) really want to see. The app has been banned on government devices and is facing restrictions in most states, but no one among the Army’s target market seems to care.

View the viral TikTok on your web browser by clicking here.

-- Blake Stilwell can be reached at blake.stilwell@military.com. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.

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