I know I've not been the best at this.... But as little as we talked. When we did we had real conversations about real shit. You were the first person I sought out when I finally deployed. I don't know what to say other than I miss you brother and Climb to Glory!! Keep watching over us Doc!
Just doing my part in remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and gave all so that we can continue with our lives and many others may enjoy the freedom that so few have. Thank you Sgt. Cadavero, I salute you and your loved ones on this Memorial Day. May we honor your memory until that glorious day!
To ensure that the sacrifices of America's fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed into law, "The National Moment of Remembrance Act," which encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3PM local time on Memorial Day for one minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to our great nation. It's a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day. By honoring the men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom, we ensure that their heroic spirit will live on and on.
Sgt. Jonathan D. Cadavero and thousands of Americans gave their lives -- and all of their tomorrows -- so that we may live in peace. President John F. Kennedy captured the spirit of the holiday when he said, "A nation reveals itself not only by the men (women) it produces, but also by the men (women) it honors, the men (women) it remembers."
Less than 1% of all Americans serve in the military. These extraordinary individuals risk everything they hold dear – life, home, family – for the remaining 99% who depend on them to keep us safe. I trust you agree that you can take just one minute out of your Memorial Day festivities to remember the fallen at 3:00 PM. Thank you for remembering Sgt. Jon and the hundreds of thousands who sacrificed their lives on behalf of the United States of America, and always remember, freedom is not free.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
David A. Cadavero
Today is not February 27, 2019. It is March 21, 2019.
My friend David Cadavero and his family gave their son for my freedom. On the anniversary of Jonathan and his family's gift I had no words. It has been a few years. The memory is still fresh. The corner in the grocery where I heard the unbelievable news is still there in Jamaica NY. I talk with my friend. I laugh and remember and think of God's blessings. But in the back of my mind I think like Martha from the Bible, "If you had been here Master, he would not have died."
But this is the point. This is the way that Jesus treats His friends.
He is not willing to give them a shallow answer, a short answer, a quick fix and done. He has a long range solution to the cosmic conflict that has consumed the world for millennia.
In the case of his best friend, Lazarus, he waited till he stank.That is pretty brutal! Why? He said clearly, that the my Father may be glorified. Let me translate that into our language. If Jesus had not allowed His best friend to die, then the world would say, God the Father is unfair. He is willy-nilly. He gives preferential treatment to some. The big question was "how about death." Who has power over death. For the world to say that, "He does not have the power over death."
When Lazarus threw off the stinky grave cloth and walked out to be united with his sisters, Mary and Martha, and friend Jesus, there was no mistaking that this was no ordinary Man. This was the Messiah.
A few days later, on Easter morning, Jesus, himself, stepped out of the grave, doing just what His friend had done. He took off the grave clothes. He folded them. He said, touch me, give me something to eat, and know that death has been conquered. From this day forward, death is a sleeping holding waiting for my declaration of," I am the resurrection and the life." The Gospel of John, Chapter 11.
There is something worse than death...LIFE without purpose. Jonathan Cadavero had purpose to help others. Resurrection day is coming!....jg
This past Saturday, March 9th, marked 12 years since Jon's funeral. I had flash-backs of that day. I could remember details and other things were just a blank. There has not been a day when I haven't thought about Jon, missed him, cried for him, and wished he could be here with us.
I know that with each passing day brings us closer to the day when we will meet and be together again.
I read once that there are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. That's how Jon saw life....that everyday was a miracle given by God. Can't wait to re reunited with Jon in heaven.
Rest in peace my beloved son. Miss and love you forever.
February 27, 2019 marks the 12th year of Sgt. Jonathan Cadavero's death, in which he was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Baghdad, Iraq. During that 12 year period, hundreds of people have signed Jonathan's website for which his family is deeply appreciative. It is sobering to know that he has not been forgotten, and that his life is etched in the mind and heart of many, many family members, relatives, and friends.
Harold Kushner in his book "When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough – The Search for a Life That Matters," focuses on the importance of a meaningful life. He states, "If a person lives and dies and no one notices, if the world continues as it was, was the person ever really alive?" He further states, "It is not the fear of death, of our lives ending, that haunts us so much as the fear that our lives will not have mattered, that as far as the world is concerned, we might as well have never lived. What we miss in our lives, no matter how much we have, is that sense of meaning." Sgt. Jon epitomized a life of selfless service countless times, but one of the most poignant instances was when he was given the opportunity of staying on the military base and working in a hospital in Iraq. He rejected this "safe" job and wanted to continue to serving on the front lines so he could save more soldier's lives. What greater act of valor can there be than this?
Death may have physically taken Jonathan out of our future, but he cannot be removed from our past, that all the things that people loved about him have left indentations on our hearts...and these lasting memories will always remain. One thing is certain: there have been many dark days since February 27, 2007, but the light will always return to chase away the darkness, there will always be sunshine after the rain. Fear will assault us and cause discouragement and pain, but we will not be afraid for God is always with us. Jonathan's legacy of courage, compassion, and focus that each life is special will never be erased. Rest in peace, Jonathan. The best is yet to come.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
David A. Cadavero
Jon...THANK YOU for your service and ultimate sacrifice so that I can live in freedom. Although I never met you, I know you were a gentle man. My heart aches for your family as they go on without you. But the memories you left behind will always be treasured and remembered as they celebrate your life. Keep watching over them and guiding them as they continue to honor you and sharing you with all of us. "And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier's tomb, and beauty weeps the brave." --Joseph Rodman Drake
You've been on my mind, my dear cousin Jon. Pardon the 'day after' message. Your kind deeds and bright, shining soul left a wonderfully positive mark on this world, like none other. I'm sure you're up there making the angels laugh with your crazy-fun sense of humor. Rest in peace ~ you are remembered ever so fondly! ♥
Doc, 12 years have passed now. Lately I’ve been reading a book that covers the war during the time we were there. It has brought back a lot of good and bad memories. Today, I remember you and Sou and Henry. I’ll take your stories and share them at work with my civilian co-workers in hopes to honor you guys and perpetuate the significance of the sacrifice you have given on their behalf. Thanks for all the good memories. I look forward to seeing you again and rejoicing in our Savior, Jesus Christ and in his resurrection and in our future resurrections. Until then may you Rest In Peace.
As I am writing this it's more or less the same time when 2 soldiers knocked on my front door to tell me Jon got killed earlier in Iraq. I was in shock for days, maybe weeks. Then I was numb with disbelief, followed by denial. And now, 12 years later am still having a hard time dealing with the loss of my son.
Whoever said time heals all wounds? They lied.
Whoever said time makes things easier? They lied.
Time has not helped heal my sorrow or pain.
The pain and hole in my heart is still there, and will remain for the rest of my life.
Sure, I get up each day, go to work and make the best of each day. However, Jon is never far from my thoughts, and always in my heart. Today, 12 red roses, one for each year he's been gone, was placed by his grave. As I stood there in the bitter cold, snow started to fall, and I thought about how long it's been since I've heard his voice, watched and laughed at a silly movie together, made his favorite meal, got a hug, watched him eat enough for 3 people then a few hours later watched him eat a big bowl of Cheerios. How I wish things were different. How I wish he was still here with us.
I will always miss and love you my dear son. Rest in peace until we meet in heaven.
On this eve of the twelve-year anniversary of Jonny’s passing, I wanted to share something that seems to perfectly describe the never-ending process of grief.
In 2011, someone posted on a Reddit chatboard, “My friend just died. I don’t know what to do.”
An anonymous person with the user name GSnow wrote a compassionate response, which was shared all over the world at the time and which is still giving people hope.
I hope this helps all who are missing Jonny, and other loved ones. Below is GSnow’s message in its entirety.
“Alright, here goes. I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not. I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here's my two cents.
“I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don't want it to ‘not matter’. I don't want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.
“As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
“In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
“Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out.
“Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come. And you'll survive them too. If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.”
-Kristia Markarian, Jon's sister
Although I never met Sgt. Jon, I have had the privilege to know his parents. My dad, Simon Anwar worked with Jon’s dad, Mr. David Cadavero at Greater New York Academy as the business manager. I write this condolence note on behalf of myself and my parents because they do not use the computer. I believe that when you know someone’s parents, you know a lot about the person. Mr. and Mrs. Cadavero are two of the sincerest people I know. Over the years, when my Dad worked at the Academy, he was fortunate to have Mr. Cadavero as his Principal. Mr. Cadavero was a patient and understanding supervisor. My dad always spoke highly of him. As a new immigrant in this country, Mr. Cadavero gave my family a chance to become stable when he hired my Dad. The working environment was so pleasant that my Dad worked with Mr. Cadavero for over twenty-five years. Later, Mr. Cadavero, became a role model for my brother, Russell, guiding him into the high-stakes world of the New York Stock Exchange. I imagine that Jon had this kindness in him. As I read the other condolences, Sgt. Jon was not thinking of himself when he was tragically killed in Iraq. He was taken from us too soon. Sgt. Jon was a true hero. His dad has told us how Jon chose to go out into the field, rather than remaining in the safety zone. More recently we have seen the extent to which Mr. Cadaveros’s compassion extends. My dad suffered a devastating stroke in July of 2017. Mr. Cadavero has visited my dad regularly, from the time he was in the hospital, the rehab center and now at home. It is a kindness that has not been extended to us by members of family who are related by blood. My dad’s face lights up when Mr. Cadavero visits. Mrs. Cadavero has spoken to my mom several times on the phone. This provides my mom with a great deal of comfort as she is overwhelmed by my dad’s needs. He cannot walk or eat, but his face lights up when Mr. Cadavero visits. He laughs and chats with him. Because Mr. and Mrs. Cadavero raised Jon, I am sure that he was very much like them. From reading the other condolences it is crystal clear that Jon was a very special person. I am sorry I never had the privilege to meet him. However, I can state without reservation, that Sgt. Jon was a very special and exceptional young man. That he was take from his family way too soon is a great tragedy. Jon’s family are very good people and I do not understand why such bad things to such good people. In conclusion, I would like to say that Sgt. Jon was clearly an honorable soldier and good human-being. He served his country bravely and those of us who know him through his family will remember him fondly. His memory will live on forever in our hearts.
It's hard to believe that it has been nearly 13 years since Jon joined a group of church and other friends for the Thanksgiving feast at a friend's condo on the San Antonio River Walk. I had met him when he attended worship services when he was on weekend pass from his training as a medic and we instantly became friends. I am certain that Jon made friends with EVERYONE that he met. It was stunning to read of his passing in the paper as it listed the casualties from the Iraq War, but to know that we will someday be reunited in the presence of the LORD. I give thanks that I was one of the very lucky people who met and got to know him and call him "friend".
Thank you today and always for your service. Your name is never forgotten and continues to spread goodness in so many ways. Rest well sir.
As we celebrate Veterans Day today our hearts go out to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. We honor the sacrifice of Jonathan Cadavero who gave his life fighting for his beloved country and pray God’s continued Comfort for his dear family. Mr. David Cadavero, who served as Superintendent of schools in the Greater New York Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, who I worked with for years, along with his dear wife, please be comforted in the fact that you raised a fine young man who put others before himself and speaks volumes about his training and character. May each new day ease the pain and loneliness you must feel for your son. God bless you and your family and all veterans everywhere.
Jonathan Cadavero was a soldier. Not only in the army of the United States, but in the army of God. I did not know Sergeant Cadavero personally, but through the legacy he left, anyone can see how much of an amazing person he was. My condolences go out to the Cadavero family even now. Although it has been awhile since his passing, I know that it is hard, but because God helped, is helping, and will help, you can make it. God did not take him away. No. He SAVED Jonathan because of his devotion towards Him. Thank you once again, for your service, your love, your selflessness, and most importantly, for your sacrifice for this country. Jonathan Cadavero was a very wise man, so below I will use one of his favorite quotes.
"Believe and trust. Through stars and suns,
Through life and death, through soul and sense,
His wise, paternal purpose runs;
The darkness of His providence
Is star-lit with benign intents.
I know He is, and what He is,
Whose one great purpose is the good
Of all. I rest my soul on His
Immortal Love and Fatherhood;
And trust Him, as His children should."
- John Greenleaf Whittier
Rest in Honor, Peace, and Love to an angel sent from God,
In love and honor and remembrance, dear Jon - for you and your fellow veterans. God bless ... ♥♥
In just a few days, we will be observing Veterans Day on November 11. A question we may ask is, "What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?" A lot of Americans do not differentiate between these two observed holidays – and Veterans Day can be a little disconcerting to all living veterans, for whom it is primarily observed. Veterans Day honors all those who have served in our country in war and peace – dead or alive – although it's largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices. Whereas, Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred in battle. God Bless All our Veterans, and THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR GREAT COUNTRY.
So although Veterans Day is primarily for living veterans, I would like to include our son, "Sgt. Jon," among the "living" veterans because he will always remain in the hearts of his family and friends. When Sgt. Jonathan D. Cadavero died on February 27, 2007, he left behind a legacy of a "thousand" memories filled with laughter, hope, courage, and a desire to live a principled-based life – no matter what the circumstances. His legacy of serving our country with distinction lives on in the hearts of hundreds of friends (some even strangers) who have signed his website (now, 11 years after his death); our family can genuinely say – THANK YOU!
Each of us will be leaving behind a legacy. What will our legacy be? In other words, when we leave this life, what will people remember us for? Will we leave behind a legacy that will fade with time, or will our legacy be passed down from generation to generation and be cherished and secured? Many people leave behind their valued possessions, their bank account, their home, etc. Those may last a generation or two. Sgt. Jon's legacy goes way beyond earthly possessions. According to the Pentagon, "Cadavero was a medic with a platoon tasked with hunting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and disposing of them before they could explode – one of the most vital and dangerous assignments in Iraq. In a six month period, Sgt. Jon's platoon found and disposed of 172 IEDs. Even when given the choice of staying on base to work in the medical clinic, Sgt. Jon insisted on serving on the front lines." There can be no greater example of love in action. Jon's deep respect and recognition of his responsibility to protect and secure the lives of his fellow soldiers often under enemy fire, is a testimony of a life that will be passed down from generation to generation. There can be no greater gift of oneself than to minister to a brother or sister during the most vulnerable time of any firefight – when fellow soldiers have suffered injury and require immediate medical attention. In other words, Sgt. Jon was willing to sacrifice his own life, so that his fellow comrades could live. There are soldiers who are alive today that have given testimony to this act of heroism on Sgt. Jon's part.
Sgt. Jon led his life with passion, conviction, and courage. He is looking forward to hearing the glorious proclamation as stated in Matthew 25:23, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
Rest in peace, Jonathan, the best is yet to come!
GOD BLESS AMERICA
I had the pleasure of having Jonathan in my ENGL 102 Research & Literature class, back in 2001 when WAU was still called Columbia Union College. Jonathan was insightful and had a good sense of humor. He wrote an essay on a short story called, "Love in LA," which--in honor of him--I still give to the students to read. I also tell them about where he sat, what he was like, and how he paid the ultimate sacrifice for this country.
I also can't think about him without remembering the time he auditioned for some talent scouts who were in the area from New York. He did a skit about a monk, and it was hilarious. I miss you Jon. And we remember you.
Thirty six year ago after a hard labor and even harder delivery, I gave birth to a baby boy who grew up to be this amazing young man. I would do it all over again in a heart beat even knowing I would have him only for 24 years. I admired the way he lived his life. It wasn't just his adventurous spirit or the way he set goals and then went after them with courage and enthusiasm. I admired his sense of personal integrity in everything he did. I admired his honesty on how he faced his relationships and the generosity he showed to everyone around him. I admired his sense of humor and his positive attitude no matter what was going on. Even if he was down, he would encourage those around him. As I thought of Jon today, and the wonderful young man he was, I was so proud that he was my son. With a very heavy heart a dozen red roses were placed at his gravesite. There are
no words to describe how he is missed. Today, tomorrow and always.
Love you always my dear beloved son.
Happy birthday in heaven, dear Jon - to both you and your beloved grandfather. Serenaded by angels! You are dearly missed ..........
First of all thank you for your service. I would just like to say that I met his father while getting my tux for prom and I had such a great conversation. And he told me how important it is to be a family man and to make my family proud as they are my legacy. It was a pleasure to meet you and talk, we llive in such an amazing country.
Jonny and I were raised to always honor our fallen soldiers on Memorial Day. But ever since 2007, this day has become very personal for me. I always think of Jonny every day, but especially on this day. I pray for peace for all gold star families as we remember the depth of the sacrifice of our fallen heroes who have served our nation.
"On this day, take time to remember those who have fallen. But on every day after, do more; put the freedoms they died for to greater and nobler uses." -Richelle E. Goodrich
Jon's sister, Kristia
Remembering and honoring you and your fellow fallen comrades on this Memorial Day, dear Sgt. Jon. God bless each and every one of you for your ultimate sacrifice, and may God hold the aching hearts of your families and loved ones, giving them the strength to go on. Rest in peace ... fly with angels ... â™¥â™¥â™¥
On another Memorial Day I wish to extend to the Cadavero family sincerest condolences and appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice your family has paid as your son Jonathan gave his life for his country. We remember your family in prayer and ask Godâ€™s continued Blessings and comfort as you face each new day without Jonathan. May you feel protected and loved today as many remember and pay tribute to your beloved Jonathan! God bless you and all the other families who also paid the ultimate sacrifice!
Many years have passed since Waldwick, but memory never fails.
Thank you for your service to our great nation and your ultimate sacrifice.
Another sad Memorial Day....Instead of watching a parade, time was spent at the cemetery listening to a short service & prayer, and placing flowers by Jon's gravesite. As I stood there I reflected on the precious life of Jon who entered this world and left a mark on the hearts of all those who were blessed to have known him. I was truly blessed to have him as my son. He was the best. The love & joy we shared cannot be measured. I love, remember and honor Jon today and will always for his unselfish service, devotion to do his part to make sure we are safe & free here in the U.S.A.
Honor - Respect - Thanks to all who fought and died.
Rest in peace my beloved son.
Love you always. Now & forever.
A Condolence Message for Memorial Day
"As we say in silent prayer
A condolence message that shall be heard everywhere
For as we are in meditation
We honor our love ones' who rest in peace
They gave their lives for our preservation
So our freedom wouldn't cease
For the battle they fought
Was much more than a lot
For the bloody battle they won
And many of us did lose a son
And also some very dear one
But deep in our heart is pain
We all do know it shall always remain
So on this Memorial Day comes sorrow
May the Lord may it a brighter tomorrow
And we all ask God to always bless them
They were strong and brave to the end
The sacrifice they gave
Made America sound and safe."
I salute all the brave men and women who gave their all, the ultimate sacrifice. I salute you, Jon, for your service, willingness to go into battle, and love for this Country.
You are remembered, loved and missed by so many.
I love you today, tomorrow, always.
Thank you for your service. Your legacy continues and your ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten. Rest well.â™¡
Remembering John on the eve of this day when we remember our heroes who have sacrificed all for the wonderful life that we still live.
It's hard to believe that it's been 11 years since he has been gone yet he is still just as close as a friend as he was during his time in training at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio where they first met him even though I only knew him a few times (Tx) during his training when he attended church and a Thanksgiving get-together with numerous friends. he was still very close to me and to my late mother who met him one time as well .
he sacrificed his life so that we all may live and enjoy the many freedoms that we have. we must never never never forget that.
this notr may sound a little awkward but it's because I'm using speak- to-text on the phone, but the feelings are just as sincere and just as deeply held.
prayers for his wife and his family.
Hey Doc. Another memorial day passes and I remember you and honor your sacrifice. It's been many years since we met at Fort Drum. I still remember your bright smile and great attitude. Us scouts have a saying that we'll meet at fiddler's green when it's our time to go. When it's my time I'll send you an invite and well grab a beer. Rest peacefully brother.
I couldn't let this day end without remembering my wonderful, "hero" cousin, Jonathan, and the tremendous sacrifice he made on this date in 2007. Gone but not forgotten...what an amazing young man he was! Always seeing the best in everybody and going out of his way to make you feel "special." I long for the day when I'll see Sgt.Jonathan again. Won't be long now! Thinking of my "favorite" Uncle David, Aunt Nadia, and cousin, Kristia, too. Lots of love!
It's a quiet, late winter day in February. There's just a *whisper* of spring in the air here in New England. A seemingly ordinary day, in a string of days. Except that this day is filled with heavy meaning in our family. A bittersweet 11th anniversary that no one ever wanted to mark in our family, dear Jonathan. You are greatly missed! What you might have accomplished, we'll never know. But I do know that you would have been a bright, shining light. Your goodness would have spread out into the world, like the ripple effect of a pebble tossed into a pond - rippling out beyond that pond into a river, a lake, an ocean. And around the world again. Thank you for all your goodness that you shared in your short 24+ years on this earth. The world is a better place because of your presence here between 1982 to 2007. Remembering you with sadness and fondness, my youngest cousin. A prayer for your beloved mom and dad/my dear aunt and uncle, and for your big sister/my cousin to find the strength to go on without you. A wink and a wave to you up in heaven! â™¥â™¥
11 years my friend since you paid your final dues in mortality. Thanks for your example of how to live a happy life! I look forward to our meeting again and I hope I can live a life that is pleasing to you at our reunion!
I have not been able to sleep the last several nights as I seem to relive a nightmare. I toss and turn for endless hours thinking about this month of February and wish I could remove it from the calendar. I wish I could remove the word "last" from an email, card, and phone call received from Jon. Most of all, I wish the event that happened thousands of miles away from home on February 27th 11 years ago which caused unspeakable pain could be changed. I wish Jon had come home, safe & sound, and was here with us today. Instead, today will be spent at Jon's grave site, placing flowers, and remembering good times in between tears of utter sadness and heartache.
Each day I get up, put one foot in front of the other, go forward and do my best at home and school. My broken heart remains and will never mend.
My beloved son....
Your life was a blessing
Your memory a treasure
You are loved beyond words
And missed beyond measure.
Rest in peace until we meet on that beautiful shore.
Today is the time that I have set aside to remember the son of my good friend, David Cadavero and his wife, and daughter.
This year I have been thinking of Jonathan's widow, Michelle. My prayer is that God has filled your life with all those wonderful qualities that Jonathan would have wished for you.
The peace that we have had for the last 11 years, is because of Jonathan and all the others that have given so much. The ability to remember and think of those great qualities of giving and service- yes, because we have had the larger community of faith and resources to live our lives with hope.
So this hope is still strong in my heart that along with my friend David, I will see Jonathan again, "On that great gettin' up morning" to reach out and say, Thank you. Thank you for giving your all. Thank you for making me want to be a better person because of your gift to me and our country.
So Michelle, David, and family, that is the hope and the gift that we have this February 27.
May God bless you each one....jg
I haven't posted on here in so long. February is such a hard month for me. Not just the 27th because that day is the single worst day of my life. But the days leading up to the 27th break my heart in a completely different way. Everything was so great. I had everything in the world because I had Jon. I was such a different, happy person. Waking up next to my husband, eating dinner with him, laughing with him. He would leave me little notes in our trailer for me to see when I got back from missions. We made plans to have a date night on the 27th. He was going to pick up a pizza from the Pizza Hut on base, drop off our laundry, and we were going to watch a movie. Even in a war zone, everything was OK because I had him by my side. I've never felt so much love and I never will again. He was my soul mate. It breaks my heart to think about what should of been. We would have been married 11 years now and probably have a couple kids. It's so devastating to think about. Jon once told me about a dream he had. He dreamt of our daughter. He told me that she had curly blond hair and his mischievous smile. I wish so much that was our life. I wish we got the chance to have our future together.
Not a day goes by that I don't think of Jon. I miss him so terribly. I just want to make him proud. To live a life that he would be proud of. I hope I'm doing that.
I love you so much Jonathan.
As my Campus brother at college , I remember Jon always will be coming to the basketball court to play or run some drills. He will be the first to ask how my day went. Homework help to make sure you have a great GPA. I miss him!
Today, December 4, 2016 was one of the worst days of my life. Today, is when Jon went back to Iraq. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. The "I don't feel like eating breakfast today mom", the silence in the car driving to the airport, the hugs, the words exchanged, the tears. Who know that a few short months later I would get news that changed my life forever. That I would never see my son again.
Went to the cemetery today, left red roses by Jon's grave and a thousand thoughts raced through my mind. I will always feel this loss and the pain will stay with me for the rest of my life. Jon will never be forgotten by all those who were touched by his kindness, compassion, friendship, and especially for the love he left behind for his family, friends and fellow soldiers. We were all truly blessed to have him part of our lives....even for a short while.
Thank you son for the love you left behind for me.
Love and miss you each day.
Thinking of Jonathan and Michelle today on what would have been their 11 year wedding anniversary. Oh how I wish he could have lived to see this day! As the years continue to pass by, the thoughts and memories of my wonderful "hero" cousin continue. An extremely courageous young man who was like a little brother to me. Gone but not forgotten...can't wait to see him in heaven one day soon!
Thinking of Jon as Thanksgiving approaches again--and remembering the time (12 years ago?) that I picked him up at Fort Sam Houston for the day. Jon became a good friend during his short stay in San Antonio as he attended church on Sunday's during his training (he was staying downtown with friends on the weekend, and he always made it a point to go to church). I let Veteran's Day slip by without posting an entry, but he is always in my thoughts on special days like Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. Prayers for the family at this time, but I give THANKS to GOD for knowing Jon.
Somehow I missed writing a message on Veteran's Day but Jon was not forgotten for his service and sacrifice. And I thank all those who served with him, to those who returned, and to those who did not make it home. To all Veterans I salute you with great respect and honor.
I think of Jon every day. Numerous times during the day a memory will pop into my head. It really doesn't take much for me to think of and remember my beloved son.
Tomorrow, the Monday before Thanksgiving, marks a bitter sweet day for me. It's when Jon came home from Iraq on home leave. I thought I was dreaming until he picked me up and gave me a big hug. Tears of joy ran down my face. His home leave flew by all too quickly and before I knew it I had to drive him to the airport for his return flight to Iraq.
"Grief never ends, but it changes -
A passage, not a place to stay.
Grief is not a sign of weakness,
Nor a lack of faith.
It is the price of love."
Loving Jon today more than ever.
Missing him each day.
Rest in peace my beloved son.
With honor ... with respect ... with love. Your family is remembering you, dear Jon. Extra-specially today.
Jonathan Cadavero was truly a Veteran and even though I can't say thanks to him today I can say thanks to his parents Mr and Mrs Cadavero for blessing our world with such a gem as Jon! He served his country with distinction and so I just want to encourage the Cadavero's especially Mr David Cadavero who was my superintendent for years- the kindest and most supportive there is- to be encouraged in the fact that your son left an indelible mark on the world. Thanks for the special gift of your son and God bless you!
I don't recall where I read the following poem or who wrote it, but I feel as though someone read my mind and heart:
"I did not take the oath; I did not raise my hand.
All I did was have a child who grew up to be that man.
He did his job with honor; his men he led with pride.
He was not afraid to fight; he was not afraid to die.
The baby I held in my arms, the boy who became a man,
He put himself in danger in a foreign land.
He said not to worry; he said, "I will come home."
Those words come back to haunt me...spoken over a phone.
The knock on the door is always just a moment ago;
The tears in my eyes, the pain that breaks my soul
For I did not take the oath; I did not raise my hand.
All I did was raise a child who grew to be that man.
The baby that I held, the child I watched grow
Filled my heart with so much joy as only mothers can know
The memories of his life will stay with me forever.
The connection of our hearts can never be severed.
He is now a fallen hero and I a Gold Star Mother,
Because he gave his life for the protection of others.
But I did not take the oath; I did not raise my hand.
All I did was raise a boy who grew to be that man."
It's one thing to say how great Jon was, but to have others say it - that the true reward for me.
Miss and love you my son. Today. Tomorrow, Always.
â™« Happy birthday â™« in heaven (oopsy, a day late and a dollar short!), my dear cousin. You are thought of by all of us ever so fondly, and dearly missed!
Today Jon would have turned 35 years old. Seems like yesterday he was alive and a very active 5 year old! I often wonder had he lived where would he be and what would he be doing. I know he would not be too far from home. And whatever he would be doing (career/job wise), he would make me proud as always.
Missing Jon today, and everyday. Loving him today, always and forever.
Thank you for your service to our great nation and your ultimate sacrifice. Though I didn't get a chance to know you, I am fortunate to hear how your spirit lives on through amazing stories and tributes that continue in your name. You were the definition of hero and one great American.
Again, thank you for your service.
I read the following poem a while ago and saved it. How fitting it is for Memorial Day.
In Your Honor
Unselfishly, you left your fathers, and your mothers,
You left behind your sisters and your brothers,
Leaving your beloved children and wives,
You put on hold, your dreams - your lives.
On foreign soil, you found yourself planted
To fight for those whose freedom you granted.
Without your sacrifice, their cause would be lost
But you carried onward, no matter the cost.
Many horrors you had endured and seen.
Many faces had haunted your dreams.
You cheered as your enemies littered the ground;
You cried as your brothers fell all around.
When it was over, you all came back home,
Some were left with memories to face all alone;
Some found themselves in the company of friends
As their crosses cast shadows across the land.
Those who survived were forever scarred
Emotionally, physically, permanently marred.
Those who did not now sleep eternally
'Neath the ground they had given their lives to keep free.
With a hand upon my heart,
I feel the pride and respect, my reverence is revealed
In the tears that now stream down my upturned face
As our flag waves above you, in her glory and grace.
Freedom was the gift that you unselfishly gave
Pain and death was the price that you ultimately paid.
Every day, I give my utmost admiration
To those who had fought to defend our nation.
Thank you to all the fallen.
Thank you Jon. Not a day goes by that I don't miss you. I will love you forever.
This Memorial Day I honor the memory of my brother and all those from our armed services who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They selflessly placed the freedom and safely of others above their own lives. I am so saddened by their loss, and so grateful for their service so we can live in freedom.
I miss you every day, Jonny.
On this Memoriial Day as we remember our fallen heroes, my thoughts turn to a very dear friend and colleague, Mr. David Cadavero and his family who lost their beloved Jon in Iraq fighting for our freedoms. Please know that your son's memory lives on in our hearts. We owe a debt of gratitude to Jonathan Cadavero and the brave men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Mr. Cadavero, we cannot always see God's purpose, but we believe that all's well that's done by Him! I wish for you God's peace and comfort when sadness overwhelms you and please hold fast to your faith that you will see your beautiful son again one day soon when the Lifegiver Himself return s. God bless you all.
My deepest condolences to you Mr Cadavero. I know that this time
brings back memories of the lost of your only son but please know that you are prayed for daily for God's sustaining power. Love YOU and be strong!
Not a day goes by that I don't think of you. Yesterday in church they talked about Memorial Day. I can think about everyone I lost on my deployments without showing much emotion, but thinking of loosing you always brings a tear to my eye.
To this day you remain the standard against which I measure every Soldier that crosses my path. To date, none has measured up. I always recognized you as extraordinary in every way that a person could be extraordinary. Now, 10 years later, it is only more apparent how special and unique you are. You are loved and missed no less than when you walked the earth. I'm glad that in my mind you will always be the young, vigorous hero of my memories.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies...
Till we see each other again brother,
As I write this, I'm thinking of my wonderful cousin, Jonathan, and all the other servicemen/women who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country with honor. Recently, I saw a movie called, "Taking Chance." For those who haven't seen it, I highly recommend it! I was SO "moved" by the movie that I couldn't resist ordering it for my Uncle David, who will share it with his family. May God bless all those mourning today and bring peace that only He can provide. I can't wait until that glorious resurrection day when Jonathan and so many other soldiers will be brought back to life to spend eternity in heaven! I'm certainly looking forward to seeing my "hero" cousin again!
Mr. Cadavero I just want you to know that you and your family are in my prayers as we all remember your dear son passing years ago. Keep holding on to Jesus and you'll meet Jonathan again on that great resurrection morning.
Memorial Day - what exactly does that mean? For many it's a day off from work, a day to go to the beach, have a picnic and still for many it's a day spent at a Mall looking for the best sales. But for thousands it's a day of remembrance for a son, daughter, brother, father, uncle they lost in a war. Fighting to secure the freedom we still have in this Country. It's a day to reflect on the hardships they endured, the blood they shed, and their ultimate sacrifice. It's a day at the cemetery, placing flowers at their grave site and shedding many tears again.
Everyone should take at least a moment to remember those who proudly served and gave everything so we can be free.
I thank all the fallen, and to Jon, for their service. I salute you with utmost respect.
Remembering and thinking especially of Jon with much love and pride this MEMORIAL Day and everyday.
I love you my beloved son. Now and always.
Dear Mrs. Cadavero, we all love you and thank you for everything you've done.
Dear Mrs. Cadavero
I'm praying for you God Bless you, I love you.
Dear Mrs.Cadavero we pray and hope you remain strong knowing that God is in control.
Mrs.Cadavero we all Love you and hope the best for you.
Dear Mrs. Cadavero, Sorry for your loss. I know one day you and your son will meet up in heaven with all your family.
Mrs. Cadavero we are all here for you, and we're allways praying for you.
Dear Mrs. Cadavero,
I'm so sorry for your loss. I've heard many stories about your son, I wished I would've met him. He sounds like he was an amazing person. The moment I see you in the office you brighten up my day. I love you and don't worry you'll see him in heaven.
Mrs. Cadavero we love you and we are praying for you.
Love is a fabric that never fades, no matter how often it is washed in the waters of adversity and grief. Those we love and lose are always connected by heart strings into infinity.
Remembering Jon this Mother's Day...he was the best son any mother could have. Missing and loving Jon today and every day. Always.
This past weekend the American Gold Star Mothers, New York State Chapter (of which our mother is a member) had their annual convention. I was very honored to be asked to give the opening invocation and deliver a brief message to the gold star mothers and all others in attendance for Friday evening's Memorial Service.
For the first time in my life I was nervous speaking in public, perhaps because of the reverence I have for these gold star mothers and families. I felt Jonny with me, and his strength gave me the courage I needed to deliver both my prayer and message below:
Heavenly Father, we thank you that we are able to gather together to remember these very loved soldiers who are now with You in heaven. We ask that your angels deliver a message to these soldiers from each gold star family here, letting them know that at this moment they are being honored. Give us comfort in knowing our loved ones who are not with us, are now with You, Lord, in a place of perfect love and forever peace. And give us the strength to continue with our own lifeâ€™s purpose, and to best honor the memory of our soldier heroes, until we see them again. Amen
For the few moments we have together I would like to briefly speak to you about a recent scientific discovery on the very special relationship between a mother and child.
There is a well-known phrase which says, â€œA mother holds her child in her arms for a little while, but in her heart forever.â€
As incredible as it sounds, science has now confirmed that a mother holding her child inside her forever is literally true.
Although a child leaves their motherâ€™s body during the birthing process, the baby leaves behind special cells called fetal cells which remain inside the mother. Fetal cells are full of the childâ€™s unique DNA. Fetal cells go throughout the motherâ€™s body â€“ into her heart, her brain, everywhere. These cells become a permanent part of the mother.
The full effect of these cells is not yet known. But scientists do know that when a mother is sick or injured, fetal cells â€“ those little parts of her child â€“ travel to the site of injury and help the mother heal.
Medical researchers have discovered that specifically when a motherâ€™s heart is injured, fetal cells travel there, turn into several different type of heart cells, and help her heart to heal.
For the gold star mothers with us, who have all suffered a broken heart at the loss of your beloved child, I hope it is a comfort to you â€“ however small â€“ to know that part of your child is inside you forever â€“ sustaining you, nurturing you, and helping you heal.
The bond between a mother and her child can never be broken, neither by time, nor distance, nor separation.
Until our gold star mothers are reunited with their beautiful child in heaven, they will be literally carrying a piece of their child in their very heart.
Sending yet more â™¥ love â™¥ today, dear Jon, marking the 10-year anniversary of the day you were finally laid to rest. It was an emotional, beautiful, heartbreaking, moving ceremony, befitting of an American hero and soldier. Know that you and your fellow comrades-in-arms who made the ultimate sacrifice are remembered with love and gratitude, and missed every single day. Say hello to my sweet Italiana mama / your dear aunt up there in the Great Blue Beyond. Love you both! â™¥â™¥
Sending much â™¥â™¥ love â™¥â™¥ up to heaven to you, dear cousin Jon, in honor of your 10-year anniversary (admittedly a day late!). Your memory lives on through each of us, and your legacy of kindness, bravery, generosity, humor, and all the qualities of being a true hero and soldier here on earth are still rippling out into the Universe. God bless you on your continuing journey up there. Thoughts and prayers for your gold-star family / dear mom and dad, and beloved big sister, Kristia.
Wow...has it really been 10 years already? 10 years ago today, so many of our lives were affected forever...I remember the phone call my father received from his brother-my favorite Uncle David-and the scream of anguish from my father that I could have heard from 10 miles away...10 years later, my "hero" cousin's legacy lives on. I have missed Jonathan SO much all these years. Will never, ever forget him nor the footprints he left behind. If only he could have lived out the rest of his life with his wonderful wife, Michelle. Thinking of her on this day as well as Jonathan's family. His mother, Nadia, his father, David, and his sister, Kristia. Can't wait to see you in heaven, Cousin Jon!
It started out as a typical day 10 years ago, but ended as the worst nightmare when 2 soldiers knocked on my front door. My heart was not only broken but shattered into a thousand pieces when they told me what had happened earlier that day in Iraq. My life would never be the same from that moment. Today, marks 10 years since Jon died. According to Webster the word anniversary means: "a commemorative celebration" or a "recurrence of an event." I will go with the later meaning as today is no celebration. It's more of a milestone. I do, however, celebrate Jon's life and the young man he grew up to be. No mother could be prouder of a son.
The other week I was driving to work. It was a very cloudy, dreary day. But off in the distance there was a break in the clouds and the sun rays were shining through. I had to pull over as it was such a beautiful sight. It made me think of one of Jon's favorite hymns...."In the Sweet Bye and Bye we shall meet on that beautiful shore."
Until we meet Jon you will be missed and loved every day.
Rest in peace my beloved son.
Doc, a decade has passed, but we strive to maintain your memory and the memory of Sou and Henry bright. Thank you for your service and Sacrifice! I learned so much from you and hope to approach challenges as you always did.
Until we meet again! Thundercat 16
On this day I am remembering the sacrifice of the Cadavero family and my Friend David's son, Jonathan.
The text of scripture Psalm 116:15 comes to mind. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."
First, we often refer to this text in relation to older Christians. We don't often think of young strong and yes, a soldier as being a Saint. Jonathan was one of God's Saints. He put his life on the line to do what Christ asked. Those soldiers that he saved everyday up until his death represented Christ's words, "I was sick and you visited me...!" Christ said, "No greater love than you lay down your life for another..."
Second, God is remembering Jonathan today as a "precious " thought. He sees...He hears. Resurrection day is coming! 10 years ...yes but soon and very soon we will be home!
May God comfort you today....jg
They say when you lose a child, the Holidays/birthday are the worst times of the year. Which is true to a point. It's hard to celebrate with a loved one missing. But for me, I think the month of February is really the hardest and worst because it's a month of "lasts" for me. I have a tendency of being late with birthday cards and anniversaries etc. Sometimes I totally forget altogether. Yet, I can recall the exact day Jon's last card arrived, the last email I received. I can recall word for word our last conversation and the exact time of day he called. Once a mom always a mom. You don't stop being a mom regardless of how old your child is, or even if they have passed away. I miss Jon every day. I think of him countless times each day and will love him until I pass away.
Rest in peace my beloved son. Love you today, tomorrow, and always.
The Holidays have come and gone and for most a faint memory by now. Some Holiday traditions are still kept, others have been done away with. There's that empty chair at the table that will remain empty forever. When he was home Jon's voice would fill the room/house with laughter. Now silent. For me there are too many memories. Too much pain. There was no Christmas tree....with less presents underneath. But the greatest two gifts I ever received had come from God. One I called Kristia. The other I called Jon.
Rest in peace by beloved Son. I miss and love you more today than ever before.
Thinking of my "hero" cousin today on the 10th anniversary of his marriage to his lovely bride, Michelle. Ironically on that same day, I bought the first brand new car I've ever owned. The car is still alive and well, 203,000 miles later. I only wish I could say the same about Jonathan. He is missed every day and always will be. There's no question in my mind that had he lived, he and Michelle would be celebrating their "special anniversary" today. I imagine they'd have a few kids by now too. Just wanted them both to know I'm thinking of them today, on their special day. Love, Cousin Jeffrey
Today as we celebrate another Veterans Day, our thoughts naturally turn to those who gave their all for our freedom and safety, their families and those who still serve. Mr. David Cadavero is a dear and special individual with whom I've had the pleasure of working as we serve together as educators in the Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Today I want to remind Mr. Cadavero and family as they think about their Beloved Jonathan, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of us, that the God of Heaven is still in control and we can trust Him even when there seem to be no answers. Stay comforted in the Loving Arms of Jesus! Many are praying for you. Thank you Jonathan Cadavero! Thanks to all Veterans!
Thank you for your service. May this country never forget your ultimate sacrifice.
Recently I went on a trip to Sedona, Arizona. In an old train museum I saw the following poem and and immediately thought of Jon:
"I'm riding the train to Heaven's gate
The sky is blue and the air is clear.
For I feel my Lord is very near.
I've lived a good life but it's time to go
It's hard to leave the family & friends I've had
But there's so much ahead I want to know.
Seeing old family & friends will make me glad.
I'll see my Savior face to face
And all my sins I'll leave behind
I'll claim my place through my Lord's grace
For He is wonderfully kind."
How sad that Jon "had to go".........he is missed more than words can say.
Rest in peace my beloved son. Love you now & forever.
Today, Jon's birthday, I should have been making his favorite meal, wrapping at least a dozen presents instead of bringing flowers to his grave.I sat by his grave for the longest time thinking of the day he was born. He was so bright eyed, alert and already probably thinking of funny things to do and or say.What an amazing boy/son he was. A mother's dream. My dream. I'm grateful for the years I had him but it was cut all too short. Every day I mourn and miss him beyond words. I have so many memories which I hold close to my heart. I can close my eyes and almost see him, hear his voice....see that smile that told me he was up to no good!! We had such a close strong bond not even death can break it.
Love you now & forever my dear beloved son. Until we meet at that beautiful shore...
Happy birthday dear Jony, miss you and can't wait to introduce you to my family one day in heaven. I know we will laugh a lot!
Happy birthday in heaven, dear cousin. We just KNOW you're making all the angels laugh up there. You are missed each day! Ëš Ëšâœ°Ëš Ëš Ëšâœ°Ëš
Memorial Day Weekend - the official start of the summer season, a 3 day weekend for most, people off from work, schools closed, some small towns having parades, some go to a cemetery. However, Memorial Day is a day set aside to show respect and gratitude for the men & women who served in the military and made the ultimate sacrifice.
For me today was a day attending a memorial service at the Veterans Cemetery and placing flowers at Jon's grave site. American Flags were at each grave site, and there were lots of people standing by the grave site of the loved one they lost. As I stood there looking around I thought of the men & women who continue to go into battle so freedom's light will not die.These men & women face grave dangers with courage because they believe in peace and freedom.
But most of all today, I thought of Jon and the dangers he must have faced each day. I know he faced them with courage and faith. For me as a mother, every day is Memorial Day as I think of, remember and miss my son more than words can ever say.
Thank you Jon for your courage and bravery. I love you today, tomorrow, always & forever.
As we celebrate another Memorial Day our hearts and love go out to all military families and especially to families that have paid the ultimate price - the loss of a loved one. My special thoughts and prayers go out to the Cadavero family, a family very close to my heart that lost their beloved Jon. May God's peace be yours today and always and may you be comforted in the thought that your dear son and brother gave his all helping mankind. God bless you all!
Thinking of Jon today and remembering him as young 8th grader coming to visit our school at Garden State Academy and wanting to play with the big boys and holding his own with an outside shot that had to be respected. Words are not enough but thank you for having been willing to protect my freedom and giving your full measure in the process. God Bless the Cadavero Family on this day and God Bless the USA!
Thinking of Jon today and remembering and honoring him for the supreme sacrifice that he made for our country. I willl always treasure the short friendship I had with him. I met him when he was attending church services in San Antonio Texas during his training at Fort Sam Houston. He was a very special friend and he is always in my memory. MY thoughts are always with his family.
I wanted to share with everyone something that I wrote on my website this morning.
"Memorial Day Message 2016"
A few days ago I spoke with a friend of mine whose second home is in Jerusalem. She offered me and my family condolences on the loss of my brother, Sgt. Jon, as the American Memorial Day approached.
I asked her what the Israeli Memorial Day, called Yom Hazikaron, is like. As she described it, I felt an intense swell of envy, because I wish my country celebrated our holiday as they do in Israel.
On Yom Hazikaron, for twenty-four hours (from sunset to sunset) all public places, including movie theaters and pubs, are closed. All radio and television stations broadcast programs detailing the lives and heroic deeds of fallen soldiers, interspersed with patriotic songs.
The sounds of sirens are heard throughout the land twice, the first at 8:00 PM the evening before and the second at 11:00 AM on the actual day.
During the two minutes immediately after the sirens, all activities are stopped and people's heads are bowed in reverence as they remember their country's deceased soldiers. Even those driving in vehicles stop their car, stand outside it, and lower their heads in prayer.
For those two minutes, after the two siren calls on Yom Hazikaron, there is literally a nationwide standstill in Israel.
In contrast, it is very unfortunate that most Americans are not even aware of the purpose of our Memorial Day. Commercialism now dominates the day, with special sales urging consumers to buy more, spend more, want more.
Memorial Day is not a holiday to celebrate the start of summer. It is a solemn day to offer thankfulness to our fallen American soldiers and the great sacrifices of their families.
It is easy in a country as powerful as ours to forget our soldiers. America has two friendly neighbors to our north and south, and two large oceans on either side providing security from invasion. We do not have to worry about annihilation as the Israeli's do.
So it is understandable that as a country we have become complacent regarding our armed forces. Similarly, most of us never pay much attention to the front door of our home, we take it for granted because it is always there. But if our front door were missing, we would notice it immediately.
Our soldiers are like that front door. Because of their bravery, we don't have to worry about a foreign army entering our home.
I gently urge everyone who is reading this to spend two minutes on this Memorial Day remembering our fallen soldiers through prayer, the sending of positive energy, or even just a solemn thank you to the heavens.
To all our Gold Star Families in America who are mourning the loss of their soldier, I pray God gives you a solace that only He can give.
"The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26
Kristia Markarian, Jon's sister
Jon always found a way to make me laugh. I remember him being kind, friendly and a warm soul. I'm sorry for your loss and sorry I just heard. May God bless your family
As another Memorial Day approaches I remember and think fondly of my friendship was Sergeant John Cadavero, whom I met when he was training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio Texas. He is forever in my thoughts and prayers as is his family. It is men like Jonathan, and others who gave their lives for our country, that we honor on a day like this.
Jon was the classmate who made it his duty to promote dedication and patriotism in the midst of a class. He spoke of the need to join the war...share the vision of the then president and was often encouraging others to see his side of the dialogue.
His passion was equally displayed in class with heated debates on theories he thought should be advanced. I remember when we shared our goodbyes after ending classes he would always end with some jokes...
That's th e Jon I remember and salute.
I attended college with Jon. He was always so friendly and cheerful, truly one of the nicest guys there. I'm glad this website was set up, as I've wanted to share my condolences with his family and loved ones, but didn't know how. Please know that I will continue to pray for you as we look forward to seeing him again on that glorious day when Christ returns. Peace and love to you all.
It doesn't take this Memorial Day weekend to remember Jon. We will ALWAYS remember. Love and thoughts to his family.
Jon was so awesome! I got to work with him at the library at CUC (now WAU). He was friendly and funny. He had this thing where he would come up to me, pick up the scanner, and say, "Do not scan your eyeball for it will burn your retina!" and then he would laugh in a sinister manner. I know, one of those things you had to be there for but I got a laugh out of it.
He had a passion for life and for his country and he served proudly. I sometimes have to remember that in a ways because we had this agreement where I would type up his papers (he hated typing so would write them out) and he'd pay me. One of the things he had me type was the letter/essay for Officer training. I know he would have gone in regardless of whether I had been the one to type it or not but sometimes I can't help feel like I contributed to his death even in a seemingly small way.
He was a great friend and a kind spirit. Thank you for your service Jon. Can't wait to laugh with you in Heaven.
Part of me is ashamed that it took so long to find this. Maybe I was hiding from the pain of finally coming to terms with Jon being gone.
I first met Jon on our first day at Combat Medic School. He slept in the bunk below me. He sat next to me in class. He was my battle buddy everywhere we went. When I got hurt and had to be on crutches, he switched bunks with me so I wouldn't have to climb up. He carried my books and my aid bag and never complained once about it. When I was fighting with my girlfriend he talked me through it. When my grandma was in the hospital and close to death he sat with me while I cried. When I failed a test, he helped me study. When I found out I was getting pulled from training to have surgery, he got me ice for my hand after I punched a wall.
I only knew Jon for four months. But in those four months he became one of the best friends I've ever had. We laughed like brothers and we fought like brothers.
I remember one time we were getting ready for lights out at the end of a day. I was cleaning my locker and I look in the mirror on the inside of my door..... Jon had snatched my coveted Oklahoma University hat off my bed and put it on. There's only a few things you don't mess with with me and my OU hat is one of them. He cackled that crazy cackle of his and took off running. Well of course I gave chase and like brothers a wrestling match ensued. He is still the only person to successfully make off with my hat.
Jon was an amazing friend. One of the finest soldiers and men I've ever known. Every year on Memorial Day, I take time to remember him. I pull out the old picture of us as we were getting ready for a Class A inspection and I smile and tell all his crappy jokes. They're still some of the funniest things I've ever heard.
If any of the family can or would like. I would love to talk with you about my time with Jon and share some of my memories and hear some of your stories. Jeredlogan@yahoo.com 208-409-8251
I will always miss him.
My condolences to friends and family.
THANK YOU. You were truly a fighter for the Lord, God bless your family
Thinking of you today Jonny...
We remember Jonny every day, but especially on an "anniversary" such as this. We went to the cemetery and placed yellow flowers there. We recounted fond memories and we wished Jonny was still here in order to form new ones.
A few weeks ago, for the first time in almost nine years, we put on display Jon's veteran burial American flag, display case, and medals. We were both in tears.
We want to thank everyone who has reached out to us and our family today, and for those who wrote messages on this website. The love and remembrances that many have for Jon is a comfort and source of strength for us.
Jon was a collector of inspirational quotes. Below is one of his favorites.
"Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing save the limit of your sight." - Rossiter Raymond
Jonny, we know you're just over the horizon watching over us. We miss you and love you.
Jon's sister and brother-in-law
Nine years since you let us Jon. I still remember all of the conversations we used to have while on mission. Especially the ones about coming home and training to play basketball. How time has flown but it still seems like yesterday. We all miss you buddy, we miss all of you every single day. Rest easy buddy
9 years ago today....February 27, 2007. I didn't know that morning the pain that day would bring. Jon was so far away when his heart stopped beating. At the time I didn't know and couldn't do a thing. No words can heal the heartache or stop the silent tears, or take away the memories of a son I love so dearly. Jon's resting place I visited today, the flowers I placed with care. But nothing compares to the pain I felt when I turned and left him there......
Will always miss and love my beloved son, Jon.
I served with Jon in the 2nd BSTB fort drum. What a character he was. Seeing such a bright light extinguished makes us question religion and why things happen the way they do in life. God's will is a mystery.
"when he gets to heaven
To Saint Peter he will tell
Another soldier reporting in
"Sir, I've served my time in hell"
Doc, the last 9 years seem to be building speed and each anniversary comes faster and faster. Despite the time that has passed, you are not forgotten and very missed. Your selfless service stands as an example to me today and reminds me of the important things in life. I look forward to our reunion on that sweet day when all of our earthly cares will be forgotten. Until then, I will endeavor to be worthy of your, Henry's and Soukenka's Sacrifice.
It seems like a few days ago that my friend, David, called to deliver the horrible final news of his sons death. Now, these many days later there is still a rawness to the news from the ongoing conflict. There is a personal connection to the questions, debates, and news that has gone on and on and on. The story of any American soldier falling continues to have the connection to my Friend's families pain and suffering.
The promise that helps carry beyond this raw pain is to remember the promise, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thess. 4:16-18
Another month, another February. Many days/months are hard but this month is the hardest even harder than any holiday. February is a reminder when I spoke to Joh for the last time, received his last card and, not to mention, the day I lost Jon. I have learned over the years that you can't put a time frame on mourning/grieving. It stays with you constantly. There is no escape. Not a day passes that I don't think of or miss Jon. One would think it gets easier. The years have just left a bigger hole in my heart. I still struggle why God gave me such a wonderful incredible son only to take him from me. This is something I will never quite understand. There are things in life that we don't want to happen but somehow have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't/don't want to live without but have no choice in doing so. As I look upon Jon's pictures (which are all over the house) sweet memories I recall of his face so full of mischief and a smile for one and all. That WAS Jon. Goodbye is not forever, goodbye is not the end. It simply means I miss you Jon until we meet again. See you in heaven. In the meantime, rest in peace my beloved son.
Love you now & always
Dear Friends of SgtJon.com website,
In approximately five weeks, on February 27, 2016, it marks nine years since the tragic passing of Sgt. Jonathan D. Cadavero in Baghdad, Iraq. It can honestly be said that Jonathan learned how to live life to its fullest â€“ every day...and that he impacted hundreds of people during his brief duration of 24 years on this earth. The quality and scope of his life was inspirational. Jon's humanitarian concern for others had no boundaries. For instance, Dan Patterson, patrol leader of Jonathan's convoy in Baghdad, signed Jonathan's website and said that on one occasion while doing route clearance (attempting to find and neutralize roadside bombs/IEDs), a bullet ricocheted and severely wounded an Iraqi civilian who was a passenger in a car crossing paths with the convoy. He further stated that he saw "Doc" (as Jon, the medic, was affectionately called) running by him (without any cover) with his medic bag and was going to do his job. He had to scramble to get security in place to protect Doc. Patterson further observed, "I don't think Doc noticed or even cared that he was alone at the moment. He was in the zone and doing the job that he loved. He knew that there was a person that needed care that only he could provide and he was going to provide it regardless of race, nationality, religion, language, friend, or foe. Doc saved that man's life that day. I learned a lot that day as the patrol leader...the biggest thing I learned was that Doc was someone I wanted to be like â€“ courageous, faithful, fearless to do the right thing regardless the situation."
That is how Sgt. Jonathan D. Cadavero lived his life â€“ with a sense of caring, purpose, and meaning. While serving in Iraq, Jonathan told his sister that he "was not afraid of dying." Perhaps Jonathan was not afraid of dying because of the way he lived. His life was not a wasted life. He lived it with integrity, character, worked and honed his craft as a medic, and had a huge impact on his fellow soldiers in Iraq...and hundreds who admired and respected him back home.
Rabbi Harold Kushner in his book, "When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough," made the following poignant observation, "It is only when you are no longer afraid to die that you can say that you are truly alive." He further stated, "I believe that it is not dying that people are afraid of. We are afraid of never having lived, of coming to the end of our days with the sense that we were never really alive, that we never figured out what life was for." Paralleling this observation, the philosopher Horace Kallen said, "There are persons who shape their lives by the fear of death, and persons who shape their lives by the joy and satisfaction of life. The former live dying; the latter die living."
Sgt. Jonathan D. Cadavero lived his life to the fullest with a sense of purpose. His lasting legacy was in his desire to serve others...even at the risk of his own life. Jonathan's selfless service was not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth or power. He demonstrated how to live life so that his life on earth was not one lacking seriousness of purpose or a demonstration of self aggrandizement, but instead worthy of emulation.
He left this world a better place than when he entered it â€“ and many, many lives were beneficiaries as a result of him having crossed their paths. Jonathan learned that there is loneliness in looking out for number one, and that only a life serving others will have lasting meaning. To God be the glory!
GOD BLESS AMERICA
David A. Cadavero
If you are not forgotten, then somehow -- in some sort of way -- you live on. We're still here for you.
I wrote about you on my new website today, right after Charles and I brought you flowers at the cemetery. I'm going to copy/paste it below so all who come to your website will see it. The title of the article is "What Jonny Would Say to All Our Veterans (If He Could)."
At around this time my brother, Jon, would have mailed all his Veterans Day cards. He began this tradition when he was eight years old. Once Halloween was over, Jon would get to work making a list of every veteran he knew, from family to friends to neighbors. He would choose a card for each, and then write a personal note thanking them for their service to our country.
It has been ten years since Jonny sent out his complete stack of Veterans Day cards. In 2005, Jon was in Fort Drum and despite a busy training schedule he was able to send out his notes as usual. In 2006, Sgt. Jon was stationed in Fort Stryker in Baghdad. Although his frequent missions prevented him from sending as many cards as he would have liked, he still managed to send notes to family members and a handful of his oldest friends. In 2007, Jon was celebrating Veterans Day in heaven.
I believe that despite time and distance and separation, love has no boundaries. There are times when I can feel Jon's heart - which was very large on earth and I imagine is infinite in heaven - connect with mine. So here is my humble human attempt to put to words what Jonny's heart communicated.
Dear American Veterans,
Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifices. Thank you for protecting our great nation.
I am so GRATEFUL for all of you. I wish I could write a note of thanks and encouragement to every veteran and soldier. It's so important to say thank you because it's a small measure of providing someone with the value and the worth you place on them.
As a boy, whenever I saw a soldier in uniform or discovered that someone was a veteran, I would thank them for their service. It wasn't an arbitrary phrase for me, but a genuine appreciation. And I hope that all the soldiers and veterans I thanked were also thanked by every other America who crossed their paths. It's a small gesture, but it's a way to show our veterans that they are respected.
I do feel some envy for you, because you have the best job in the world of being protectors of every man, woman, and child in our great country. I loved being a soldier, but there is obviously no need for that in the heavenly home where I now reside.
I'll be waiting to greet you on the other side of the horizon, and until then I will be looking out for you with love.
From one veteran to another...I have learned so much about you from your sister, Kristia. I know we would have been best friends. Many of the stories Kristia has told me about you have uncovered similarities that I didn't know existed, i.e. our love for French crullers.
Because I am a veteran, I was able to play a FREE round of golf today, and wish you could have been with me. We would have had a blast.
Kristia and I speak about you often, and I feel that I know you as a result of what she has related to me about you. My service to our great nation pales in comparison to your sacrifice. You are a hero.
Although we never met, I feel as if I know you. We would have had so much fun pranking Kristia, but I'm doing the best I can without you.
The brother-in-law you haven't met yet,
Jon, thank you for your dedication, commitment, and courage! Our family will always remember you and pray for your family. We look forward to meeting you on Resurrection Morning!
Mr. Cadavero and Family, My heart and sincere thoughts always turn to you on days like these as we reflect on your son Jonathan Cadavero and the ultimate sacrifice he made on America's, indeed the world's behalf. I pray that the God of all comfort will continue to encircle you and your family, Mr Cadavero, in His Loving Arms and bring you peace amidst your grief. Please be comforted in the thought that others are praying for you often. Thank you Jonathan! You gave the ultimate and I am grateful!!!
Mrs. Cadavero you and your family are in our prayers....especially today as we reflect on your sons great sacrifice for our freedom.
John Cadevero was a soldier that fought for our country, I'm sure he was a brave and kind person. So today, on veteren's day we honor and salute him for all he has done. Rest In peace, John Cadevero.
Jon, it's been years but not a second goes by I still don't think about you. Brother you really are a rarity in this world. People might say were, but in my mind you always "are". I will never forget you and our talks about "jersey ny mentality". Rest easy and we will all see you soon God willing.
I was in the same platoon with Cadavero in AIT. Good ole Bravo 232. He always had a joke ready while we were in formation, while we were going to class, while we were getting smoked. He always had a way to make us laugh. He made AIT just a smidge easier by being there in formation behind me, making me laugh. We lost touch when we went our separate ways, and I wish I had tried harder to stay in touch. I am forever changed by his presence in my life, and I am grateful to have known him. I remember his love for quotes. I have always loved collecting quotes and lyrics, and I heard a song today that brought his laughter to my ears. He was an amazing person and the world is a little darker without him in it.
"I hear bagpipes cryin' amazing grace
Omaha beach and her crashing waves
Old glory draped like heavens mercy
Over the fallen sons
I see all the heroes who were willing to fight
In the name of freedom
Laying down their lives
And praying gods grace would keep us safe from harm
Til they brought us boys back home"
Jon, I will always miss you. I think of you often.
Shortly after Jon died a friend's mother sent me the following poem - author unknown:
"Think of the joy he left behind
of his cheerful smile and laughter
Think of his loving words and deeds
That will live forever after.
Think of all these wonderful things
and even though he's gone
Within your heart and memory
Your dear son will live on."
Today, on Jon's birthday..........thinking of him more than usual. Till my memory fades and life departs, Jon will live forever in my heart. "Happy heavenly birthday". Miss & love you more than ever.
Once again our hearts and thoughts turn to the men and women who, because of love for their country, paid the ultimate sacrifice. I wish for all the families who lost loved ones God's continued peace and comfort. Indeed this nation owes you a huge debt of gratitude! To Mr. David Cadavero and his dear family, I wish for you strength to face each new day with hope and I pray you will be able to continue to stand tall like the mighty oak for all the world to see. And when the winds are high and restless, and you lose a limb or two, may it only make you stronger. I pray that you remain protected and cradled in the Loving Arms of God like the cherished children that you are. Stay Blessed! You are in our prayers!
Sincerely, Sonia L. Barrett and Family
Dear David, Nadia, & Kristia:
Although we never met Jonathan, we often think of him and remember his valor and sacrifice in our home. We really wish he was with you today and that the tragic day in Iraq had never happened. Yet, we are grateful, as many millions are, for his courage and love for this land and for others. It is because of him and others like him that we are able to live without terror, worship without fear, give without restraint, and serve without limit. We wish we could say this to Jon today, since we cannot say it to him, we say it to you: THANK YOU!
Today, as our entire family gathers around the computer to write this note, we want you to know that we love you and pray for you. Can't wait for the day when Jesus will return Jon to you!
Blessings & Much Love
Jose, Joanne, Jose III, & Joel Cortes
So proud of the service your son has provided for his fellow soldiers and for us in this country. So sorry for your loss. Your family will be in my prayers. Thank you so much for your awesome son & his courage. Much love.
I think back on Memorial Day 2005 when Jon was asked to lead the parade in Hohokus, NJ. Who knew that would be his only and last time to be in a parade. Hopefully most Americans paused today to think of and honor all the fallen who made the ultimate sacrifice. American soldiers do not fight because they note what is in front of them, but because they love what is behind them. To all those who served and died in the line of duty I salute you with much respect & thanks.
To Jon who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country because he believed in what he was doing:
Your life was a blessing
Your memory a treasure
You are loved beyond words
And missed beyond measure.
Resti in peace my beloved son.
Remembering my cousin Jonathan this Memorial Day weekend. His memory lives on.
Remembering Jon on another Memorial day-- and ,always being thankful for the short time that I knew him.
Mrs. Cadavero I just love the way your eyes light up when you speak of your wonderful son. My only regret is that I did not have the opportunity to meet him. His legacy lives on. I see him everywhere in school, and what a blessing that is. It is with great pride that I speak with the students about Sgt. Jonathan Cadavero as he is such a great example of what we aspire for our students; a person who is exemplary, kind, giving, loving, full of energy and laughter, a person willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, themselves.
Mrs. Cadavero and family, thank you for sharing Sgt. Jon Cadavero with us. I am personally blessed.
From my heart to yours
Dear Cadavero family,
I've heard so many wonderful things about Sgt. Jon Cadavero. From what I've heard, he sounds like a really nice guy. I remember learning about the fact that that Sgt. Jon Cadavero would donate so much to the school. If a student couldn't pay the tuition Jon would pay for that student. Mrs. Cadavero would share some of his pranks and jokes, he was very funny. I also know that he died in a war. :( We held a Sgt. Jon Cadavero memorial fund Walk-a-Thon on May 21,2015. We (The Waldwick SDA School) have this every school year. It's very fun.
Did you know that.....We have a gymnasium dedicated to Jonny boy or for more respect Stg. Jon Cadavero. If you celebrate his birthday please remember all the things he has done for this school. Also, for your family. So just letting you know all the things we do for him. The school does for him. Just remember that you will see him in heaven.
Sincerely, The 5th and 6th grade
Sgt. Johnathan Cadavero was a brave person who died protecting the country and loved ones he cared for and will be forever remembered by the hearts that he touched through his great deeds,he did on this earth
I didn't really know you but your Mom has told me some good things that you done for our school and country. You sound like a guy I could really hang out with. Lastly I wanna say thank you for contributing to our school and our country. I hope one day i will see you in Heaven where we can chill and you can see your Mom who loves you so. Hope to see you again
Sincerely: Nigel Durand youngbreezy!!!!!!!!!!
Sgt. John Cadavero was a heroic young man, i would like to say thank you for what he did. He will always be remembered as an amazing person. Sgt. John Cadavero served for his country and is a brave man for it. We will always remember , cherish, love, and always think about our Waldwick hero, Sgt. John Cadavero. Rest In Peace. Your legacy will not be forgotten.
Tenderly may time heal your sorrow.
Gently may friends ease your pain.
Softly may peace replace heartaches
And may warmest memories remain.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
May the constant love of caring friends soften your sadness.
May cherished memories bring you moments of comfort.
May lasting peace surround your grieving heart.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be blessed," (Matthew 5:4).
I know that you are going through troubling times because of the loss of your son but, don't let these things bring you down. If you bring these problems to Christ He can comfort your heart and you can still be happy for everything he has done for you. You can live your life without regrets. Just remember that Jesus loves you and is always on your side. Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened!
"Beyond the Rainbow's End, there lies
The land of love and light
Where shadows never dim the skies
For there, there is no night...
And though the loss is hard to bear
Of loved ones, or of friend
we know that we shall find them there
Beyond the Rainbow's End...
"No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Joshua 1:5)
Dear Cadavero family,
Although I did not know Jon I still feel his presence here. You have told us so much about him and I know I may never feel that same hurt. He has done much for this school and he will never really die as long as we keep the memories alive and burning in our hearts. He will always be in our hearts. Thank you for your sacrifice to this country.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:18-31. Words of encouragement. Stay strong!
Dear Mrs. Cadavero,
Your sons sacrifice will forever be in our hearts and minds :). Thank you for your service Jon
Dear Cadavero Family,
I am so sorry for your loss! Jonathan's memory will forever live on in the lives of many whether it be the students at the Waldwick Adventist school or the ones that he has greatly impacted. I Thank You Stg. Jon Cadavero for your service to this country!
The halls are decorated with your pictures, the gymnasium is named after you, your sacrifice and courage we will always hold close to our hearts and are forever thankful. We salute you Sgt. Cadavero. Semper Fi.
Dear loyal supporters and avid readers of the Sgt. Jonathan D. Cadavero website:
I would like to share something that should be of interest. Several years after Jon's death, the Cadavero family received an unexpected "gift" from the Pentagon. It was a 460 page book, "When It Mattered Most-
Remembering Our Fallen Medical Personnel in Iraq-Afghanistan" compiled by Dr. S. Ward Casscells, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. Approximately every two pages was a photograph and a biographical sketch of a fallen hero. The book was dedicated to medical personnel who were killed and the families they left behind. Dr. Cassells made the heart wrenching observation, "When it mattered most, these medical personnel answered the call." The book included 219 medical personnel who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Underlying each account is the fact that altruism and the willingness to sacrifice one's own life for a fellow soldier is not only possible, but a daily reality that each of these brave men and women met "head-on." Sgt, Jonathan D. Cadavero was one of the medics among the fallen heroes and received 9 decorations, including the Bronze Star, one of the highest honors given by the U.S. Army for valor under enemy fire. Jonathan was part of a profession requiring skill, compassion and the kind of fortitude to be simultaneously a warrior and a healer. He carried out his responsibilities selflessly and courageously.
Dr, Cassells assigned 15 research assistants to compile personal profiles for each fallen hero. Included in Jon's biographical sketch are the following observations:
(1) "Cadavero was a medic with the platoon tasked with hunting IED's (improvised explosive devices)
and disposing of them before they could explode-one of the most vital and dangerous assignments
(2) "Even given the choice of staying on base to work in a medical clinic, Cadavero insisted on being
on the front lines." (so he could save the lives of more soldiers, than if he served exclusively
in a clinic.)
As proud as we are of Jonathan's humanitarian courage and desire for selfless service, it is only a thumbnail sketch of the incredible human being he developed into. His entire life from childhood to adulthood was a living testimony of a person with high principles and exemplary standards of behavior and deportment. It would not be an exaggeration to say that he consistently maintained a standard of personal living and a lifestyle worthy of emulation.
The late Charles Spurgeon made the following poignant observation, "A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots
have withered. Carve your name on hearts not marble." Jon carved his name on hundreds and hundreds of hearts, and his legacy of love, compassion and courage will continue to be remembered-today, tomorrow and into eternity. He is looking forward to hearing the words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
David A. Cadavero
Sometimes when I can't sleep for one reason or another, I remember things I have read and recall certain passages that have stuck with me.
"There is a sacredness in tears.
They are not the mark
of weakness, but of power.
They speak more eloquently
than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of
and unspeakable love."
Miss & love you Jon. Now & always.
I thank you for your ultimate sacrifice.
8 years ago today, my "awesome hero cousin", Jonathan, gave up his life for our country. He was like a little brother to me and I loved him dearly! From playing hacky sack at our grandparents house in the Bronx to going to a Yankees game with him, I will always cherish the memories spent with Jon. I long for the day when I will be reunited with him so I can thank him in person for his tremendous sacrifice made on this day 8 years ago...rest in peace, my precious cousin! I'll see you in the morning....
Think of you through out the year Jon, .... but as time gets closer to this date, during the month of February, I think even harder of you & your family missing you, I say more prayers then usual. I will never forget your sacrifice, and will be forever grateful. God Bless you always, with love...
God bless you and keep you Jon. We miss you very much.
Eight years today Jon was killed in Iraq. A million tears have been shed over the years. To say I miss him would be an understatement. To say I love him simply is not enough. He was my only son, my frequent confidant, my best friend, and now my forever hero.
Rest in peace my beloved son. Love & miss you forever & always.
You are so very dearly missed, dear cousin. Taken from this earthly realm much too soon! You are your family’s guardian angel, as well as for those of us in your extended family – including your comrades-in-arms. Keep the angels laughing up there!
8 years Doc. I honor your memory today and again commit to living my life and serving our nation and the army in a manner worthy of your, Henry's and Soukenkas's sacrifice. Thank you for your sacrifice, I miss you. It is warming to the heart to see all of those that have posted to Facebook toady about this fateful day. All of your brothers remember you three and Michael, and we all have a part of your spirit with us still today.
February is the most difficult month for me. Wish I could just erase it and go back more than 8 years when Jon was alive and with us. In fact I wish I could go way back when Jon was born and just start over and have him for years & years to come. I wish.......I wish......I wish.....I saw a small clipping in a newspaper not too long ago. The author was unknown but the words have stayed with me: "As you comprehend this profound loss, let yourself cry knowing each tear is a note of love rising to the heavens." Heaven must be overflowing with my tears by now!
Miss & love you dearly my beloved son.
I have been a bit remiss in posting memories and comments on this site, and for that I apologize. I think of Jon often, for it is hard to believe how much time as passed since I made his acquaintance and became friends when he attend church while undergoing his training at Fort Sam Houston. We became even closer, along with others, when he joined several of us for Thanksgiving dinner at a friends home on the river--and then meeting his family when he attended church on his graduation weekend. There isn't a day that goes by that he isn't in my thoughts--and that his family is still in my prayers.
Hi, I wanted to speak to you regarding your site www.sgtjon.com, give me a call 877-405-8518. - Luke Goodman
I am very sorry for your loss. Your son made all of us proud for what he did. We will all miss him.
Brooklyn SDA School
Veterans Day is a time of remembrance and reflection. We have remembered Jon, as well as all of our veterans and soldiers, most especially today. Thank you for your sacrifice and service so that we can live in freedom. God Bless you.
Charles and Kristia
(brother-in-law and sister of Sgt. Jon)
On the front cover of a Veterans Day card the following was written:
"A Prayer for Veterans
Proud of our nation,
they answered her call -
Defending the freedom and safety for all.
On land or on sea,
or in jets high above,
They went out of duty
and honor and love.
But however they served, Lord,
wherever they went,
Please bless them and help them
to know what it meant!
And help us to thank them,
on Veteran's Day -
For we owe them far more than we ever could say."
To Jon and all those who served with him, to the family members and friends who also served - thank you for your courage and commitment to freedom. You have given so much to our great country.
Thinking of and remembering Jon today (and every day) .............
Miss & love you always
Sometimes it is hard to find the right words to put on this website. I read not too long ago that there are some who bring a light so bright to the world that even after they are gone, the light remains. On this Veterans Day...in Jon's memory...I salute a life so beautifully lived that his light will never go out.
Miss Jon every day....will love him always.
We pray that you have a peaceful day today. Know that we are thinking of you and praying for you and your family.
Mrs. Plaisir and Grades 5 & 6
The following are some words of thanks grades 3 and 4 would like to share with you and your family today.
Thank you Mrs. Cadavero for being such as great lady. I hope you feel better. God bless you. (Valerie)
Thank you for letting your son make such a sacrifice for us. (Tyrique)
Thank you for everything. I'm really sad that your son passed away, but he served our country. I'm glad that he served for America. (Irving Manuel)
Thank you for letting your son in the war so that we can have a good life. (Luckson)
Thank you for allowing your son to go into the military. Even though he died while serving our country we still remember him and all the good things he has done for us. God bless you. (Love, Nadine)
Thank you for letting your son go to the army. I really appreciate your sacrifice. Love you! (Brianna)
Thank you for letting your son sacrifice his life to give our country freedom. (Kyanna)
Thank you for letting your son Sgt. Jon Cadavero sacrifice his life for our freedom. (Lynette)
Thank you for your son dying for us. He was a nice guy and funny too. I know you feel sad but God bless you! You are still a mom. (Ivan)
Thank you for making me remember Veteran's Day. (Balfre)
Thank you for letting your son Jonathan C. fight for freedom. He was a great man. He loves to stand up for himself. (Emily)
Happy Veteran's Day. I am sorry about what happened in the military. I know how that feels. (Emily)
Happy Veterans Day. I know how that feels because my grandma died. (Tia)
I feel bad for you. I know how it feels to be lonely, but God is by your side. When we go to heaven you will meet him there, and you will laugh and play. (Sheila)
Thank you for all that your son did. May God be by your side. (Abigail)
We love you. We are thinking of you on this Veterans Day.
Dear Mrs. Cadavero,
On this sad day for you here are some quotes to let you know how greatly appreciative we are for Johnny's sacrifice. Just something to make you smile and know that he didn't die for nothing :)
"They fell but, o'er their glorious grave floats free the banner of the cause they died to save"
- Francis Marion Crawford
" There are not words big enough.
There is not a hug strong enough.
There is not a smile wide enough.
All I can offer is thank you.
He is our hero.
He is in our thoughts.
He is in our prayers.
For all he's done THANK YOU"
One thing that you said always stuck with me. You said that one of the reasons Johnny chose to fight was so we wouldn't have to suffer and so we could be free. That thought really touched me and I will never forget it. So thank you Johnny for fighting :)
Mr. Cadavero and Family, As we remember the fallen soldiers of our country on this Veterans' Day, my mind naturally goes back to you and your dear Son Jonathan who we lost in Iraq some seven years ago. Truly your son was a cut above the rest as he gave up the comforts of home, family and friends to fight for our freedom and peace. The greatest tribute that I can give is to remind you that your Son was an honorable gentleman, who obviously loved The Lord and gave his all to the cause of saving his fellow soldiers. I pray with all of my heart that you will continue to find solace in the Arms of our Everlasting Father, the God of all comfort and that Jonathan's burial spot will be marked so that on that great Getting-Up morning, he will rise with the saints of all times to meet his Lord in the air. God bless you and your family Mr. Cadavero, as well as all the other families of Veterans nationwide. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do. God bless you all!!!
Dear Mrs. Cadavero, On behalf of the 7 and 8th Grade Class, we would like to send you our prayers for you and your family. Sgt. John will always be our Hero, and we want to thank you for molding Sgt. John into a beautiful Christian soldier/role model. Sgt. John has helped our school and has left a mark in our hearts forever. Even though some of us didn't really know Sgt. John personally, we know that we was a very extraordinary person to all. Although the loss of a son is heartbreaking we would like to share a Bible verse and some quotes to make you smile today! :) "The pain that you've been feeling, cant compare to the joy that's coming. Romans 8:18" Grief id like the ocean; it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim. Vicki Harrison. We love you and God Bless. #R.I.P. Sgt. John
Ashley Fong & Vanessa Thurman
Grade 7 & 8
Waldwick Seventh Day Adventist School
Thinking of Jon today and missing him all the time.
Dear Cadavero Family, I would just like to say that we are here to help, support, and pray for you. Your son was very brave and he is one of the reasons why we are still free today. Let's hope and pray that you all my see him one day. God bless,
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Cadavero,
R.I.P for your son, Jonathan. I'm sure he was a cool, funny guy. If he were alive I would tell him thank you for serving and protecting the USA and for saving many lives. Tomorrow we will remember and salute him along with every other veteran who fought for this country.
Dear Family of Jonathan Cadavero,
I am so sorry that lost your only son. I am sure that he was a great son to have and he will always be remembered,He will live on in your memory. May the Lord bless you and watch over you for the rest of your lives and one day you will see your son again.
Brooklyn Seventh Day Adventist
Dear Family of Jonathan Cadavero,
I am so sorry that you lost your only son. I am sure that he was a great son to have and he will always be remembered,He will live on in your memory. May the Lord bless you and watch over you for the rest of your lives and one day you will see your son again.
Brooklyn Seventh Day Adventist
Our hearts ached as David told us this tragic news. We are encouraged by Jonathan's life, and your love and courage to honor him. We honor a person when we can live by the standards and way of life that caused us to love him. May God bless you as you honor him by living out those values he lived by, and that you taught him in the first place.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus......please reunite this family soon....real soon, Lord, please!!!
Love, Bob and Darlene Rice
It's hard to believe that this time 7 years ago Jon left Ft.Drum and headed for Iraq. I'll never forget his deployment day. He was on the last plane out and must have called home every hour on the hour, always saying not to worry that he'll be fine. I tried to keep it together but my heart broke that day. And since then my heart has broken daily into a million pieces. Regardless of how much time passes, Jon is missed and loved more than words can say. Time does not heal all wounds. Time might make it more tolerable but the wound always remains.
Love & miss you my beloved son. Always.
Thinking of my "hero" first cousin today and missing him very much. Can't wait to see you in heaven,
Today, Jon would have been 32 year old. An incredable young man, every mothers dream as a son. A dark dreary rainy day today...it exemplified how I felt inside. But the rain stopped, the sun came out long enough for me to sit by Jon's grave and remember all the wonderful times and love we shared. I came home, gazed at his picture on his dresser...his dog tags hang over the picture frame, I looked at the folded flag on a shefl, and how I wished Jon was still here with me, with us.
Physically Jon is gone but lives in my heart. He is always "close" in thoughts. Never to be forgotten - always loved and missed. Wish you were here so I could say "happy birthday" my son.
We watched you grow up in our neighborhood, from a sweet adorable happy boy to a caring wonderful happy young man and when you joined the service, to our forever hero. Think of you so often, God bless you dear. Thank You for your many gifts. Never to be forgotten, Corinne
May you be flying and laughing with angels, dear cousin!
˚ ˚✰˚ ˛★* ° 。* °˚ • ★ *˚ ˚ •。* ˚ ˚✰˚ ˛★* °。* ° ˚ • ★
On this Memorial Day I want to take time out to send heartfelt wishes to my Superintendent, Mr. David Cadavero and his dear family as we all remember the fallen soldiers of our country. Today must be especially difficult for you but please take comfort in the reality that the Eternal God is still your Refuge and underneath are His everlasting Arms. Rest in these loving arms as you reflect on the tremendous sacrifice, indeed the ultimate sacrifice that your beloved son gave for the well being of others. Jonathan was a brave and selfless soul and although your hearts ache for him, he is resting, waiting for that "Getting Up" morning when you will be reunited with him. What unspeakable joy that will be! But until then, Thank you Jonathan Cadavero for sacrificing yourself for me, and for my family and all the families of this country and the world at large. Thank you to all the fallen soldiers for their ultimate sacrifice! May your souls rest in peace!
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty"
John F. Kennedy
Jon, you paid the ultimate price for the survial & success of our liberty for which many thank you. However, on this Memorial Day , I would like to recognise the men & women of our military who also paid the ultimate price and thank them for our freedom.
Remembering you Jon today and always with so much love....you're gone from my life/our lives, but always in my/our hearts.
Thank you Jon for your service to our country and for our freedom. You are in heaven now but I know you are our Angel. I was honored to meet you & be your friend. I will never forget that you sent me a card on Memorial Day. You really touched my heart on how much you loved your country. Happy Memorial Day my friend and brother in arms.
Every day is hard, but on Memorial Day it is especially hard as our fallen military are remembered, as Jon is remembered.
On every soldier's tombstone should be a message of honor, respect and love:
"In loving memory
of one who loved his country,
who fought against evil
to preserve what is right and true and good.
In loving memory
of one who is a cut above the rest of us,
who had the surpassing courage,
the uncommon strength,
to do whatever had to be done,
perserving through hardship and pain.
In loving memory
of one who was brave enough to give his life, his all,
so that those he cared about
would remain safe and free.
In loving memory
of a unique and treasured soldier
who will never be forgotten."
Author: Joanna Fuchs
Jon was that soldier........never to be forgotten. Always loved.
As Memorial Day is just a few days away, I would like to take this opportunity to leave the following poem to Jon and ALL those who served and gave their lives for this great Country of ours;
In Your Honor
"Unselfishly, you left your fathers and your mothers,
You left behind your sisters and your brothers.
Leaving your beloved children and wives,
You put on hold, your dreams - your llives.
On foreign soil, you found yourself planted
To fight for those whose freedom you granted.
Without your sacrifice, their cause would be lost
But you carried onward, no matter the cost.
Many horrors you had endured and seen.
Many faces had haunted your dreams.
You cheered as your enemies littered the ground;
You cried as your brothers fell all around.
When it was over, you all came back home,
Some were left with memories to face all alone;
Some found themselves in the company of friends
As their crosses cast shadows across the land.
Those who survived were forever scarred
Emotionally, physically, permanently marred.
Those who did not now sleep etermally
'neath the ground they had given their lives to keep free.
With a hand upon my heart, I feel the pride and respect;
my reverence is revealed
In the tears that now stream down my upturned face
As our flag waves above you, in her glory and grace.
Freedom was the gift that you unselfishly gave
Pain and death was the price that you ultimately paid.
Every day, I give my utmost admiration
To those who had fought to defend our nation."
- Author Unknown -
Thank you Jon and thanks to ALL the fallen soldiers.
You're remembered now & always with love and respect.
May you rest in peace.
Approaching this Memorial day weekend I offer my true gratitude Jon. Thank you for your true and ultimate sacrifice. The real kind of hero. God bless you and God bless America.
Taking the train back home, i saw a young girl read "Tuesdays with Morrie". I couldn't help but think of you and how much meaning you gave to me and all the people that surrounded you.
Its almost hard to believe that 7 years have gone... it still hurts like as if were yesterday that you left us. Jonny, we miss you so much and I will forever be grateful for giving us the honor to know you.
We love you and Miss you so very much.
See you soon!
we love you but God loves you most sleep well in haven
I was a pleasure hanging out with You Jon at CUC playing on the Basketball team together We had a good time when we went to the Gym..to practice before and After practices..You will be truly missed..God bless you and Your Loved one...Love you Brother
I have thought about leaving a message for you many times. I never did because I guess I never really felt that I had the right to. Although we watched eachother grow up over the course of many years, our age difference kept us from getting to know one another. The space this message takes up, could be left for someone who knew you better. But with the realization that it has been 7 years since youve passed, I figured it was about time to write you.I honestly still cant belive your gone. Everytime I drive up our road, I look down the fire trial for you. Maybe I can catch a glimse of you running around the bend. I still get ready to wave to you as you shovel your driveway. Anytime Im on the back porch, I still look down to watch you mow the lawn. If I get the mail, I look down the street to see if your walking up the road, wearing a t shirt and shorts, like you were the last time I saw you. We may not have known eachother well, but i can still remember the first time we met. We may not have been very close, but it never took long to pick up where we left off. I miss you. I miss you like crazy. I dont ever want to convince myself your gone. Somehow, by not changing my habits of looking for you and expecting you around the corner, I can make you live again. Because once I realize that you and Rusty arent in the driveway, and its not you mowing the lawn, I imagine for a few minutes what life would be like if you were still with us. What incredible things we would talk about. Your achievements, how many lbs you can carry while still running 20 miles. Where you might be living, or if you have a family growing. For a few moments, in my imagination, you and I get lost in another conversation at the top of my old driveway. And you always make me smile. You were as true blue as they get. You were an incredably selfless human being and I am so happy you ended up doing something you loved, and living a life you could be proud of. I have been blessed to have known you. I cant remember if Ive told you during one of my visits, but when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, I decided I wanted to strive to be more like you. I went to school to be a medical assistant. I have now completed school and am waiting on becoming certified. You have inspired me, you have guided me, you have coached me, and you have taught me to not give up on myself. You have always been my hero, and you continue to be a major influence in my life. I miss you severely Jon, and your always in my prayers.
Today it has been 7 years since my friend (and colleague) was killed. To say it was a tragic loss doesn't do it justice (for really all loss like this is tragic); but Jon really was just that special kind of guy who had he lived, would have gone on to change the world even more than he did in his 24 years. He was smart, honest, funny, hard working, but most of all he had a tremendous heart and truly cared. It's been 7 years, I think of him often and smile as look at his photo that I have on my wall at work. To his family: may you find some small comfort in knowing that Jon touched many lives in such a postive way and is thought of often.
Time does not heal all things. Our memories do fade. We don't want them to fade but they do. The pain becomes less because new pain and joy fill our thoughts. Today our pain is renewed as we remember that faitful day Jonathan died. We remember the day, the time, and the place where our heart stopped. Today we want to remember his life and sacrifice so we can be free. We can smile and see joy in the living, in the child, in the senior because he gave his last breath so we could keep breathing free air.
The Bible say that the joy of The Lord is your strength. Maybe that is why we feel so weak today.
Today's prayer: Lord breath into me the free air that the sacrifice of others gave to me. Give me joy. Give me strength...please!
“There is power in a life well lived. There is joy in a race well run. There is peace in the abiding assurance of eternal life.” ~ Author unknown
*Cheers* to you, dear Jon on this 7th anniversary of leaving this earthly realm all too soon - to your life so well-lived in the very brief time you were here with us, and to a life well-loved. To know you was to love you! May you be laughing and singing with angels, along with my dear mom/your aunt, and all our loved ones there with you. You are dearly missed!
Seven years ago today the earth both shattered and stood still all at once. Two soldiers knocked on my door to tell me Jon was killed earlier that day by a road side bomb. I don't remember much of the hours or days or even weeks that followed. I do remember pleading with God to bring my son back home to me.......
Driving home from work I pass a billboard that says "We Heal Broken Hearts".....this is an advertisement of a local hospital and, of course, they are referring to heart related illnesses. No hospital, no doctor, no one can heal my broken heart. Grief is hurt, a raw physical as well as psychological, spiritual and emotional hurt. It is a hurt no one can see.
Flowers were placed by Jon's gravesite today. He is thought of every day. Remembered with love.
And missed more than words can say. Rest in peace my beloved son.
Doc, 7 years now. Still thankful that I got to know you and spend time with you on this earthly adventure. Your smile and thought provoking conversations made my life much better during a challenging time in my life. Thank you for your hard work and ever-positive attitude. You are missed, but never forgotten
I still weep for you today, Jon. Oh how different our lives could have been if I had said yes to that coffee date that hot June day before we deployed together. I know from our conversation on the stairs in the barracks that you are in heaven; always the philosophical one, you. And me with my simple answers that always made you reconsider ;). I miss you now just as I missed you then. And I can't wait to see you again someday.
The Holidays have come and long gone. Christmas/New Years are supposed to be a joyful, cheery time filled with good times with family & friends. Somehow the Holidays and grieving/mourning don't seem to fit and go together. Grief is a long and probably a never ending journey. I have come to realize that no matter how much times passes, the Holidays (birthdays, etc.) will never be the same. Life in general has been changed forever by Jon's untimely death.
February is a short month but long with memories and "last".........last email, last phone call, and last card. Each "last" holds a special place in my heart although it is part of a nightmare that I relive daily.
I close my eyes and can see his smiling face and I miss him ever so much.
Jon will always be remembered, missed and loved.
I was rereading some of the notes john scribbled to me, and I thought what a terrible waste it was to lose somebody who was such a fabulous young man - that I will always remember what a really great friend he was. My sympathy will always remain to his loving family
Four years ago today, I drove Jon to the airport and he was going back to Iraq. I will never forget that morning when I became totally emotionally unglued. He had a stop over in Atlanta of several hours before boarding an army plane and heading back to war. He called me 4 times, each time assuring me he would be back home and for me not to worry. I was always so proud of Jon and the person he was. I am thankful for the years that were given to me. If I were given a chance to be anything I wanted to become, there is nothing I would have rather been ....than Jon's mother. There is no one I would have rather have as my son.
MIssing Jon so much. Loving him always.
As I thought of Jon today, my heart still ached with sadness. My tears will always flow. What it meant to lose him, no one will ever know. I cherish so many great memories and miss him more than I can say. Jon is in my thoughts every day.......but today all I could think of was that 7 years ago Jon came home from Iraq for Thanksgiving. Wish that could have been his "permanent" home leave.
Sadly missed - forever loved.
Even though this is the first time i have heard about Sgt. Jon Cadavero and i never had the honor to met him in person, i hope his family can ask God each and every day to take away their pain and to help them to move on. If there is still pain, let God be with them. And to Mr. Cadavero, God Bless You And Your Family. Rest In Peace Sgt. Jon. May God Resurrect Thee In His Second Coming.
I would like to also say that Mrs. Barrett asked some of us to post a short prayer for your son, so here is my prayer:
Dear Lord, I ask you today and the following days to give comfort to the Cadavero family. Let your love heal their poor souls, for they lost a cherished and kindred spirit. Let their prayers be answered and bless them to let them see their son when Christ comes. With John the Baptist, Let the words " AMEN! COME LORD JESUS!" flow out their mouths, and let the broken family become whole with their son once more.
In Jesus name I pray,
Even though I have not had the privilege to meet Sgt. Jonathan Cadavero in person, I have heard alot of talk about and I can see everybody's love for him, so this is why I am sending a message of condolence by keeping your family in my prayers.
A short while ago I returned from the cemetery "visiting" Jon's gravesite. As I sat there watching another funeral taking place not too far from me, I was thinking that this was not supposed to be like this. Jon was supposed to come home, be in a parade today, and I was supposed to be on the sideline waving a flag and cheering him on! It's hard to find the right words to express my inner feelings & thoughts.........both seem to be on a roller coaster ride up & down. Today was a down day. My heart was so heavy sitting there knowing his is gone.
A former colleague & friend (actually one of Jon's best friends) sends me quotes now & then. Somehow he must have known it was one of my "down" days because he sent me the following:
"Courage isn't having the strength to go on. It's going on when you don't have the strenghth."
Jon used to send cards to all the veternas he knew to thank they for their service. On behalf of Jon, I wish to thank his widow Michelle, his friend Kristy, Shea, "Dunk" and so many other friends, his "favorite Uncle in Illinois, his late uncle from TN, his dentist, and all solderis who went through basic training, medic training, the soldiers from Ft.Drum and all who sevied with him in Iraq -
I/we gave thanks every day that there are brave Americans like you who sacrifice so much for the freedoms I/we enjoy. I/we will always remember your outstanding courage and commitment to our Country. Thank you for your service.
Jon - my tears will always flow, my heart will never mend. Loving memories I'll aways cherish. My beloved son, missing you will never end.
Rest in pace until Jesus calls you. Love & miss you always.
On this Veteran's Day, 2013, I am free, breath good air, move about freely, speak if, when, where, I wish, and worship my God in the same manner.
Thank you Jonathan! You in your way made this possible.
Today, you are resting, waiting for Jesus Christ to return. My thanks today is for David and Nadia. Thank you for giving so much to me. I look at this beautiful fall day and know that I am indebted to you. The ability to pick up the phone and call my friend David to share a moment is a gift. While the pain of that gift will never leave your heart, please know that I also remember, think, and review in my mind the gift that you have given. On this Veteran's Day, I am grateful to the thousands that have given their life that we can be free.
A prayer: God, please allow peace to come to our earth, so soldiers will not have to give their lives so we can be free to pray to you...Amen.
Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.
Know the line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well.
Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
Peace, peace, and farewell...
Even though I never met you, your Father has told us good things, I pray that your work is well and Thank you for keeping our country safe
On another Veteran's Day, I am reminded of Jon's friendship and sacrifice for our country. To say you are missed would be a vast understatement, for there is not a day that I do not think of you. I am so thankful that you were in San Antonio for training, for that is how I met and got to know you. I remember that stunning day that I saw your name listed in the paper as a casualty in Iraq and not wanting to believe it, yet in my heart I knew it was true; a stunning blow, yet I am honored that you sacrificed your life for our freedom. For that, I and all Americans remember your sacrifice, and keep your parents, wife, relatives and friends in my prayers.
Remembering you every day that I live!!
I did not have the pleasure of meeting Sgt. Jonathan Cadavero in person but I'm extremely blessed to work with the most awesome Superintendent of Schools, Mr. David Cadavero, his father. I feel like I knew this young man because of all the wonderful stories his father has shared with us. God certainly blessed you, his parents and family members, with a precious gem. He willingly sacrificed his youthful life so we can enjoy the freedoms we do enjoy and so today on Veterans Day, I want to register my gratitude to the Cadavero family for the gift of their wonderful son Jonathan. As you continue to miss and mourn his loss, please be reminded that the Eternal God is still your Refuge and underneath are His Everlasting Arms. Be comforted in that reality and the fact that you will see him again in that great "getting up morning" God bless you all.
My family and I say "Thank you Jonathan and all the brave men and women we call soldiers who every day risk their lives for us! We pray God's Choicest Blessings on all Military Families.
On this Veterans' Day I cannot avoid but to think about you Jonathan and pray for your family, your parents, your sister, and your wife. Together with my wife Joanne, and our two boys Jose III and Joel, we are grateful for the selfless service you provided to our country, it is because of brave Americans like you, that we are able to enjoy this day and every day. Your sacrifice and the sacrifice of your family will never be forgotten. We look forward to meeting you one day after the Second Coming of Jesus.
Dear Jonathan ~ we're remembering you extra-specially today, along with your fellow comrades-in-arms who sacrificed so much. You are remembered with love, with admiration, with endearing, enduring memories of being my "little cousin" who came to visit along with your family all those many years ago. You are dearly missed, though I know you're singing and laughing with the angels. And watching over your beloved family ..... ☼
I've not had the privilege of meeting Sgt. Jonathan Cadavero in person. However, there is a sense of knowing, drawn from a mothers loving memories-memories that keep alive a spirit of a son loved and cherished. It has been a great blessing to me to continue to learn of the brave person, and servant of God that Sgt. Cadavero was. Evidences of his service, contributions and sacrifices are engraved in the hearts and minds of all those who have been directly touched by Sgt. Cadavero. I am thankful to have the privilege of knowing of a young man so dedicated to the cause of God, and with a willingness to serve his country. I understand he had the faith and the courage to move forward unapologetic for his sacrifices.
As I continue to pray for the Cadavero family, I join them in cherishing the memory of Sgt. Jonathan Cadavero.
With God's Blessings
Mrs. G. Plaisir
(Teacher at the Waldwick Adventist School)
I'm currently listening to DC Talk, a Christian Rock group that Jon introduced me to. This introduction started my love my rock and Christian music. As I go through these songs, I remember the times he and I spent singing and listening to these songs. Good memories that I cherish.
I don't need a special day or occasion to think of & remember Jon. Today, while stting at my desk, I picked up a book I gave Jon & it opened to the following.....
If someone asked me to define the perfect son, I would say........
"Search for a young man whose heart is as big as the Grand Canyon;
search for a young man who thinks only of others;
search for a young man who does a thousand good deeds each day while expecting nothing in return;
search for a young man who suffers and never complains.
And when your search is over, if you have found such a young man, then rejoice -
for you have found my son." Jeffrey K Lucas
Anyone who ever knew Jon would say no truer words have been written to describe him.
What a wonderful person he was - no mother could have been more proud of her son.
Always thinking of you.............rest in peace.
Love you always -
As we celebrate Independence Day, we remember those like Jon who sacrificed their lives so that we may celebrate this wonderful day. Thanks, JON. You are sorely missed!!
Never to be forgotten, Jon, the adorable boy we watched grow into an awesome young man in our neighborhood. Thought of often with a smile on the lips, misty eyed. I thank your family for this web page.
I always remember your birthday and think of you. God bless your family and I'm glad I got to know you and was able to share many laughs with you! RIP.
To my very dear cousin: I have no doubt that you are singing ♫ happy birthday ♫ with all the angels today --- for you and for your beloved grandfather who also shared your birthday. I'm sure you both felt blessed over the years while you were still here on earth to share this day of celebration. May you continue to do so in heaven!
Dearly missed by all your family . . .
"A son is a first smile you never forget.
He's tiny footsteps that fill your heart with pride.
He's skinned knees and messy hair, as well as pride and frustration.
A son can be grown-up and mature, yet still be our little boy;
a child and an adult rolled into one.
As he becomes an adult, you see the love you have given him passed on and shared.
And he blesses your life by proving to be the type of man you always hoped and
prayed he'd grown up to be".
27 hours of hard labor and even a harder delivery, 31 years ago today in the wee hours of the morning, I gave birth to Jon. He was so alert and already had that mischievous look in his eyes. Would I do it all over again?.....in a heartbeat. Jon grew up to be an incredible young man. He was truly the best son I could have ever had.
A mother & a son share a lifetime of thoughts, emotions, memories, and hopes. My "lifetime" with Jon was cut short. Time changes the heart, but the heart never forgets the memories within.
Always thinking of you my son.
Keeping the memories alive.
Missing you every day. Loving you always.
Happy Heavenly Birthday, Husband. I'll love you forever.
This memorial message is dedicated to approximately 5000 men and women who have given unselfishly of themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan to obtain, protect and preserve liberty and freedom for their fellow human beings throughout the world and for the people of the United States of America. Sergeant Jonathan D. Cadavero was an American patriot who was killed in Baghdad, Iraq on February 27, 2007, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His patriotism, courage, dedication and service to America will live on in the lives of hundreds of his family members and friends.
The following article, "To Kill An American," is written by an unidentified Australian who addresses a point to ponder....Who exactly is an American?" You probably missed this in the rush of news, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper, an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.
So an Australian wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what an American is. So they would know when they found one. An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian or Greek. An American may also be of Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab or Pakistani or Afghan descent.
An American may be a Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.
An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God. An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return. When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country! As of the morning of September ll,2001, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2011 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.
So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere is an American."
Sergeant Jonathan D. Cadavero embodied this wonderful spirit. He was an "international " soldier who believed in the preservation of freedom. He had unflagging courage and had an unwavering hope for America's future. Though our family continues to mourn the loss of Jon, we cling to the promise that one day death will be banished forever. Tears, terror, and turmoil will be over. We look forward to Heaven's divine announcement, "It is finished." Rest in peace, Jonathan!
GOD BLESS AMERICA.
David A. Cadavero
"Not for fame, or reward, not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity, but in simple obedience to duty." This is an inscription at Arlington National Cemetery. Jon knew what he had to do and why. He wanted to serve his Country and be the best possible medic & soldier. And from all reports received, he was.
It has been years since his tragic death but to this day Jon is still remembered by many with respect, admiration and love. So many remembered Jon over the Memorial Day weekend by sending messages, cards, phone calls and flowers. What a tribute to a great human being and how touched I was by the outpouring of tributes.
"To be killed in war is not the worst that can happen. To be lost is not the worst that can happen.......to be forgeotten is the worst." Pierre Claeyssens (1909-2003)
May Jon (and all those who served and died) never be forgotten. We must never forget that the freedoms we have today are the result of his/their service.
Rest in peace my beloved son. Miss you every day - will love you forever.
Here it is a day after memorial day week-end. I find myself inspired as I have read many blogs about how you have affected the lives of hundreds of people. Recently I have received a distinguished service award from Collegedale Academy. But if anybody deserves a distinguished service award - it is you. You have affected so many people by your life and service to your country. Six years after your untimely death, people remember your sacrifice - you are a hero to so many people. I feel so honored to have been your uncle. Although we haven't had much contact with each other down through the years - I still admire your courage and willingness to defend our country. You are truly my hero. May you rest in peace until Jesus comes back and blows His trumpet to awake you when you can hear from Jesus "well done - you good and faithful servant - enter now into the joys of your Lord."
Jon, though I never met you, the stories of sacrifice and courage I have heard and read, have made me admire you. Today, I will tell my boys Jose III & Joel about an American Hero, you, and we will take time to pray for your dad David, for your mom Nadia, for your sister, and the young lady you married during your deployment. Your legacy will not be forgotten, our family will always remember you!
I will see you when Jesus returns on the beautiful morning of the Second Coming, in the meantime rest beloved hero, rest till the blessed morning.
Jose, Joanne, Jose III, & Joel CORTES
Just reading your bio & comments from your loved ones gives me such a clear picture of who you were and makes me wish I had the opportunity to meet you... A true Christian solider! I came across this link thru an acquaintance's Facebook feed and his comments aroused my curiosity enough to click on it. My baby sister is also a solider in the US Army who served in Iraq, so I have a deep sense of understanding & gratitude for all armed forces. It is only because of brave people like you that we are able to live our lives the way we do. Thank you (AND your family for sharing you) for your selfless commitment & sacrifice in defending & protecting this country & it's people. May God continue to bless your family and give them peace. I cannot wait to finally meet you when Jesus comes to take us all home where there are no wars or death or suffering :)
Memorial Day 2013. It should have been a day of celebration, perhaps preparing for a family picnic, or watching a parade in town. Instead, my family & I started the day at the cemetery where Jon is laid to rest attending a special service for our fallen heroes. Jon, of course, is thought of & remembered every day but today I not only think of him but the other 2 soldiers who died with him. I think of their bravery, courage, service to our Country and ultimae sacrifice. I think of the soldier who survived and the courage he has to continue serving regardless of how his life has changed forever.
There is no doubt in my mind that all those who knew & loved Jon thought of him today. They remembered not only how he died, but how he lived his life. A good person, a dedicated soldier/medic, and the best son a mother can have.
Miss & love you son. Always.
I've served along side with Cadavero at Fort Drum, NY. He was and will always be a true friend to me. I liked how he laugh and jokes around with his fellow soldiers to boost up their morale. He always made me feel like coming to work knowing that he will be there. I will miss you my friend. God is with you now and I thank you for all that you have done. My heart and prayers go out to your family and wife.
Thank you for your service and ultimate sacrifice. A true American hero.
Every time a soldier is mentioned, honored, or referenced I think of Jonny. I think of you often dear friend. Gone but never forgotten. I am honored to have known you.
On this Memorial Day weekend, especially, precious cousin, I"m thinking of you and the TREMENDOUS sacrifice you made for our country more than 6 years ago...with each passing day, I want you to know that you are still loved and missed more than ever!! can't wait to be reunited with you in heaven one day soon! I feel lucky and privileged to have been your cousin and will always consider you "my hero"..
Remembering and honoring you extra-specially on this Memorial Day, my dear cousin Jonny. We are all in awe of your valor and altruism to your country and comrades-in-arms, but so very sorry you had to pay the supreme sacrifice. You are so dearly missed ... sing and laugh with angels and continue to watch over us here on earth!!
On this Memorial Day of Jonathan Cadavero's death, I want to remember a true American and Christian hero.
A friend of mine sent me a piece a couple days ago that refuted the common saying that time heals all wounds. It does not. Memory may fail but the pain remains if we are honest.
I choose to keep the pain of the evening when my friend, David Cadavero called to tell me of his Son's death. I do not allow memory to fade because I want to be there if my friend needs me. I want to be a better person for having been associated with this family. I want to stay close to Jesus Christ so I can see Jonathan one day. I don't want time to heal this wound. Christ didn't allow time to heal His wounds for me, so neither will I. Thank you for the pain to keep me remembering....JG
Another year is passed, but you are not forgotten! I remember your selfless service. One day on a mission we stopped our patrol amid heavy traffic. One confused vehicle (in a land of no traffic laws) had come speeding toward our convoy. The gunner from our lead vehicle shot a warning shot to protect our convoy that took a bad ricochet and without our knowing, hit one of the passengers in the vehicle. The vehicle pulled over immediately and we saw a frantic older woman climb out of the crowded car and start waving her arms...by then our convoy was reaching the location of the vehicle (yes we drive that slow while doing route clearance). We were trying to figure out what the woman was doing, and full of suspicion of the vehicle. Somewhere in there we figured out that there was a wounded man in the vehicle. As the patrol leader, I started to organize the situation (establish security, prepare resources, etc) as I called back to the vehicle where Doc was sitting to find out what he needed to support casualty care, I quickly hung up the radio because I saw Doc running by my window. He had his medic bag and was going to do his job. We had to scramble to get security in place and protect Doc. I don't think Doc noticed or even cared that he was alone at the moment. He was in the zone and doing the job that he loved. He knew that there was a person that needed care that only he could provide and he was going to be the one to provide it, regardless of race, nationality, religion, language, friend or foe. Doc saved that man's life that day. I learned a lot that day as the patrol leader...the biggest thing I learned was that Doc was someone I wanted to be like. Corageous, faithful, fearless to do the right thing regardless the situation. Doc, I miss you and am excited to tell my kids about you tonight for bedtime stories.
♥ “Live well ~ Laugh often ~ Love much” ♥
Jon lived, laughed and loved as much as he possibly could in his 24 short years on this earth. He made everyone around him want to do the same, and that incredibly positive “ripple-effect” of his continues to this day. On this 6th anniversary making that supreme sacrifice, he is still a bright, shining light in the lives of all who knew and loved him. Whenever I’m gazing at the stars strewn across the night sky, I imagine him twinkling back down and watching over us all. Rest in peace, dear Jon, and continue laughing and singing with the angels. I can almost hear you! You are forever, sadly missed ....
Six years ago today, the earth stood still, my heart & life shattered as 2 soldiers knocked on my front door with news that changed my life forever.
Time helps to hide the sadness, like a smile that hides a tear. My thoughts are always with you by dear son, despite the passing years. Losing a child is unimaginable. That night nothing seemed important as it was before. Not one material possession was wanted. Jon will be alive in my heart forever.
Love you forever & sadly missed each day,
"Hi mom..........I want to let you know that I will be going on two missions back to back. So I might not call you for a week or so. But don't worry about me - I'll be OK. I'll call you as soon as I get back to the base. Take care of yourself & remember I love you".........
That was my last conversation with Jon six years ago today. Jon's voice sounded tired. Little did I know that he would never make it back to the base - not like he was supposed to or planned. And that phone call home would never be made again. As a mom I've forgotten to buy items at the grocery store, pick up a jacket at the dry cleaners, or even what I had for lunch 3 days ago. But that last conversation especially is very much "alive" in my memory bank and I remember every word spoken as if it just took place.
There are no words to express just how much Jon is missed. How he is thought of every day - countless times a day. The bond of love cannot be broken - not even by death.
Love you son - always.
Thank you Jon for everything you brought into our lives and all that you still are to so many of us. You will never be forgotten, our love for you will never diminish.
Doc, you were one in a million. I see your name, Henry's, and Soukenka's every day when I look at the ink on my left leg. I remember you riding back seat in my truck, you always kept it interesting. Oh, and that time you looked at that wart for Lashaway. I remember those times fondly and laugh to myself about them often. May the wind forever be at your back my friend.
Although there is always a lot of excitement everywhere just before and during the Holidays, everything changes and is different if the family circle has been broken by death. Especially if it is death of a child. Any holiday thereafer is only a reminder of the empty chair at the table and the hole in a mother's heart. I once read that the holiday season is a time when the past & the present collide. One tries to recapture what once was had or blot out bad memories.
Over the last several weeks I have thought often of Jon's last Christmas at home - 2005. He was on leave for Christmas from Ft. Sam Houston/Medic training. He said "no gifts" as he was in the army & really didn't need anything. But in the same sentence said if I really wanted to get him something here was his list.............
During Jon's first year at college, I sent him a book of poems especially written for a son. He carried this book with him all his college years. Gifts come to mind during this Holidays seaon....but Jon gave me gifts that didn't come in a box or could be held in a hand.
"I Want to Thank You for the Gifts You Have Given Me"
In your lifetime, you (Jon) have given me far more gifts than I can count;
often without even realizing it. As a child, you have me the gift of allowing me to see the
world through your eyes, and find beauty I had overlooked before.
The many memories we've made, the love you have given,
and the love I have for you are lifetime gifts.
I want to thank you for all you've given me, and let you know that one of the greatest gifts
of all is the joy that has been mine ever since the moment I first held you in my arms."
Deanne Laura Gilbert
The many "gifts" Jon gave me I will carry all the days of my life. There is no one else I would have wanted for a son.
Love & miss you my son. Rest in peace until Jesus comes.
As another year draws to a close, I am still saddened by the loss of Jon nearly 6 years ago. In the short time that I got to know him while he was at Fort Sam Houston, Texas (San Antonio) for training, I felt that I made a very, very close friend. I was stunned in late February, 2007 when I saw his name in the local newspaper as a casuauly of the Iraq war. Jon was a wonderful young man who had so much to give--and he gave his life for our country. A life cut far too short, but a life of lasting impact on all who got to know him and all whose life he touched. Jon, you are daily in my thoughts and your family remains in my prayers. Know that you are missed by everyone with whom you came in contact.
Not a day goes by that you are not missed, not only by me but many others, we may not reminisce but it's a look between us that will only tell each other of your connection to us. To this this day because of you SGT we have this bond and I thank you for that.
I am writing this with a heavy heart, after pouring over this site’s photos, Jon’s bio, his quotes and reading several of the memories and condolences from loved ones.
It is truly an honor and a privilege to be posting on the page of a real hero and a wonderful human being. I have come to know Jonny through his family, and his life exemplified what it means to strive to achieve worthy goals…to be a wonderful son, incredible brother, a friend, a helper, a loving husband, a patriot with an undaunting spirit, and a believer in Something greater than himself…
There aren’t too many things that I have regrets about…but one of them is definitely not having known Jonny personally. We would have had so much fun together, since our sense of humor appears to be very similar. Thank you, Jonny, for your service to our country, and thank God for men like you. You have accomplished more than most during your short life. Rest in peace with your Creator, you deserve it.
In Christ's love...
It is hard to believe that 6 years ago today, December 4th, was the last time I saw Jon alive. After being home for almost 2 weeks, it was time to go back to Iraq. There was dead silence on the way to the airport - neither one of us knew what to say. My heart was so heavy and I didn't want to let go of Jon. Who ever thought that this would be the last time I would see him. Had I known.............
Sometimes people ask me how I am doing. To acquaintances I say I am fine. To close friends & family I tell the truth & say I climb a rugged mountain every day. I've read books on grief & loss but how can words written by others really help heal this big hole in my heart? There are no words, books, advice from others that can take away this daily pain & sense of loss. The hole in my heart will remain all my days until that great resurrection morning when, I know, Jon will be called.
Until then my beloved son - you will be loved & missed every day.
Not a day goes by that I don't think of Jon; what an extraordinary person he was, what a great friend he made, what a talented, teachable medic he was and what a fearless, motivated soldier he became.
I miss him tremendously and every day I find myself second-guessing decisions that we made in Iraq, always wishing we could have just seen a little bit into the future and changed things so that I could have kept him out of harm's way. However, being out of harm's way was not in him - he had a true warrior's spirit and absolutely refused to let his fellow medics take risks that he could take for them.
He lived life the way we all should; with conviction, without fear, always making the hard right over the easy wrong. He is not only the best Soldier I've ever worked with, he is one of the most amazing people I've ever met. There is an old Spartan saying that describes Jon perfectly: "Not how many. Where?" meaning it doesn't matter how many the enemy are or what their composition is, just tell me where they are so we can go put it to them - let's run to the fight. I miss running to the fight with you Jon.
I think of all the Holidays during the year, Thanksgiving is the hardest because 6 years ago was the last time Jon was home. This was the last Holiday Jon spent with us. Since he surprised us all with his visit, it was such a happy time. As family & friends gathered at the Thanksgiving table Jon, as usual , was the life of the party. Words cannot describe what a joyous time it was. Who knew it would be our last Holiday....
"A million times I have needed you,
A million times I have cried.
If love could only have saved you - you never would have died."
Missing Jon beyond words today, tomorrow & always. In the hearts of all those who loved Jon, he will always be here.
Several months ago on the front cover of the TIMES HERALD-RECORD, which serves communities in the Catskills and Hudson Valley in New York, were photographs of 17 heroes "who gave their all" willingly in freedom's cause. An article which focused on the heroes began with the caption, "Our Iraq war heroes leave a proud legacy" and stated that the legacy of Operation Iraqi Freedom could be measured in many ways. More than eight years of war (at the time from 2003-2011) a tyrant was driven from power. More than 32 million Iraqis gotten a taste of freedom. An American war bill that will exceed $2 trillion. Nearly 4,500 American soldiers killed, and another 32,000 were wounded. The sacrifice for freedom does not come cheap, and the impact upon families who have lost a soldier can be devastating. In the Hudson Valley and Catskills, the ultimate toll of that war was realized l7 times. Our neighbors who died in Iraq were firefighters, high school and college athletes, teachers, police officers, a recent college graduate who had aspirations of returning from Iraq and serving in the Department of Homeland Security, etc. Most importantly ALL OF THEM VOLUNTEERED to serve.The article then included a brief biographical sketch of the l7 heroes and the proud legacies they left behind for their families and communities. I will focus on just one of the heroes, United States Army Sergeant ,Jonathan Cadavero, age 24, from Tuxedo, New York. (Every one of the other l6 soldiers is also special, and have left a lifetime of memories for their own heroism and courage, and each family can be justly proud of their son/daughter's sacrifice for America). "Jonathan Cadavero was an all-American guy long before he became a soldier. He had such a reverence for the military that he would send cards of appreciation to every veteran he knew. His sister, Kristia Cavere , said Jonathan sent out about 100 cards every year. He was a physically active guy who hiked and ran the trails of Sterling Forest, and who busted his butt to make the high school and college basketball teams, even though he only stood 5-foot 7. He was also a particular fan of Thucydides, the Greek historian who chronicled the Peloponnesian War. He enlisted soon after graduating from Washington Adventist University ,graduating with honors (cum laude). He served as a medic with the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, l0th Mountain Division. Jonathan took one of the most dangerous job as a combat medic with an engineering team assigned to root out explosive devices. In a six-month period, Cadavero's platoon found and disposed of l72 IED's, 62 of which had the potential to explode. He died February 27, 2007, when he was hit by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, Iraq. He hoped to one day work with the Department of Homeland Security."
Former President Theodore Roosevelt declared,"We are face to face with our destiny, and we must meet it with high and resolute courage. For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out." Sergeant Jonthan D. Cadavero met this standard of excellence ,and earned a straight "A" every day of his life, and the fruits of his courage are an everlasting testimony of his love for America and its ideals.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
David A. Cadavero
More than 5 years now without Jon. I miss him with every breath I take. He was and still is my gift from God. Rest in peace my beloved son and be assured the empty space in my heart is filled with treasured thoughts of you.
I think of Jon all the time.........love him with all my heart. Now & always.
I knew more of Jon from his father than I knew from personal encounter with him. During the time his father was my mentor and supervisor, Jon was experiencing early childhood. I did not have the happiness of watching him grow. I was told that he blossomed into a beautiful young man, and that he had committed his life to defending our country. This is an act I am always greatful for, and respectful of - never once have I taken such commitment for granted. As a mother, myself, I am imagining the pain his parents go through on a daily basis. I encourage them, his immediate family, and close friends, to live in the legacy Jon left behind - - love for God and his fellow Americans, lightheartedness, kindness, commitment to a cause, determination, respect for authority, and patriotism.
We thank God for the "Blessed Hope". I feel confident that Jon will soon hear the call of the Life Giver. Let us be ready to meet him.
P.S.: Thanks to his Dad for offering me an opportunity to make the above comments. I love and respect you, Sir. Your professionalism and gentleness is highly regarded by me - no wonder your son was such an amazing young man! Maranatha!
Sometimes it is so hard to find the right words at the right time and/or day. Memorial Day has come & gone. It was a time to remember our fallen - the men & women who bravely & proudly carried the burden of defending this Country and paid the ultimate price.
"Freedom on the shoulders of the few, stand the freedoms of the many" Their courage and commitment to freedom should never be forgotten or taken for granted.
For Gold Star Mothers & Families - everyday is a Memorial Day. Jon is/was an American Hero. He is missed, loved and will never be forgotten. Love you my son.
Yesterday, June 13, I woke up to a rainy, dreary, dark & depresssing day. It matched the way I was feeling inside. Yesterday, would have been Jon's 30th birthday. It's hard to believe this little mischievous boy grew up to be this amazing, kind, loving, compassionate AND very funny young man. Yesterday I missed not making his favorite meal, showering him with presents (not to mention hugs & kisses) and just sitting around the table talking, laughing and enjoying the time together.
Instead it was a trip to the cemetery where lovingly flowers were placed at his gravesite, and memories were shared through tears. Chimes on his tree gently played their tune..........
On a headstone in Ireland the followiing was engraved: "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal." I have a million wonderful memories of my son, but the heartache will never heal.
Love & miss Jon now & always.
Thinking of Jon, my friend, on this day which would have been his 30th birthday. Miss you!
Happy Birthday Jony! Miss you and thinking about you today!
I woke up this morning thinking about someone who made a difference in my life. I woke up this morning laughing at the good times we shared. But on this special day I thank God He allowed our roads to meet, even it was for a short while. In that short while, you taught me that I deserved good things; that I deserved to laugh and for that I will always thank you. I miss you so much and am still sadden at the fact that you are not with us to continue laughing but, for now, I'll hold on to this site where I can express how much you are missed, to continue celebrating the life you had here.
Happy Birthday Old Man!! We Miss you!!! See you soon.
♫ Happy birthday ♫ to you, my dear cousin. Once again, may you be laughing and singing with the angels, for both you and your dear grandfather who shares this birthday with you. You are dearly missed! ♥
I thank you Jon, for your service and ultimate sacrifice for our great nation.
On this special day, dedicated to remembering & honoring our Heroes, I would like to thank David Cadavero, Nadia, & Kristia for sharing Jon's life with the rest of us. Jon will always be remembered and honored for his love for this country and his love for others, as well as for his courage and desire to protect not only us, but his fellow soldiers, as a medic.
David, I love you and pray you, Nadia, & Kristia, as you continue to miss Jon dearly till Resurrection Morning!
P.S. By the way I just sat here with my 6 year old son Jose Cortes III and shared Jon's Story with him.
Saddened but grateful for your bravery and sacrifice. Love and prayers, Cadavero family. Looking forward to meeting in Heaven.
On this day we remember the brave men and women who have given their lives through the years to assure our personal freedom and our incomparable way of life. It is because of their ultimate sacrifice that we can live without terror, worship without fear, give without restrain, and serve without limit. Today, the Youth & Young Adults of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Atlantic Union Conference, honor our fallen heroes and pray for the comfort and hope of their surviving families. We look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus; the day, when war will be no more, when death will die, and when peace will forever reign.
Dear Cadavero family, that the Holy Spirit fill the void of his dear son without ever lift their eyes from the blessed hope! With love
Dear Mr. Cadavero,
I know that your son's life was not in vain. He had something to die for, while living for His saviour. May his wonderful memories of a son carry you each day of your life anticipating that day when you shall see him again.
GNYA, Class 1972
Dear Mr. Cadavero and family
I will keep you in my prayers. Thank you to your son Jonathan, his sacrifice will not be forgotten.
Greater New York Academy 1980-1983
Jon I often think about you, doing what needed to be done. Always with your mind on something. I saw it then back in the halls of Columbia Union College that you were a professional and knew how to get things done. I am proud to have known you prior to your service and even prouder to have served in this great military along with you. Your sacrifice is never forgotten and your example still drives many of us today. I always and and will continue to admire you and one day in heaven would like to tell you the story of how you were able to help me without even saying one word. I wrap my military service up soon but I keep you in my heart always. Love you brother and hope to see you again.
Charlie Batista, CPT
To my dear friend Jon. There has not been a friend in the world that believed in me the way you have. We did our first comedy show at the Washington ethical center and your since of humor and fighting sprit lives through me. I would like to take this holiday to remember your displine your humor and our friendship.
Ryan Nathaniel Hill
Remembering you Jon, on this Memorial Day. You paid the ultimate sacrifice for your fellow man. Some day, the One who paid the highest sacrifice of all mankind will raise you from the grave with the sound of the trumpet, with the voice of the archangel, and my brother, I will greet you in the air.
Some day soon.
Seems like it was just yesterday, my Freshman year, we were leaving basketball practice at CUC, Lennox and I were exhausted and barely conscious from all the sprints we did and here you come. Jogging by, with a huge grin on your face and giving us a 'good game ladies.' Happy as could be, like a kid in a candy shop. But that was who you were all the time, and it was great to see that and be around you. Then I remember getting home and listening to the voicemails from my dad. Losing a friend is hard, losing a brother in arms is something only a few understand. It was hard missing your farewell, but working for Uncle Sam, I know you can sympathize. Today our eternally grateful nation mourns and remembers your sacrifice, and all those who have fallen in defense of her. I remember it everyday and tell your story often when asked about the names engraved on my bracelet. Til we meet again.
Remembering and honoring you and our fallen soldiers on this Memorial Day, Jon. You are dearly missed by your "Gold Star" family ~ may you be surrounded by loved ones we have lost, as well as your fellow comrades-in-arms who made the ultimate sacrifice. And ♫ singing ♫ and laughing with angels!
Nadia, David, and Kristia, Memorial Day has taken on a deeper meaning since the loss of Jonny. I think of him often, how he made me laugh, what a wonderful young man he was, and what dedication he had to his country. He is missed by many. Today as we remember all of our fallen soldiers, I think of that funny boy in my class who made teaching a greater joy. You're in my thoughts and prayers!
Remembering my "hero" cousin, Jonathan, especially on this Memorial Day..thank's to him and so many others who have sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy our freedom here in America. May you rest in peace my dear cousin until that "special day" when Jesus will call you home to heaven..can't wait to see you then!
SGT Cadavero, its a beautiful Sabbath day, and on this day of reflection, his name especially comes to mind. Although we never met, I know Jon was a man of integrity, refined character, and without question, a man of great valor. I know Jon had a job in Iraq that was not for the faint of heart. He placed himself in harm's way on a daily basis searching for IED's so that all of the support elements could travel unharmed. He placed himself in harm's way so that others would be unharmed. He gave the ultimate sacrifice, and he did it bravely.
SGT Cadavero, we wait for that glorious day when we will say: "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O Death, where is your sting?
O grave, where is your victory?”
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is our hope! On that day we will meet for the first time, but that day won't be the last - as eternity stands before us.
I went to medic school with Jon back in 06-07 and remember hearing of his passing shortly after it happened. I felt so awful after hearing about it and I felt worse that I was unable to go to his funeral. He was easily the only reason why I was able to make it through medic school. His sense of humor and amazing personality kept me going throughout the grueling training. I miss him all the time. I am really glad that I found this website it is really great, good job! Anyways, I have a few pictures of Jon that I recently came across while cleaning out some of my old army bags. If you would like I can email them to you or even mail them if you would want.
5 years now. I can't believe how fast it has gone. I still think of you and the others all the time. You continue to drive me to be a better officer, man and father. Thanks for your sacrifice. You are not forgotten. We have ended our service in Iraq now. It came all of the sudden. Despite the long road that country has ahead of them before they have peace, it is a better place now than it was in 2003 before the war started. All because of you and the others that provided that opportunity to their people.
Five years ago on February 27, 2007, Sergeant Jonathan D. Cadavero was killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near his vehicle in Baghadad, Iraq. Since that time hundreds of well-wishers have signed his guest book (sgtjon.com), for which his family is very, very grateful.
To best illustrate Jonathan’s lasting legacy of humanitarianism and his determination to live daily a life of service to others, one could turn to Luke 10:30-37 and read the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus indicates that the two most important laws are to love God and to love your neighbor. Which one of the three people illustrated in the parable was a real neighbor, Jesus asks. The answer: The one who showed pity. Jonathan accepted the admonishment of Jesus – “Go and do the same.” For 24 years, Jonathan’s life centered around service to others. Time-after-time Jonathan communicated love to those around him – and always put the needs of others as a prioritized value above his own.
There are two conflicting forces that determine the type of people we become. Those who are inner-directed are driven by ego, and ask the question to each dilemma they face, “What’s in it for me?” Their motives are based on selfishness. Those who are outer-directed respond affirmatively to the question, “What can I do to help/serve you?” They are motivated by a strong desire to be of service to others. Jonathan’s life from a very early age was driven by service, care and concern for others as well as principled standards of living.
A few illustrations:
• Jonathan was medic with a platoon which had the task of hunting IED’s and disposing of them before they could explode – one of the most vital and dangerous assignments in Iraq. In a 6 month period, Jonathan’s platoon found and disposed of 172 IED’s, 62 of which had the potential to explode. (Jonathan requested to serve on this “elite team” because he knew that it had the greatest impact on saving the lives of his fellow comrades).
• Even when given the choice of staying on base to work in the medical clinic (in which safety and security were not a serious issue compared to a battlefield), Jonathan insisted on being on the front lines.
• Jonathan provided medical care in Iraq to his brothers and sisters in arms during the most vulnerable time of any firefight – when comrades have suffered injury and require immediate medical attention. While under hostile fire, and exposed to continuous harm, Jonathan displayed tremendous courage and “grit” and placed his life at great risk – to save his fellow comrades. Jonathan’s dedication to selfless service is further demonstrated by the fact that he never missed one mission – he was always available for duty no matter the circumstances. There can be no greater example of love in action.
Jonathan didn’t demonstrate principle-based living only in Iraq – he did this well before he began his term of service. Just two of many ways he demonstrated this:
1. Within a few months after Jonathan died, his 6th grade teacher said he knew Jonathan was headed for “greatness” because he lived a principle based life. He recalled an occasion where several boys in the class managed to get hold of a final examination – and all cheated, except one…Jonathan. When confronting Jonathan, the teacher asked why didn’t you join your classmates in cheating on the examination. Jonathan’s response – “because I wanted to earn my grade.” (Jon learned early in life that it is better to get an “F” than to cheat. An “F” only signifies a lack of preparation, cheating signifies a lack of character).
2. During Jonathan’s junior year in college someone broke into a room in the men’s dormitory and stole thousands of dollars of musical instruments. The dean called the 300 boys into the worship room and requested assistance from the men to help find the alleged perpetrator(s). Only 1 student out of the 300 raised his hand and was willing to help…Jonathan. Jonathan did good “detective work” and was instrumental in having all the musical equipment returned to the owner. When confronted with the question if he was concerned about his safety, or that others would retaliate against him, Jonathan indicated that he had nothing to fear because he did the right thing and that God would protect him.
This is how Jon lived his entire life…living by principles that separated him from the “pack.”
Jonathan demonstrated year-in and year-out that it is not enough to simply exist on this earth. The challenge for each of us is to define and create a meaningful life. Winston Churchill declared, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” On February 27, 2007, Jonathan paid the ultimate sacrifice. Thousands of other soldiers lost their lives in operation Iraqi Freedom (and others conflicts). Freedom does not come free – but it is worth the sacrifice.
Jonathan’s legacy of courage, conviction and principled-based living is worthy of emulation. He left this world a better place and served our country for service sake, desiring nothing in return. Hundreds of lives were touched and warmed by this incredible human being. He is missed, but his legacy will live on…not just for 5 years, not 10, 15 or 20 but for eternity.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
David A. Cadavero
I apologize..I got my date mixed up, thinking today was the 27th..so sorry about that! the message remains in tact, however..
5 years ago today, my precious cousin, Jonathan, laid down his life for our country so that we could continue to live in a much safer environment. My cousin is a "true" hero-a person I will ALWAYS be proud of! I miss my "little brother" very, very much and wish I could have spent more time with him..living more than 800 miles away all those years made it difficult though I will always have fond memories of seeing him at our grandmother's house in the Bronx and at our Aunt Dee and Uncle Dick's house in Massachusetts.. I long for the day when I'll see Jon in heaven where I"ll thank him "face to face" for his tremendous sacrifice! Until that day arrives, I will NEVER forgot how much of an honor it is for me to be Jon's first cousin..
Your Cousin & one of your "biggest fans",
5 years! It was 2 days after my wedding that I found out the horrible news of your death. Although we only spoke a few times after high school I have such good memories with you. Your high energy and always positive attitude in life made you such a great person and friend to have. I miss you dearly and my condolences go out to your family. Thank you for being brave and the sacrifice you made!
Today is the 5th anniversary of the death of my friend's son, Jonathan. I am proud of the family smiling through their pain. I know I share their pain and will only find final relief when Jonathan's Savior, Jesus Christ breaks the sky and raises him to perfect new life. Can't wait!!! Till that day we work on in hope. Thanks David for sharing you son and the sacrifice your family has made that we can all be free. JG
I can't believe it's been five years...thought of you with love today.
I still think about you often and how you have impacted my life. One thing that impressed me the most about you is that you always found a way to make everyone smile. Every time I saw you, you always had a joke for me and if I was in a bad mood, my mood would change if I was near you. I remember the times we had, listening to music and making jokes when your mother would either give my brother and I, a ride to school or drop us off at home. You also took the time out to show me some of your techniques in basketball, when you would see me practicing in the gym. I will never forget when I made that inside joke to Mrs. Cadavero and said you was black, because you played basketball so well. You took it as a compliment, which it was. I truly admired how you watched over your family and the respect you had for your mother and grandmother. Your grandmother was dear to me as well and anytime you walked into the room her face would light up. Even when you weren't around sometimes she used to call for you. You were an amazing person and I think God sent you to be your mother's angel. I know God has an ultimate plan for all of our lives and even though this maybe so terribly difficult for your family and all of your friends, I know God loves you more than anyone and he knows what is best for you. You will always be in our hearts and I feel blessed that I was able to know you and spend time with you.
Five years ago today...........February 27th the date is engraved on my heart, the awful day Jon died. Every year that date comes around again on the calendar, and for lack of anything better, we call it the "anniversary" of his death. It seems so wrong though, anniversaries should be for celebrating a joyous occasion, not for acknowledging a death.
Unless one goes through this experience, not many people understand the full impact of opening your front door to find 2 soldiers in dress uniform standing uncomfortably before you. It's a sight no one ever wants to see, a sight I never expected to see.
As one of the soldier spoke, his words tore me apart. My heart stopped. I couldn't breathe. Everything came to a stop. At the tme my brain had no ability to register the compassion that brought those 2 soldiers to my doorstep, the respect for my son that prompted the visit and the gentleness & dignity with which they broke my heart.
I still cry daily. My heart continues to break in a million pieces over & over again. At times I still have difficulty breathing & the heaviness in my chest exhausts me. The twisting in my guts makes me want to scream in agony.
Today, on this 5th "anniversary" family & close friends will gather at Jon's gravesite bringing flowers & recall wonderful memories of Jon, my only son: a bright, intelligent, personable and very funny guy. Hopefully their support will bring some comfort and emotionally sustain me.
Miss & love you Jon - more than words can ever say.
Every other year – before 2007 – February 27th was just another ordinary, late winter day. Here in New England, we’re always on spring watch at this time of year. Anticipating that very contagious and oh, so delightful spring fever that makes one’s soul dance. But on that fateful day in 2007, our extended family lost a bright shining light. And so now, February 27th is loaded with new meaning. An anniversary of the “heart” that family members and friends mark each year now with sadness and yearning for what "might have been." You still had so far to go!
Jonny, as we’ve all said many times, you tragically left this earth much too soon. But not before you made such a positive impact on so many lives. The ripple effect of that positive impact continues, even now – five years later. And for that, we are forever grateful. As one can see from all these poignant posts on this site, anyone who ever came in contact with you was left with a profound sense of the goodness in humanity. You made us all want to be a better person. To “pay it forward” and make the world a better place. That was one of your greatest gifts that you left for all of us. And so we’ll show our gratitude by continuing to celebrate and honor your memory, on this day and always. And by “paying-it-forward.” Rest in peace, my dear cousin, and watch over us . . . may you be singing and laughing with angels! ♥♥
I almost can't believe it has been 5 years, although I know for your family every day must still seem like a struggle. I have your photo posted on the wall of my office, and just about every day, I look at it and remember how lucky I was to have known and worked with you, even for such a brief time. Your photo serves as a reminder of the kind of person I strive to be - kind, open minded, respectful to all, hard working, compassionate. . . a "mensch" (rightious man) as my father would say. All these years later I still can not explain why it was you who was taken; but you were put on this earth to touch our lives but for too brief a time. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family today; may they gain some small confort in knowing that their son is thought of often and missed by many.
Another Holiday Season has come & gone. Family and friends sitting around the table for Christmas dinner.....but there's that empty chair once again. The last time Jon was home for Christmas was 6 years ago. He was in medic training at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas when all the soldiers were given 10 days off for the Holidays. What a joyous time that was to have Jon home. We did last minute Christmas shopping together, I made all his favorite meals, we'd go walking in the woods, watch favorite movies while munching on popcorn, and then we would talk until almost dawn!! Who knew that would be the last Christmas spent together?
Jon's last Christmas as spent in Iraq. Besides sending him his favorite snacks & treats in a Christmas "care package" I sent a pine tree branch sealed in a zip lock bag. He thought that was the greatest gift because it reminded him of home & the pine aroma filled his trailer.
Rest in peace my beloved son and be assured the empty space in my heart is filled with treasured memories and thoughts of you.
Jon, you are sadly missed, eternally loved and always remembered.
I never knew or met Jonathan but I taught at Greater New York Academy and grew to respect his father David. I believe if Jon was anything like his dad then he was a good person who loved what is mission was.
David I nearly lost my son in July, 2007 due to a car accident. By god's grace I still have him even though he went through several surgeries and was near death. Since that horrible day he has fully recovered. My pain is no where near what you have experienced but I know how you and your wife must feel and I wish you God's peace in this period of time without your son.
It was 6 years ago on Thanksgiving Day that Jonathan joined several friends for the annual Thanksgiving dinner at my freind's place overlooking the San Antonio River Walk, shrotly before his graduation from Medic training at Fort Sam Houston, TX. We had all met when he began attending worship services at the church just a block away from the motel where he and his friends would stay on weekends. In such a short time, Jon and I and several others became fast friends--and kept in contact. I always remember him and his smile and friendly demeaner--every day, and especially on certain days, like Thanksgiving. He is never far from my thoughts--and neither is his family. I don't post here as often as I should, but please know that Jon is fondly remembered.
This morning, I heard the kind voice of educator David Cadavero, Jon's father, a respected mentor of teachers, and a respected friend from my teen years when I looked up to David as possessor of an amazingly rich and erudite vocabulary. I hadn't spoken to him since his son died. Last week in Riverside we had the heartbreaking memorial service for Rick Villani, Marine Sargeant, 31, who had lost his own battle with PTSD after many years of service in Afghanistan. The Marines presented a powerfully emotive service to honor their brother, and Rick's mother, my dear friend, sat shattered in heart at the front row as the closed coffin rested near her, and then she bravely, hesitantly gave her own son's eulogy. Scenes like this, and senseless sacrifices, though not senseless in the purpose of the brave young warriors who put their lives between harm's way and an often unappreciative American citizenry, all lead us to hope desperately and anxiously for The Soon Return of a Loving and Compassionate God Who will restore each fighter to a waiting family. Oh surely, Come Quickly Lord Jesus, and may our lives now be worthy of the sacrifices made.
Today is Veteran's Day. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers, and always will be. "Roll Call" at your memorial ceremony felt so tragic, but during the short time I knew you it was very apparent that you lived a noble life, and pointed towards God with your actions. You made an impact on my life, and I can only imagine how many others. Thank you.
You were there for me during the most difficult time in my life. I knew that I could always count on you no matter what. It didn't matter the time, you were always there. I miss you more than words can ever express.
"Wasted away again in Margaritaville" -- I love you. You will forever be in my heart.
There are two holidays that should be celebrated every day. The first is Independence Day, and the second is Veterans Day. They are inexorably linked, for we would never have freedom without our servicemen.
Thank you Jon, all veterans, and current soldiers, for everything you have done for us by keeping us safe and free.
So many times I have started a message on this site. Maybe today I will click submit....
You by far are the most amazing, wonderful, sincere, heroic, man I ever knew. One of my favorite memories was taking a road trip down to your mothers house to get your car. A 3 hour trip to Tuxedo, NY turned into like 5 after a few wrong turns. You said on the way, your mom would greet you by kissing & hugging you like she hadn't seen you in years- because that was how she greeted you every time she seen you, even if it was the day before. So much love & kindness, just through her smile- it was the same as yours. When we pulled up he said "now Jess, my mom is going to insist you come in & feed you, so come on!" There was never a dull moment. You were always cracking a joke or saying/singing something ridiculous. You were such a great friend. I went through a lot the summer before we deployed and you were always there for me. I know I said thank you a million times. I wish I told you how sorry I was. The last time I seen you was 2 days before that mission. I was sitting outside the trailer when a mouse bit my toe! Had I known that was the last time I'd see that smile or hear your voice I would have maybe said some things I should have said a year before.
Travis & I got pregnant returning home from Iraq. When I found out I was having a girl I couldn't figure out how to name her after you. Until I realized it was your nickname that would be hers. "J.C." - spelled Jaycie & She is 3 years old now. She is such a character, you would gotten a kick out of her! She loves to make people laugh & entertain them.
No poems, pictures, letters, songs could ever remind or show how much you meant to me, But In your memory my daughter lives to tell a story of how she was named after one of America's most wonderful hero's. I miss you and love you so much JC. So until we meet again, I'll keep the memory of you forever in my heart.
Always & forever,
On certain "special" days, although I know in my heart what I want to say, I try but the words just don't come. After Jon's death, I received a number of books on grief & mourning. They say you don't "get over" grief, you learn to live with it. I'm living with it. They say grief will probably hurt more before it hurts less. It hurts more now than ever. They say grief & mourning will impact all five realms of experience: physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual. I've been impacted.
Not an hour or day goes by when I don't think of Jon. I remember & cherish him as my son, and as a very unique indivdual. There's no one else like him. I miss the special mother-son relationship we had. Our talks, laughs & silly faces we made. We supported each other through good & bad times. I could look at Jon & know what he was thinking.
Strange as it might sound, some of the pictures sent home from the war, Jon looked happy, at peace & in perfect contentment. Stranger still, those pictures bring me a small sense of peace & relief knowing he was happy.
How do I go on without my beloved son? I keep his memory alive within my heart & mind. I speak of him often with love, pride, laughter & tears. I love him now more than ever. I will never be the same without him.
Rest in Peace Jon. I keep on missing you...........
Jon and I use to split the hotel costs at the Travel Lodge in San Antonio - they offered a free breakfast and it kinda just got us away from the barracks on the weekends. We hung out quite a bit and ended up going to FT Drum together. It was good for him because he said he was from a town called Tuxedo? In New York. We deployed together and I saw him a few times. He was in a really dangerous part of 10th Mountains AO when he got hit. I'm sorry for his family's loss... he was funny as hell.
Ten years ago today, I walked into a class during my senior year in college to hear the news that a plane had crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I immediately called Jon and told him, as our aunt worked in one of the adjacent buildings. At the time, everyone thought it was a horrible accident.
I was in class when the second plane hit the other tower, and as soon as the students exited we were told the news that airplanes had flown into both towers of the World Trade Center. It was now obvious to all that America was under attack.
An emergency assembly was called, and Jon, who attended the same college, and I sat together with our friends. It was soon announced that the Pentagon was attacked by a third airplane, making us all feel very vulnerable as we were only a few miles from downtown Washington, D.C. I remember Jon and I looking at each other, and almost at the same time we both said, “Everything is going to change.”
When the phones finally allowed us to call home, we were told that our aunt was safe although she was witness to many horrifying details from that day. She saw the bodies falling from the twin towers, felt the dust of thick grey surround her, and ran for her life as both buildings came crashing down.
Yes, everything did change. Though attacked several times during the previous decade, we both knew that America would now officially be at war with terrorists who wanted to destroy our nation.
Jon wanted to enlist in the army the next day. He had always wanted to serve in the military, but the tragic events of September 11, 2001 solidified his resolve to serve our country. Although Jonny waited until after he graduated college to join our Army, he never forgot the horrific attack of 9-11 and his determination to serve our country in war time never lessened.
My thoughts and prayers, most especially on this difficult ten-year mark, go to the families and loved ones of all the victims of September 11 who entered into eternity on that day.
I had the privilege of being Jonathan's dormitory dean at CUC. I remember him as being incredibly kind, funny and warm. I always wished that he had come also to Garden State Academy where I had deaned prior to arriving at CUC. He never passed my office without coming in to talk or just to say hello. I particularly remember how happy he was after being in a play in DC. He was so happy that his mother was in the attendance. I was not on duty at the time so he came to my apartment to talk to my family and I about this. He was so happy. I think of Jonathan often and honor him with an assignment that I give out each year in my class at my present school. I found this web site today hours before I am to go to class and assign this project this year. God bless Jonathan's family. Thank you for sharing him for too brief a time.
Today, 5 years ago, Jon left Ft. Drum and headed for Iraq. He (and Michelle) were on the last plane that left Ft. Drum. During the day he must have called home at least a dozen times to say "good bye" and to remind me to be at Ft. Drum upon his return. Instead of greeting him back home, plaques and pictures of Jon (as well as of all the others who died) hang all over the base honoring him, his service and sacrifice.
In the 2nd BSTP building, a large picture with the following saying hangs on the wall:
"We thought of you with love today,
But that is nothing new.
We thought of you yesterday,
And the day before that too.
We think on you in silence,
We often speak your name.
Now all we have are memories,
And your picture in a frame.
Your memory is our keepsake,
With which we'll never part.
God has you in His keeping,
And we have you in our hearts."
Instead of pictures and plaques more than anything I wish Jon was here. Missing Jon more than words can ever say & loving him as if he was here.
Jon and my daughter Meyassar were such good friends throughout high school. Always kept in touch. Shared so many things in common; basketball, sports, jokesters and now realizing that they shared becoming a PA. This is her first year in the PA program and she says that this gives her great motivation for completing the task because she will do it for Jonny. We love you and will always keep you in our hearts!
Jon and I graduated Waldwick High School together in 2000. Although we lost touch after high school, during school he was always a good friend. We sat at the same lunch table, had our lockers next to each other, home room together as well as many other classes. He was always there to greet me with a warm smile and a joke in the morning being that I wasn't a morning person and it was obvious, he always cheered me up. I dont think I ever remember Jon not being kind and in a good mood. Such a wonderful spirit. I heard of his passing shortly after it happened and he has always remained in my thoughts. A beautiful life taken too soon. With the time he was given he accomplished more and help more people than most can do in 85 years. He is a true inspiration and is greatly missed. RIP Jon. I'm thankful to have had you in my life. xoxo
I met Jon my freshman year at CUC...we met in English 101. When the teacher asked each of us to share what our favorite book was, it turned out Jon and I had the same favorite. Later that day in the dorm, I came downstairs to the lobby and Jon was standing there. He said to me, "Hey, isn't your favorite book The Great Gatsby?" That is where our friendship started. He was always so uplifting and I had never met anyone quite like him before. He tried his very best at everything he did and he was so very dedicated. I remember he came to me one day and asked if I would like to make a commercial with him. It was a commercial for Tommy Hilfiger...and the theme was...the American Flag. I knew Jon loved his country and I am so proud of him for standing up for what he believed in. His life spoke volumes to me...his morals and standards were very high.
His sense of humor was just one more reason love him. He was going to the mall one day and I asked if I could go along. His response was, "Alicia, you do not bring sand to the beach." I laughed so hard. I also remember going to his sister's apartment and she had some Harry Potter Jelly Beans. Jon made me try the "dirt" and "booger" but his favorite to make me eat was "vomit".
I remember the day that I found out he was gone. I cried. Such an amazing man gone too quickly. I know I will see him soon and I can't wait until that day.
I thought about you so much last night. I just kept replaying our last moments together over and over. Some days I'm fine. I go forward in life with you always locked in my heart. Some days though, It hits me all over again. I feel that unbearable pain like my heart may bleed out. I remember our last night together. We were going to watch a movie but ended up talking all night. We talked about us, and life an death and babies and the house we would one day own and the places we would see together. You said your top priority was to get me home safe. I remember saying goodbye to you before your mission. I wish I never let go of your hand.
I remember a few weeks before, I got my uniform name tape. I was officially (according to the Army) Cadavero. I put my uniform on with a different level of pride. I was your wife and I had the name tape to prove it! I hate that when I'm going through these memories of us I always go to the moment I knew I'd never see you again. I wish I could stop myself at the memory of you proposing to me. We had just got to Iraq. I had been on my first mission. I was walking back to the tents with you and helicopters were flying over. You stopped and grabbed my hand and said, "Lets get married." Or the memory when I was at the MWR center and I scraped my knee and my friends joked about needing my medic. And then I see you walking up to me. And you cleaned my knee and kissed my forehead. I couldn't believe you showed up at that time. Like you knew I was hurt of something. My hero.
But I always go back to the moment I saw my Squad leader and CSM standing in the door of the tent. Or the torture of watching your convoy come back without you. Devastated is not a strong enough word to explain what I felt hearing those words I fought to ignore. A big piece of me died with you Jon. You had so much of my heart with you. Our life together was over before it even started.
I struggled with leaving Iraq without you. I mean you were seated right next to me on the plane there. How could I leave with out you? After the funeral, I wanted to go back. But I could just hear you calling me "Woman" and saying I was to stay home and safe. Then hearing that my friends and fellow MPs died. I really needed you then. I needed to be back in Iraq with you and I needed to help out my platoon.
I needed to tell you this. I've kept so much bottled up because I couldn't and can't deal with the pain of losing you. The guilt I feel that I left Iraq without you. That I left my guys. I love you so much Jon. You are the love of my life. I hope you know, where ever you are that I never stop thinking about you. I will never stop loving you.
Today, June 13th, Jon would have been 29 years old. Jon was born on my father's brithday and, every year, my dad would tell me I gave him the best brithday present by giving him another grandchild, this time a grandson. But I think it was I who received the greatest gift. No few words could describe Jon. I could write volumes...........he was tenderhearted, kind, compassionate, thoughtful, friendly, smart, quick witted, extremely funny, and colorful and well, a regular "Pollyanna". He looked for and found good in everyone. From an early age he zest for life was amazing. And as he grew older, every day he would thank God for another day of life.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadwide, totally worn out & proclaiming...."WOW, what a ride"!!!!! Don't know who wrote those words, but anyone who ever knew Jon KNOWS that is something he would say.
I wish I could have prepared Jon's favorite meal today, showered him with gifts & hear him say, "OH mom, you shouldn't have..........." Instead, we brought flowers to his grave. If only he could know how very much he is missed, thought about each day, and loved dearly. If I could, I would change places with Jon in a heartbeat...........and have him really enjoy & celebrate his 29th birthday!
Until that big reunion...........rest in peace my beloved son.
Cheers to our dear cousin, Jonny ~ blowing out 29 birthday candles in heaven and laughing with angels!
You are dearly missed . . . ♥♥
If I ever knew a man who to me deserved all that heaven and earth could muster from it's bounty. To Bestow it's full grace and love. Jon was that man and I will never forget. He is with me everyday and night. He is with me as I love, laugh and even when times get hard and I need to know someone has my back, he is with me. I only wish to be half the man he was and give myself fully as he has. I miss you man and save me a place where you can be seen for the angel you are. R.I.P I can't wait to see you again.
I had my iPod on shuffle last night and came across a song that I have not listened to in a very long time. It holds so many memories I can't even begin to describe the impact that it had when it suprisingly came on. This song, "So She Dances" by Josh Groban, was the only song that provided me comfort and a sense that God was with me and my family at Jonny's funeral. I do not know why but to this day I know that God is with me and that He cares for Jonny as well as for his family. If you are hurt, in need of comfort, or just pain confused on what to do, run to God because no matter what, He holds the answers that you're looking for. I know He did with me and still has my back everyday, just like He did/does with Jon. To the Moon Jonny, to the Moon!! Love and Miss you!
Remembering Jon's sacrifice on this Memorial Day, for that is what this day truly means--to remember and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Jon, you live in our memory every day.
~ In remembrance of Jon today ~ altho I do not need Memorial Day to think about him... I continue to admire Jon for the courage, love, passion, dedication to his country he felt so strongly. Today I have shed a number of tears thinking about him and all who died for our freedom. Jon, You are loved and missed.... God Speed
I had the joy and honor of going to school with Jon at CUC. I had a lot of fun working with him at the library. He would always stop at the desk point to the scanner and say "Do not scan your eyeball for it will burn your retina." and we'd laugh. I cried the day I heard Jon died four years ago. I couldn't help but feel somewhat guilty. He hated to type and he and I worked out an arrangement where I would type his papers for a dollar a page. One of the papers that I typed was the letter he sent to the medic training program stating why he should be accepted. I know he would have still sent that letter and joined whether I had typed it or not, but I couldn't help feeling slightly responsible. Today on this Memorial Day he is not far from my thoughts. I look forward to seeing him soon.
"To those who died securing peace and freedom; to those who served in conflict to protect our land and sacrificed their dreams of the day to preserve the hope of our Nation - keeping America the land of the free for over two centuries - we owe our thanks and our honor. It is important to ensure that the purpose for which they fought will never be forgotten." ~ Author Unknown
This quote could have been written for Jon ~ this was his mission in life and he proudly carried it out with bravery, determination, passion and true grit. Remembering and honoring him on this Memorial Day, and always. ♥ Loved ♥ and missed by all his family!
jon was a real good friend to everybody he met. i got to know him real good during deployment training, and the time we were in iraq he is missed by all that knew him
I recently attended a NYS Gold Star Mothers Convention held at Lake George, NY. A place where we vacationed numerous times. A place Jon absolutely loved. Every time I looked at the lake, I couldn't help but "see" Jon riding a tube behind a pontoon boat having the time of his life!
I was surrounded by Gold Star Mothers (and Vets) for 3 days and met all kinds of interesting people. I met a mother who lost a son 43 years ago and one who lost a son only 10 months ago. Anyone who says "time heals all wounds" has not looked into the face & eyes of a 90 year old mother who lost her son over 40 years ago and, to this day, still cries & mourns for her son. A mother's love does not ever die. Nor is the son who died ever forgotten. Jon might be gone physically but he is "alive" in my mind & heart. I think of him all the time. I miss the crazy faces he used to make, him waking me at 5 a.m. telling me he is going for a run up the mountain. I miss our talks, his laughter & the way he would tilt his head back when he laughed. I miss him eating a ton of food and then after 2 hours asking for a "snack"........I miss his calls, the sound of his voice. I miss him.
A mothers love never dies. Love you always Jon. Now & forever.
When I heard the news of the killing of bin Laden, I immediately thought of Jon--and his family. What great news that the mastermind and theoratician who orchestrated the attack on America had been found--and killed. Like others, I'm sure that Jon was smiling and so, so proud of all in the US military
Jonny, I can't help but think that you must be so proud of our U.S. Military, extra-specially today. ♥ Heartfelt ♥ thanks to you and each of your comrades-in-arms, yet again, for your dedicated service and for all that you did to ♫ 'Let Freedom Ring' ♫ in this great land of ours!
Yesterday I attended my first Gold Star Mothers event. An organization I would not have chosen to join. No mother would. All strangers sitting at a table, yet somehow we all knew & understood the grief & pain each one felt. When one cried, we all cried. As I was glancing through the journal that was distributed, I found the following poem:
"You will always live on
In my mind and my heart.
I remember the days
Since last we did part.
I think of the child
That loved to play in the sand
And when we walked
Always holding my hand.
You'd say hold onto me Mommy
Don't let me get lost.
I would hold on forever
I would pay any cost.
But I could not be with you
I could not be there
When the world took you from me
Returned only a prayer.
The pain lives forever
My heart cannot mend
I'll die a little each day
Till I hold you again."
As Gold Star Mothers we mourn our fallen, but we honor them by continuing to support and encourage our warriors still in the melee of war.
I miss by beloved son Jon.........will love him with all my heart, always.
Dear Mrs. Nadia Cadavero, As a mother of a soldier, my heart breaks for you everytime I read your words. I truly believe there is no greater love than the love a mother has for her child. I do not know you personally, but through your words, I have come to know Jon, the person he was, the son you so dearly loved. You are always in my prayers, Mrs. Cadavero. God Bless You
Today, especially today, I paused numerous times to remember my beloved son, Jon, not only for the sacrifice he made, but also for the life he lived, the dedication he displayed, and the love he shared. Today, four years ago was Jon's funeral. It was a cold afternoon, but it was spent at the cemetery and, as usual, flowers were placed at his gravesite. I miss Jon, my heart aches every day for him. Rest in peace son until your name is called once more............
Love you always.
Four years have now past since I lost my beloved cousin who was like a little brother to me.. Jon you are missed as much today as you were when we all found out the dreadful news. I can't wait to be reunited with you one day soon. You are a true hero whom I will ALWAYS look up to and want to model my life after. I never heard you say a bad word about anyone- even to those who didn't treat you right. Your sacrifice to our blessed country 4 years ago will never, never be forgotton..Rest in peace little brother. Jesus is coming soon to take us all home!! I can't wait to see you again!!!
Four years later, Jonny, we're celebrating with fondness the legacy you left each of us: happy memories, uproarious laughter, true-blue patriotism and insurmountable ♥ love ♥ of your family, friends and comrades-in-arms. You touched each of our lives like no other here on earth. And you will always be missed ~ but we are ever grateful that your light will forever shine on.
Jon, It is hard to think that four years has already gone by. I am now in a unit that remembers every fallen Soldier that has ever been in its formation. Everything shuts down as we go out to the memorial and hear the memories of friends for each of fallen. I am extremely proud to be part of this unit as they honor their fallen in this manner. But each memorial time I think of you and the others. You all deserve it and so do your families.
Doc, I can't help but to think that the events happening in North Africa and the Middle East right now are directly linked to our presence in Iraq for the last decade. With the common people rising and demanding freedom from their autocratic rulers, the impact of our time and your sacrifice has grown tremendously in the last two months. Now there are many millions more that can experience our freedoms. You paid the ultimate price for all of them. I thank you today for them and thank you for your example to me.
Doc, I miss you and enjoy telling my children about you and the others that are heros to me.
Four years ago, almost to the minute, the door bell rang. That is when my nightmare began as two soliders from West Point came to inform me that Jon was killed earlier that day in Iraq. I am still in that nightmare. The last time Jon was home for Thanksgiving 2006, although he didn't talk about Iraq, he did mention to me that he is not afraid to die, that he was "ready." He must have seen the horror in my eyes/on my face as he quickly added that "nothing is going to happend to him and he will come home." I have heard a number of times that the Lord does not call one to come home unless that person is ready. If Jon was "ready," I certainly wasn't nor would I ever be "ready" to lose my son.
Today, dozens of roses (red, yellow and white) were placed at his gravesite as we reminisced about happy times. Jon brought so much happiness, laughter, and love to me, to our family. Bittersweet tears were shed and Jon was missed & loved as much as ever.
Until that glorious reunion, rest in peace my son. Love you.
I miss you
It's been four years to that dreadful day, when I lost one of my best medics... Everyone was scared to give me the news...and all I could think about after receiving that news is "How am I going to tell his family, he's not coming home with us..." That was a horrible time for me, but I had to be strong for everyone else. I switched over to the officer side of the house SGT Cadavero because at the time we were getting your paperwork ready for you to become a physican assistant (PA)... I know you're gone, but the LORD knows you're never FORGOTTEN and will always be with me.
The month of February is supposedly the month of love, hearts & flowers. Displays to that effect have been everywhere and to me they were all reminders of Jon. Thinking of him, every month is a month of love. What I wouldn't give to see him once more, see that smile of his, get one more hug. But today, the day before he died, instead of writing about his death, and my/our loss, I want to write about Jon's life and his incredible capacity to love.
From a young child he was so tenderhearted and showed such compassion and love to his family and to all those around him. In elementary school he would give up his own lunch to a classmate who didn't have a lunch. In college he took a homeless man and bought him breakfast on a cold winter morning. After a snow storm he would shovel a neighbor's driveway and stairs so when they returned from a trip later that evening, they wouldn't have to worry about the snow & ice. As a soldier, he loved his fellow brothers in arms and, in spite of flying bullets, he wouldn't leave wounded soldiers behind and was willing to die to protect & save them in battle. Jon loved his Country and was willing to enlist in such perilous times, to defend & protect us and to ensure our freedoms. I could go on & on with stories about Jon's capacity to love. What a gift he gave to so many over his short time on earth!
Today, on the eve of the 4th anniversary of his death, Jon's love remains with me/us even now. Because of his courage, strength, love and life, my/our lives have changed forever. Thank you Jon for making such a difference in my life, and in all those you knew, for showing us that love has no boundaries.
Jon will forever remain in my thoughts and heart. Love you my son. Always.
It always amazed me how, no matter where Jon was, whenever he sent a card it always would arrive on the day it was supposed to. His last card to me was for Valentine's Day 2007. This Valentine's Day we went to Jon's gravesite, struggled through 2-3 feet of ice & snow to leave a red rose and a balloon tied to "his" bench which said: "Today, tomorrow & always, I love you."
We all love you. I read once that if you love somebody enough, you can still hear their laughter after they are gone. So often I/we remember funny things Jon said or did and we can almost hear him laughing at his own jokes! Through tears I still laugh -as Jon probably was the funniest person to ever walk this earth. Going through family photo albums, I know what Jon was thinking by the look on his face & I can almost hear his remarks...... What joy he brought to all those who knew him. What joy he brought to his family...to me, his mother. Miss & love you ever so much my son.
I just recently heard the news about Jon. I played on the CUC basketball team with him and still remember him cracking us up in the bus with his sense of humor. I could never understand how one of his favorite movies was "Spaceballs" although he had never seen the movie Star wars. I'll always remember him saying "What's the matter Colonel Sanders?...... Chicken!?" May God bless your family. It was a pleasure to know Jon and I am sorry for your loss.
Jon- I was reviewing your notes and letters you sent me during your Army days and had to drop you a note. Every time I go to the Police Academy and do roll plays I think of you and what fun we had. Knowing you was certainly fun, but knowing such a good human being was a true honor. The goodness in your heart was enormous. One os these day I will look forward to seeing you again and I'm sure will be envious of the joy you speard around your universe in heaven. Love to you, Jon Dave
I most wish your family a New Year, Without you nothing will ever be the same. Over some time, I did receive the pleasure of meeting your Family, which was a dream and a fear at the same time to me. I just hope I did my best for you.
I did not know Jonathan, but I knew his dad, in Dave's earlier years, working together in the kitchen at Camp Berkshire. This tribute is of course to Jonathan for his courage, love, honesty, integrity, and boundless sense of humor under extreme pressure. Yet these are the qualities I remember from David, in those years long ago. So while we pay tribute to Jonathan for his selfless life and sacrifice, there was a great father, and loving mother in the nourishing of that life. Blessings and love to you both, Dave and Nadia, from a voice from the past that still cherishes the wonderful memories of our youth, and praises God for the wonderful parents you both still are.
Four years ago on December 4th was the last time I saw Jon. I drove him to the airport as he & Michelle were heading back to Iraq. Who knew that would be the last time I would ever see him again.
Recently I read the following (don't remember where but I wrote the words down) and somehow it is fitting that I write this now.
We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name. In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone; for part of us went with you, the day God called you home. You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide; and though we cannot see you, you are always at our side. Our family chain is broken, and nothings seems the same; but as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again."
On Dec. 4th I placed 4 long stem red roses at Jon's grave site and, as always, left the cemetery with a heavy & broken heart. Jon will always be loved and missed. Always.
As I read the twenty-six pages of wonderful anecdotes and personal observations said about Sergeant Jonathan D. Cadavero, and the impact he had upon hundreds of lives, we are deeply appreciative of your time and effort to pay personal tribute to an incredible human being. His entire family was blessed to have him as a son, brother, nephew, cousin....as well as hundreds of friends! Even after three years in which he was killed (Februaru 27, 2007)by an improvised explosive device (IED) ,while he was on an IED-hunting mission in Baghdad, Iraq, time will never erase the wonderful example of courage,determination and conviction to serve his country that he deeply loved and cherished-America!
Sergeant Jonathan Cadavero or "Doc" as he was affectionately called by fellow soldiers, through word and action determined how to live so that his life mattered, so that the world would be a different place for his having passed through it. Sergeant Jon determined from an early age that there was more to life than just being alive-eating, sleeping, studying, working, etc. He was able to come face to face with answers to such questions as, What am I supposed to do with my life? And the more important question- How shall I live my life so that it will mean something more than a brief flash of existence soon to disappear? Jonathan was able to answer with authority that his life mattered, and that his death would leave the world poorer, and not just less crowded.
There have been numerous observations of how Jon was able to bring a laugh to a fellow soldier's face (even under conditions when he had extreme sleep deprivation), how his superiors and fellow soldiers admired his courage and valor under enemy fire, and his ability to make split second decisions that saved the lives of fellow soldiers. His medical attention to soldiers while under enemy fire, while he was exposed to continued harm demonstrates no greater example of love in action. Jonathan was less concerned about receiving applause, public acclaim or even being called a hero, than his desire just to do the "right thing" in his service for his comrades.
On February 27, 2007, a great human being was taken away from us, Sergeant Jonathan D. Cadavero. He led in his 24 years a most successful life on this earth. He paid the ultimate sacrifice. An analysis of his life could only come to the conclusion that, "Sergeant Jon" or "Doc" knew how to live as a human being and to live a life as it was meant to be lived, and that his life was not wasted but full of meaning.
In my office is an observation which says, "One hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in , the kind of car I drove....but the world may be a different place because I was important in the life of others." (paraphrased) Jonathan, you left the world and made it a better and different place for having passed through it. Your courage and selfless service to America will always be remembered- not just on Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, etc.- but everyday in which our country is recognizing America's "finest." God bless you, Jonathan, because you led a life worthy of emulation. You have lived a life that exemplies the level of excellence you underlined in your Bible, "Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it." GOD BLESS AMERICA!
David A. Cadavero
I have had the privilege for the last few months to represent the Waldwick Adventist School in a new capacity. It has been an honor to serve our students and parents.
However, as former alumnus, I also had the opportunity to sit with Jon for many years in various classes. As friends, I always knew he'd be there to listen, and of course, put a smile on my face. He was truly a friend (in every sense of the word).
Although we did not get a chance to meet up before he deployed to Iraq as we had planned, I will always remember his words of commitment to our country and loyalty to our freedoms. What a privilege it is for our school gymnasium to be named after such a special American, soldier, son, brother, and friend.
We miss Jon, but his memory lives on as our students just completed a Walk-a-Thon (with pride) in his honor to help many more students have the opportunity to sit in the classrooms that he did at his school.
I look forward to seeing him very soon when our Savior returns.
As we remember our veterans today, we also would like to use this opportunity to remember the families of our fallen heroes. David & Nadia Cadavero, Kristia, and Daria we may not be able to understand the depth of your loss but our prayers are with you always. Last year the gymnasium at Waldwick Seventh-day Adventist School was renamed in Jon’s honor so that we can remember his tremendous sacrifice. We will never forget! Take courage and remember you have friends who care. May God bless you always.
On Veterans Day, a Tribute to Our Soldiers
I recently saw the movie “Gettysburg,” about the famous Civil War battle, and I became reacquainted with the inspiring story of a Union Colonel, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. He was a professor from Maine with no military experience whatsoever before he joined the army. But Colonel Chamberlain’s quick wit and adaptable tactics during the second day of the battle of Gettysburg prevented the Confederacy from defeating the Union and winning the war.
In addition to being a skilled officer, Colonel Chamberlain was a very good man who strove for justice. One of the most poignant scenes in the film shows him giving an inspirational talk to a band of soldiers who were discouraged and wanted to return home.
The scene accurately depicts Colonel Chamberlain’s philosophy, as displayed in his journal and letters, when he states, “This is a different kind of army. If you look at history you'll see men fight for pay, or women, or some other kind of loot. They fight for land, or because a king makes them, or just because they like killing. But we're here for something new. This has not happened much, in the history of the world: We are an army out to set other men free. America should be free ground, all of it, from here to the Pacific Ocean. No man has to bow, no man is born to royalty. Here we judge you by what you do, not by who your father was. Here you can be something. Here is the place to build a home. But it's not the land. There's always more land. It's the idea that we all have value, you and me. What we're fighting for, in the end... we're fighting for each other.”
Our great country uniquely has the best soldiers, and the most benevolent army. From the Civil War to ensure the equality of man, to the liberations of Europe during both World Wars, to the little known excursions in Asia and Latin America, and to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, our armed forces have brought hope and freedom to countless millions.
On this Veterans Day, we remember our veterans as well as our current soldiers and the heroic fallen. Thank you for keeping us safe and free, and thank you for being such an inspiration.
Thank you especially to my brother Jon. You will always be remembered and honored.
On this Veterans Day I would like to take a moment to thank Jon all that he did for all of us. I regret that I did not have the opportunity to get to know Jon beyond what is on this website. He is deeply missed, but will never be forgotten. Thank you Jon.
"What is it that we admire about the soldier?
It is certainly not that he goes into battle; what we admire about the soldier is that he has the power of losing his own life for the life of a larger cause; that he holds his personal suffering of no account; that he flings down on the gage of battle his all, and says, "I will stand or fall with this cause."
That, it seems to me, is the glorious thing we most admire."-
Washington's Birthday Address, 1903.
The stars of American freedom .....are our Veterans. I thank all the men & women who over the years have devoted their lives & time, risked their personal safety to protect the freedoms Americans enjoy. Thank you to all those who trained & served with Jon. And special thanks to Jon - forever my/our hero, forever in my/our hearts. Thinking of Jon today with much love & pride. Wishing he was here with us.
Love you forever my beloved son.
Once again, another Veteran's Day has arrived, a time to honor and remember all who have served. I will be remembering Jonathan's days here in San Antonio several years ago when he was here for training as I attend the services/observances at the Fort Sam Houston Nationall Cemetery. Jonathan is never far from my thoughts and his family remains in my prayers.
Thanks, Jonathan, for the honor of knowing you!
Jonathan, on this day, we remember you, we thank you for your life, courage, & heroic example. We admire your legacy & hope to see you one day, when Jesus comes.
Remembering Jon extra-specially today, along with all the brave men and women who have courageously served our country. Thank you so much for your service and for protecting our freedom. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten and your legacy lives on as a bright, shining light in a sometimes-gloomy world. Much love to you, Jonny, over there on the Other Side, to your parents and sister, and to all our extended family living with your loss.
RIP Jon...We went to waldwick togther and one of my fondest memories is the Christmas program we did every year, and how happy he always was all the time. All I remember is him smiling...Thank you for your sacrifice...condolences to the Mrs. Cadavero, Kristia and his wife, I know this must be hard for all of them...my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Michelle, I am so sorry for YOUR LOSS and the pain you have had to go through. You have lost your husband and best friend, what you have endured is heartbreaking and he will be forever a HERO and you will always be a HEROS WIFE! Never forgotten and always remembered.
Reading this again after a sweet, poignant tearful reunion with Jeanette Rothe Johnson, a dear friend from Camp Berkshire staff days and AUC 69-72. We shared losses of dear ones and then had prayer, thanking the Lord for grace and for His promise of a SOON RETURN, not soon enough for many of us and especially for you, Nadia and David and Kristia, waiting and longing for the sound of the Trump of God to raise our precious ones. Sending love and prayers over the miles from Riverside CA.
Jon, it has been a while but I still miss you alot. No matter how hot or how miserable the day was, you always brought a light into it. You know my jersey mentality and I am not much of a typer( one of the many things we laughed about). It still does not register that you are not here in person. A while back, my 4 year old son asked me " Daddy, what is that bracelet on your arm?". I broke down crying as I said, "These are the names of people very close to me". Jon, you truly are a great soul, and I miss you so much bro. My eyes are filled with tears, but I can picture you here cracking a funny joke that only guys from the northeast can understand. You are always in my heart and in my thoughts, take care.
Just would like to let everyone know that his picture from the Times Herald Record has been on my fridge since story ran. I look at him everyday and his quote " I want to fight so that your children wont have to."
a very brave man and a patriot. He is with God now and may God bless him and his entire family!
I would like to thank him for his service and for giving my family and I the opportunity to be free.
I want to thank whomever created this page because, though it has been a few years since "The Doctor" and I exchanged our last verbal jousting, it feels like yesterday. Doc was a light in our platoon and in my days with him. I would smile whenever I would see him because he always wanted me to "smoke" him. He told me beach season was coming up (no matter what time of year) and he needed the exercise. He outlasted me every time, no matter what I had him doing. That's the kind of guy he was to me. He would face problems head-on because then he could succeed at getting what he wanted on his own terms.
I'll shut up and leave you with this:
One time I had my squad set up a trip wire with a device on it that made a loud pop when it was activated it. We did this with Cadavero in mind. We cleverly disguised the wire and I called him over (yelling). He hit the trip wire and was shaken by the pop that seemed to come out of no where. We laughed so loud and that he finally got it and laughed right along with us. I dont know if it makes sense to everyone else, but he embodied the comraderie that made the platoon what it was. I miss him, Soukenka and Henry constantly. I think about the families everywhere I go and I dont know if or when it is appropriate to talk to them to answer questions or whatever, but I am always here. firstname.lastname@example.org
Driving to work I pass this huge billboard with four servicemen standing at attention, heads slightly bowed. Only three words are written there: "Duty, Honor, Country". Everyday when I look at that billboard I "see" Jon. And every day I think of him not only for the sacrifice he made, but also for the life he lived, the dedication he displayed and the love he shared with his family & friends. Every day I miss Jon more. Things do not get better. Time does not heal all wounds. I carry Jon in my heart today & always.
Four years ago on August 13th Jon left for Iraq. He was on the last plane to leave Ft. Drum. The night before he had to give up his cell phone but somehow on that last day before departing, he managed to "borrow" cell phones and call home about every hour until it was time to board the plane. I remember those conversations as if they had just taken place. What I wouldn't do to hear his voice again..............
"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal." I have so many wonderful & loving memories of my beloved son and they keep me going from day to day. Thank you Jon for being the kind of son every mother dreams about. There are no words to express how much Jon is missed. Love you forever my son.
Thanks to you and all your fellow veterans, Jonny - those fallen and those still with us. Because of all of you, we continue to celebrate independence!
Flag Day, 2010: Cheers to you and all your fellow veterans, Jonny! Wearing Red, White & Blue extra-specially for you!
Before I was a mom, I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a mom, I had never been puked on, pooped on, chewed on, peed on. I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts. I slept all night.
Before I was a mom, I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests. Or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.
Before I was a mom, I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put him or her down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a mom.
Before I was a mom, I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body......I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.
Before I was a mom, I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was OK. I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a mom. I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much..... before I was a mom.
Today, Jon would have been 28 years old. Instead of celebrating with a cake, his favorite meal and lots of gifts, I brought flowers to his gravesite. My heart breaks with each visit to the cemetery but at the same time I feel truly blessed that he was my son. He was everything a mother could ask for. We celebrated his life but how he was missed today. How he is missed everyday.
Love you Jonny.......always & forever.
28 birthday candles in heaven, Jonny! You are and forever will be sadly missed. Remembering you with fondness, extra-specially on this 13th day in June.
This morning we attended a Memorial Day service at the Veteran's Cemetery where Jon is buried. Standing there I was thinking that Jon should lead or be in a parade somewhere.......instead here he lies in a grave. It is hard to believe that 5 years ago Jon did proudly lead a Memorial Day parade in a New Jersey town. Memorial Day is not just a day off from school or work, going on a picnic, shopping mall or ball game. It is a day set aside to remember & honor all our fallen heroes.
Abraham Lincoln once said: " I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him." Today, I honor Jon. Today, "his place" was especially proud of him. This was evident in the flowers sent by the town chief of police & neighbors, phone calls & emails from family & friends. All who knew Jon loved & respected him for his convictions, courage, patriotism, and sense of duty.
How proud I am as a mother that Jon was my son. Not because he served, but because of the man he was. Thank you Jon for "serving" others your entire life, for doing good whenever possible, for caring enough for this Nation & your willingness to even sacrifice your life.
Jon is thought of, missed & loved every day. But today he is especially honored.
Love you always my son. Rest in peace & in God's arms until that day when the words "good & faithful servent" are spoken to you.
On this Memorial Day 2010, I want to give a tribute to the memory of a fallen soldier that gave his life for me, my family, and country. I want to remember the gift given by my friend, David Cadavero and his wife, and family. David gave his son. This allows me in some way to have freedom for my wife and daughters. I can not imagine the pain and the sorrow in the lost of this young man. But I can imagine the joy of knowing that your child did what they thought was right. When I think of the thousands of families all over the world that have that unimaginable sorrow of the death of a child because of war, it makes me angry at Satan and the evil of the world. It makes me want to go home to Jesus, where I belong. CU there!
Remembering and honoring Jon extra-specially this Memorial Day Weekend. More than three years after his passing, his light continues to shine. He was the consummate soldier ~ displaying mental toughness, determination, bravery beyond imagination, compassion and true grit in the face of adversity. He innately knew that laughter is good for the soul. Even as a young child at our family gatherings, he would make us laugh until our sides were splitting. I have read account after account on these pages and others about how he would use humor as the catalyst to cheer everyone up and lighten all those tense moments that every soldier must continually endure. And now, the angels are laughing along with him, no doubt.
We miss him dearly. Our extended family will forever be incomplete without him. But we are ever grateful for his service. For now, we will listen for the distant sound of his laughter in the clouds . . .
I still can not wrap my mind around the fact that you are gone. But I know that we are all forever changed by your short time on this earth. You told me in July or August of 2005 that you did not think you should be an Officer and that you should leave Officer Candidate School at Benning. You felt that your job was to serve others, and you wanted to be a combat medic. I'm not sure if it helps your Mom, Dad, and Sister to know how much you meant to each of us. And how much you touched our lives at Drum and in Iraq and truly served others. We will never forget you.
Every day is difficult, but there are certain days of the year when life is harder than usual. Mother's Day is one of those hard days. Although I received numerous calls from former students, flowers from various people (including Jon's widow) there's always that feeling in the pit of my stomach that something/someone is missing. JON. He made me feel loved & appreciated every day of the year but on Mother's Day he always would go the extra mile. Even when he was far from home he would call, send a card and, of course, flowers. To him, it wasn't just about Mother's Day.......it was about showing appreciation to the people in his life & letting them know he loved them.
Somebody said it takes about 6 weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby....somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, "normal" is history.
Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct....somebody never took a 3 year old shopping.
Sombody said being a mother is boring......somebody never rode a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.
Somebody said if you're a "good" mother, your child will turn out good....somebody thinks a child comes with directions & a guarantee.
Somebody said you don't need an education to be a mother......somebody never helped a 4th grader with his math.
Somebody said you can't love the second child as much as you love the first......somebody doesn't have 2 children.
Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married....somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings.
Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor & delivery.....somebody never watched her
"baby" get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten......or on a van headed for military "boot camp".......or on a plane headed for war.
Sombody said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home...........somebody has never been a mother. You don't stop being a mother because your children have reached a certain age. You're always a mom....in life and death. the love & bond remains forever.
Missing Jon every day. My love & thoughts are with him always.
My students and I were discussing the Holocaust today and one of my sixth graders, who can't seem to wrap his mind around the horrors of World War II, made the following statement..."People should really be thankful we have soldiers that go to protect us anywhere in the world...that helps me sleep better at night Miss Fragozo..." Thanks Jonny....
I first met Jon when i got to the unit before we deployed he was giving a combat life saver class. I walked up to him and started talkin to him and noticed he was a real good guy that knew his stuff.I also remember when we first got to Iraq we were living in tents, he came up to me and sat down across from me while i was playing with the camrea i had just got. I took a pick of him and he kinda had this wude eyed look on his face. He was always smiling and always in a good mood. I can never forget when he got back to Iraq after R&R I was on the PSD team and saw him one day when i was walkin to the chow hall he came up to me and told me that he had got married while he was on leave I told him congrats and then we talked for a bit. I only got to see him a few more times before he was taken away but i remember every moment that i spent talking to him and will remember them forever I miss u man it is hard to belive that it has been 3 years but keep on looking out for us old buddy
AFTER READING ABOVE CONDOLENCES, I AM TOUCHED AND GRIEVED AND MAY GOD GRANT YOU PEACE THAT HE ALONE CAN GIVE. OUR LOVE AND GOD BLESS. 610-453-3980
Jon, my husband and I met your sister last night at a Patriots' meeting in New York. Even today tears for you fill her eyes when she speaks of you. She has come to New York to help us in our fight for Liberty of the land we love. The same land you fought and died for. I think that not only does she do it for this Great Nation of the United States of America but I'm sure she does it so that you will not have died in vain. My condolences and thank you to the Cadavero Family and the sacrifice you've made for this country.
Today, 3 years ago, was Jon's funeral. As we sat by his gravesite, I thought of the following words:
"Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasures or baubles will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame, temporal power, will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, jealousies will finally disappear. So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to do lists will expire.
The wins & losses that once seemed important will fade away. It won't matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end.
It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender or skin color will be irrelevent.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought but what you built, not what you got but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competance, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew but how many people will feel a lasting loss when you are gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is not how long you will be remembered by who and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident. It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice."
Jon lived a life that mattered. He gave all he had, he showed compassion, kindness and love to those around him. His integrity and character was of utmost importance to him. The life he lived was by choice.
Thank you Jon for all you left behind - for the wonderful memories that continue to live on in all those who knew & loved you.
Thinking of Jon all the time. Missing him every day - but especially today.
Love you son. Forever & always.
Reading your message above Nadia, on Jons anniversary reminded me of my Mom. She lost a daughter, my sister, who was two yrs younger than me. Today still, Mom brings up Janine often, even tho my sister was only with us for 2 yrs. Janine is never far from my mothers lips to be spoken about in a loving and missing tone, and in all of our thoughts often.
I continue, as a neighbor and friend, think of Jon often, I thought about him a few days prior to his anniversary knowing the day was coming... and of course on the day of. thinking of how you all felt too.... sending prayers to you all. I thank you for your message above sharing another memory of Jon with the snow. He remains in my thoughts, prayers and I'm ever grateful I was able to get to know him a little bit and watch him grow up in the neighborhood. Every time I saw him, he exuded such a positive, uplifting energy. Bringing a smile to one's face! He is missed by many.
An anniversary usually is a time to celebrate but this 3rd anniversay of Jon's death leaves nothing to celebrate about. A highly emotional day filled with many memories and really, a day of remembrance for a very special young man, my son.
Due to a Nor'easter which dumped at least 3 feet of snow it was impossible to even get to the cemetery today, place flowers and pay respect to a beloved son, brother, nephew, and friend. But rest assured Jon was on our minds all day long. Shoveling snow for the last several day made me think of the blizzard of 1996. The snow was so deep but there was Jon jumping from the balcony into snow drifts and just having a blast! After having all this fun he would, of course, get "serious" and then shovel for hours to clear the driveway etc. Thinking of Jon & all the fun he had in past winters & snow storms make shoveling this time around more tolerable.
I was moved beyond words by the outpouring of love from family, friends, neighbors and even strangers who rememtered this day by calling, sending cards or cookies, and helping us shovel our driveway "in honor of Jon." It still amazes me that in his short life Jon had such a positive and lasting impact on the people he knew & met. I am so proud to have been his mother.
Not understanding what it is to lose a child and the devastating hole in leaves in your heart & soul, people have made remarks that are incomprehensible to me. People seem to think that after 3 years all wounds should be "healed."
Have I "gotten over" losing my son? Never.
Do I still cry? Everyday.
Am I still mourning? For the rest of my life.
Do I miss him? More today than ever before.
Though Jon was taken from me (us), my beloved son lives on............
Although Jon is now beyond the reach of my arms, he will always be within the embrace of my never-ending love.
Rest in peace.
On this third anniversary marked by Jon's family, friends, and the many lives he touched during his short life, it should be noted that Jonny truly epitomized a famous Abraham Lincoln quote:
"Live a good life. And in the end, it is not the years in a life, but the life in the years."
Jon will always be terribly missed, but we are grateful that his legacy lives on. May he be resting in peace and joined with angels in eternity.
Nadia, David and Kristia. We want to express our thoughts to you on this 3rd anniversary of Jon's death. When we hear of our brave men and women losing their lives in this turmoil of war, we are reminded how brave and courageous and high spirited Jon was. He accepted the challenges with courage and honor, knowing (and not knowing) what could lie ahead of him each day. He is greatly missed. You were great parents, and Kristia a great sister. Thank you for keeping his legacy alive. Even though Jon was taken from us all too soon, we'll see him again someday. God bless America and our troops who continue to serve.
Doc, it has been three years now. That deployment seems so long ago, and yet your memory is still so fresh. Thank you for your example. Few are the people of your influence in the world. My memories of you, Sou and Henry are very fond and the sacrifice that you made has caused me to be a better Soldier, leader, Husband and Father. I have approached every day differently during my current deployment because of your sacrifice. There has been great change and peaceful success in Iraq since last time. You are big part of this success. Thank you!
-Until we meet on the other side
As the third anniversary of Jon's passing approaches, I think again of the impact that he had on my life in the short time that I knew him. The messages on this site are testament to the tremendous impact that Jon had on everyone that he met--and that met him. Although I have been less frequent in my postings on this site, he still remains in my memory every day; every Sunday, as I greet those entering church for services, I am reminded of Jon every time the front door opens, for I can see the motel where he and his friends stayed each weekend as they enjoyed the sights and sounds and life of San Antonio.
A few weeks after the listing of Jon's death in the paper (after the information was released by the Department of Defense and after I confirmed it by several searches on the web), a very good friend (she hosted us for that memorable Thanksgiving dinner when Jon joined us) told me that I was taking his death harder than I was taking my mother's death a few weeks before. And it was probably true. On my hotmail account, I still have the email that Jon sent a few weeks before his death after I'd told him of my mother's passing; he had met her only briefly at church but had such kind and touching words for me. That is the type of man that Jon was--and the inspiration that he remains to me.
You will always live in my heart, Jon.
My sympathies are extended to Jon's family. Each American is safer because of his service and owes a debt of gratitude to him and his family.
February 27, 2010, is the third year “anniversary” of a brave, courageous American solider - Sgt. Jonathan D. Cadavero, a medic, who died in Baghdad, Iraq, while on a mission: hunting Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s), bombs that took the lives of hundreds of American soldiers. There is a numbing pain in the heart of Nadia (Jon’s mother) that remains just as fresh today as the day when two officers from West Point Military Academy informed her that Jon died. (Of course, the entire family continues to feel the pain of Jon’s loss, but a mother’s pain is most acute). Some have even told Nadia, “It’s been several years since Jon died, it’s time to move on with your life.” The following questions may be asked: Is there a way to heal the hole in one’s heart caused by the death of a loved one? Should one put a “time limit” on the healing process? Rabbi Marc Gellman in an article that appeared in Newsday gave the advice that it was not necessary to apologize for the grief you feel about the death of a loved one – no matter how long one has been grieving. Jon’s love for his mother was unconditional. To experience unconditional love is a great blessing, and the loss of such love is a great loss.
Rabbi Gellman’s counsel to people who have lost a loved one is very poignant. He says “to thank God for their pain.” When he gives this counsel, most people look at him as if he were “nuts”. But he says that “the only way to take away their pain would be to take away the love they felt for the person who died.” He then asks “if they would be willing to wipe away all the memories of that love one so they wouldn’t care that the person died and not feel the pain of loss.” Every person he counseled stated that, “they never would want the memory of love wiped out.” Gellman then says, “to be proud of your pain, treasure it and thank God for it as indisputable evidence that they had the courage to love deeply.” This is how holes in one’s heart are comforted. This is how love is repaid. It doesn’t stop a mother (or anyone else) from sobbing – 1, 2, 3 or 10 years later for the loss of her son (or a love one). But it does reflect on the fact that she owns this pain of loss , and is blessed by it because that is what love does to us when it is given to us, and when it is taken from us.
Sgt. Jonathan D. Cadavero may have died on February 27, 2007, but his life remains a lasting testimony of an exemplary person who was able to face danger and life threatening situations while in Iraq, day–in and day-out, and still carry out his duties as a medic with consummate skills, compassion and composure. Several soldiers are alive today who trace their life to specific acts of heroism that Jon courageously demonstrated in the battlefield under enemy fire. Jon was never “average.” He was not even “above” average, he was an extraordinary human being and solider, and hundreds of lives have been touched by his life of integrity, honor and character.
His legacy is etched in the hearts of all the people he touched – today, tomorrow and into eternity. Jon was a hero to his entire family, and we are grateful that he had the opportunity to serve our great nation. John F. Kennedy observed, “The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment, but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers – and that is the basis of all morality.” Jon demonstrated acts of uncommon valor and altruism and paid the ultimate sacrifice. What an honor to have him as a son and see him grow into a human being who demonstrated acts worthy of emulation. We know that Jon looks forward with great anticipation to meet his Maker – Jesus Christ. GOD BLESS AMERICA!
David A. Cadavero
I was listening to dc Talk today and thought of Jon. He introduced me to my favorite all time band and it was good remembering why they became my favorite. Ever now and then, I remember the good times like the summers at lake Michigan when the family would come and visit or the Thanksgivings were we would goof around and shoot the bb guns. I remember when Jon would go to one of the local parks in my home town and play basketball with random guys there. He was always great at meeting new people and making friends. I miss him but I'm so thankful for the times we spent together, the good and the bad, and I know that he is happy and hanging with the Lord. God Bless.
Jon, I hope you've been reading all these messages of love, hope and gratitude ~ you are greatly missed by all. Your light and legacy are shining brightly, still. Lighting Christmas candles in your memory!
I miss you everyday bro...watch over us all...
Sgt. Jonathan Cadavero, your life was like a flash in a pan. It was brief but brilliant. The short time you spent on this earth was so meaningful and productive. You paved the way by setting a worthy example for others to follow. For the love of God and country, you paid the ultimate price. Your life epitomized the words of Cicero: "Ad bene vivendum breve tempus satis est."- For living well, a short time is enough. May God keep you safe until the blessed morning.
Dr. Hermann V.A. Kuma, Ph.D.
Director, Multi-Ethnic Ministries
Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
the cadavero clan in the philippines expresses our heartfilt condolence to the cadavero family for the untimely death of jonathan. may he rest in peace
Three years ago today I saw Jon for the last time. Instead of waiting for Jon to come home or call, I spent the afternoon at the cemetery thinking about that hour at the airport just before he left to go back to Iraq. I will never understand how the army can send soldiers home for R&R when there is a war going on but perhaps Jon was supposed to come home for those 10 days and be with his family. More than ever I miss Jon. I miss his warmth, his friendliness, his caring nature. I miss his smile and the goofy faces he used to make. I miss his sense of humor and positive attitude. I miss his ability to look and find something good in everyone. I miss not seeing him cutting the front lawn & singing at the top of his lungs. I miss his calls & just hearing his voice saying "hi ma".............I miss our talks until the wee hours of the morning. I miss Jon. I miss my son. I carry him & his memory in my heart every day. Always will. Love you son, now & forever.
Four years ago on Thanksgiving, Jon joined several of us from First Presbyterian church for the annual feast with freinds and family. He immediately became part of the eclectic family at the condo on San Antonio's River Walk. Time passes so fast, but Jon and his family are always in my thoughts. I remembered his sacrifice 2 weeks ago at the annual Veteran's Day services at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
I know that I've been remiss in posting my thoughts and comments here, and I was in awe and I was speechless (very rare indeed!!) when I saw that the gymnasium where he went to school was renamed in his honor. Well deserved.
Jon--and his family--wiill all be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow as well.
On November 15, 2009, our family was honored to have the Waldwick Seventh-day Adventist Academy dedicate the school gymnasium in Jonathan’s honor, in which it was renamed Sgt. Jonathan D. Cadavero Memorial Gymnasium. I would like to thank in particular, Kenton Matthews, school board chair, school board members, Wayne Edwards, principal, and the faculty of the Waldwick Seventh-day Adventist Academy for this special dedication service in honor of Jonathan. Also, a special word of appreciation to Angela Edwards for the many hours of labor that she spent decorating the gymnasium.
I would like to share a few observations that help keep Jonathan’s legacy “alive”:
• Soon after Jonathan death on February 27, 2007, Legacy.com, a leading provider of online obituaries provided a guest book for Jon… over 300 people signed and left spirit filled messages. Several months later, Kristia, Jon’s sister, was instrumental in the creation of Jonathan’s website, sgtjon.com, and hundreds more family members and friends (up to 21 pages and counting) left messages and condolences. Our family is deeply appreciative of all the kind expressions of compassion and encouraging words of comfort.
• On March 15, 2007, there was a feature article on Jonathan which appeared in Army Times, a newspaper distributed to troops throughout the world. The title of the article was, “Meeting and Grieving for Extraordinary People”. The article stated that sometimes Jon only had two hours of sleep between missions, but when assigned to go on a new mission despite sleep deprivation, his enthusiasm and high energy level was contagious.
• In a time of war, the solider most vulnerable to an enemy attack is the medic, whose primary responsibly is to salvage the lives of wounded soldiers. Jonathan went on over 200 consecutive missions in Iraq, and quickly became known by his platoon as one of the top medics, known for his courage and valor, who would do and give his all for his fellow soldiers. How does one develop such courage knowing one’s life is at risk moment-by-moment? Nelson Mandela, former president of South of Africa, provides the following answer to this question:
“Courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. The brave person is not the one who does not feel afraid, but the one who conquers fear.” Jonathan conquered fear and many of his fellow comrade’s lives were spared because of his caring heart and tenacious courage under enemy fire.
• A few more illustrations that demonstrate some incredible things that happened in Jon’s life of only 24 years:
When Jon was a senior at Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University), he worked as a cashier at a Barnes and Noble bookstore near the White House. Coming through line to purchase books was Paul Wolfowitz, the Assistant Secretary of Defense (under Donald Rumsfeld) who got into a conversation with Jon. Wolfowitz was so impressed with Jon’s passion to serve his country, his patriotism and his infectious positive spirit; he took down Jon’s phone number. A few days later Jonathan got a call from a General asking if Jon would like a private tour of the Pentagon. Jon did not hesitate to say yes. Imagine, a 22 year old “kid” getting a private tour of the Pentagon!
Jonathan’s strong character was manifested during his formative years. One of Jon’s teachers’s informed me that several classmates offered Jon the opportunity to cheat on a semester examination. Although Jon’s decision not to go along with his classmates was “unpopular”, he stood his ground not to join in this unethical act. Jon led a principled driven life, and always had the conviction never to participate in acts which would undermine his integrity and honor.
There were three key family members who helped Jonathan in developing a path leading to a life of significance. The most instrumental person in helping to shape Jonathan’s life into a model of excellence in every facet of his development was his mother, Nadia. All of her years of love, motherly counsel, and discipline paid off, and Jon developed into a superb human being. His sister, Kristia, who was Jonathan’s best friend, shared many things in common, and one, in particular – their love for America. She graduated in May 2009 with a Master of Science (Summa Cum Laude) in Defense and Strategic Studies. Kristia is dedicating the rest of her life to protecting and defending America. Jonathan was also blessed to interact on a regular basis with his Aunt Daria, whom he deeply respected and admired. Winston Churchill once declared, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give”. Jon gave his all. His final words to his sister two weeks before he was killed in Iraq were the following: “I have no regrets. I would do this all over again. I love being an American”. In Luke 6:45 it says “A good person brings good out of the treasury of good things in his heart”. Jon left us a lasting legacy of good things, because he had a heart that was right with his Lord. GOD BLESS AMERICA!
David A. Cadavero
To the Cadavero family, please know how much you're thought of and constantly prayed for. I was truly blessed to meet Mrs. Cadavero, Kristia, and Jon's Aunt at the honorary program held at Waldwick SDA School. It was also a blessing to see Mr. Cadavero (fmr. boss). Truly a fitting tribute to a special young man who's had such a positive impact on so many people. There's a lesson we can all draw from Jonathan Cadavero and one of them is service, which I plan to instill in my life. My thoughts, my prayers continue to be with each of you. With love.
Jonathan Cadavero. A wonderful young man to be sure. With his loss the Body of Christ and the family of man is less than it should be. Less than it might have been with the power of a young man and a talented individual who gave his all for those who now enjoy another day of life.
Thank you Jonathan for all that you have given. Thank you to your mother, father and sister for keeping your memory alive and for raising a wonderful young man who is an inspiration to me.
Rest my young friend. Rest.
This evening, the academy that Jonny and I attended had a special banquet in his honor. The gym was renamed after Jon and will forever be the “Sgt. Jonathan Cadavero Memorial Gymnasium.” Jon’s family and I would like to thank all those who attended and who made this event a wonderful success. Below is a little speech that I gave during the event tonight that I would like to share:
"One of the most common requests I get asked from people is to tell them about my brother. Although they find his army life interesting, they typically would like to know something more personal that reveals who Jon really was. There is no shortage of funny stories about Jon; our mother described him as “colorful” and although he was a very good child he had a close friendship with mischief.
I’ll briefly share one of those amusing stories with you: when Jonny was 8 years old we saw the video of the movie Home Alone. Then next day, thinking he was being funny and innocently not realizing that someone could take offense, he told our waitress to “keep the change you filthy animal.” Our waitress had seen the movie and laughed; our mother gave Jon a lecture about not acting out what he saw in movies.
One really could talk forever about all the qualities that made Jon, Jon. His favorite running trail during his years at Washington Adventist University was a 13-mile path from the Capital building to the Jefferson Memorial to the White House and back. His favorite place in the world to pray was the War Memorial Chapel at the National Cathedral. His favorite method of taking pictures was to hold the camera in front of him, ask everyone to crowd around him, and then click his camera (somehow those pictures would always come out perfectly centered).
Another one of Jon’s attributes was his love of inspirational quotes. He was especially drawn to passages about patriotism, love, and how to raise one’s character to live with honor and courage. He always appreciated how words placed within a sentence or two could succinctly convey an entire idea of inspiration. Jon’s favorite quotes from historical figures were those from Ronald Reagan, General George Patton, and Winston Churchill. The books that he underlined the most, which contained passages that he wanted to remember, were Tuesdays with Morrie, The Purpose Driven Life, and The Lord of the Rings.
Jon even took random sayings that he saw on bumper stickers, magnets, and tee shirts. Only Jon had charisma enough to ask someone to stop so he could write down the phrase that was on their tee shirt, but that was exactly how he got a favorite expression that he used during psychology classes in college: Life is not about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.
When Jon joined the army I signed up on several websites to receive inspirational quotes daily via email, and when I read a moving one I would send it to him, and when Jon found it particularly inspiring he would read it to his troops. In his honor I still received these quotes every day and always think of Jon when I’m reading them. This past Wednesday, on Veterans Day, I read a quote from Gandhi that described Jon exactly. Gandhi stated, “Infinite love is a weapon of matchless potency…It is an attribute of the brave, in face it is their all. It does not come within reach of the coward.”
Jon was not just a brave soldier but he was a brave person, and this enhanced his capability of great love. He was never hesitant to show his love for others, from the care he showed his family and friends; to the concern he showed this school that he loved; to the dedication he had toward his community and country; to the honor he showed America’s veterans; to the way he put the soldiers he served with above himself when, as their medic, he ran through bombs and bullets to save their lives. Jon was a true example of how one should live.
In closing, I would like to share one final quote of Jon’s favorite Bible verse. Proverbs 3:27 reads, “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it.” That is what everyone who is here tonight is achieving, as Jon’s memorial scholarship fund is helping students at this academy who need assistance. Thank you for showing love toward Jon and toward the many students who will be positively impacted. Jon’s legacy will always be with us, and through his scholarship fund we can ensure that the love he had toward his community will continue through all of us."
Its incredible the way the Jonny has impacted the lives that surronded him. He left a butterfly effect that when he was kind to someone, they would be kind to another, and another, and so on. Seeing this has taught me that we should all be kind to those around us.
When God finds a gift in someone, He tries to show that person their gift, and help them use that gift. I know that one of Jonny's many gifts was kindness to others. Another was always being able to make someone laugh when they were having a bad day.
I will forever remember the times that we spent together. I always looked up to him, because i saw how good he was. I used to think "how can someone be that nice to everyone?" Jonny made it look so easy. He was truly doing the work of God in being a kind soul to everyone he met.
I know it must be hard to deal with another holiday season rolling around. But I just want to say to the Cadavero family, you are some of the strongest people I know. To make this website and have that beautiful memorial service for Jonny helps his friends and family not to mourn his death, but celebrate his life.
We will always miss his presence here with us. But we know that one day we will all gather together and once again be reunited with our God in heaven.
With all that being said, I'd like to finish with this verse:
"In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a plce for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." John 14:2,3
Jonny is forever in our hearts and minds. I love you Jonny, and I'll see you soon (:
Today, November 11th, Veterans Day, we come together as a Nation to thank and honor Veterans for their service. All over our Nation there are community parades, patriotic ceremonies, and military tributes. Our veterans share a legacy of service that crosses generational lines and upholds the values upon which our Nation was founded: service to a cause greater than self.
"A Prayer for Veterans
Proud of our nation, they answered her call -
defending the freedom and safety of all.
On land or on sea, or in jets high above,
they went out of duty and honor and love,
but however they served, Lord, wherever they went,
please bless them and help them to know what it meant!
And help us to thank them on Veteran's Day -
for we owe them far more than we ever could say."
I am thinking of Jon and how every year he would send cards to all the Veterans he knew to thank them for their service. Most of all today, I am thinking about Jon's outstanding courage and commitment to freedom. I am thankful to Jon and to all fine Americans like him who have given so much to our great country.
Recently Kristia gave me a wood carving of a woman (could be a mother, wife, sister) clutching an American tri-folded flag to her chest. A card came with the carving with the following inscription: "Hero, we honor thee, keeping safe your memory."
Jon was always my hero........I was always proud of him. Today, I will place baskets of flowers at his grave along with all my love. Son, you will never be forgotten. Never.
I love you -
Honoring my cousin, Jon, and all his fellow Veterans extra-specially today -- and always!! We miss you dearly, yet are grateful for your service beyond measure. Rest in peace in the arms of God.
Every time that a holiday or special day of significance approaches, I always think about what I want to write on Jon’s memorial page. But my feelings of grief get in the way, and the words get trapped between my heart and my throat, and I’m unable to write anything comprehensible.
My message today is simple and one of love for my brother and admiration for his service, of honor and appreciation for our veterans, and of thankfulness for our country. Jon was very patriotic and showed his appreciation for our veterans every chance he could. To him Veterans Day was every day. And that is a true example of how an American should live.
Jon always loved to receive inspirational quotes, and after he deployed I signed up on several websites to receive motivational messages daily via email. When I read a particularly poignant one, I would send it to him.
One of the quotes I read this morning was an accurate description of Jon. The words are from Gandhi and state, “Infinite love is a weapon of matchless potency…It is an attribute of the brave, in face it is their all. It does not come within reach of the coward.”
Jon was very brave, and he was very loving. He was never hesitant to show his love for his family and friends, his community and school, his brothers-in-arms and country, and the many veterans that he knew. On this day when we remember our Veterans, I am reminded of how Jon honored their service and send out my gratitude to all our members of our Armed Forces, our veterans, and our brave fallen.
My Deepest condolences
I can only imagine the pain of losing a close family member in the military. My son has served two tours in Iraq and we were proud and blessed that he has returned home to us. God Bless them all.
My wife and I were fortunate to watch Jon grow up. For years, we ran down the hill past the Cadavero house as we started, and finished, our workouts. We watched Jon grow from a tiny little kid into a fine young man.
We knew Jon as a little boy playing in the yard, to a teen doing yard work, to the man who met us on the street to tell us that he had enlisted and was headed for basic training. We were both amazed at how he had changed, the confidence, the determination, the pride. He had grown up before our very eyes.
I remember when Jon got his dog Rusty, yes, the dog featured on his site. He was so proud of Rusty...my wife was the only one that could groom him..and Jon happily walked him in to the kennel every so often for his trim and his nails. Another time to see Jon and feel his warmth and humor.
We know that Nadia, and Krista and David and Michelle and all of his family must ache. Jon was such a special person you have to believe that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.
We still finish our runs at the hill by his house and stop at "Jon's rock," the big one right by the school bus stop. It is our way of remembering.
Although I don't always write a message on this website, the proverb "Out of sight, out of mind," never applies to a mother's relationship with her child. And it certainly does not apply to me and the relationship I had with my son, Jon. Certain days that passed were difficult but I have not, cannot, will not ever forget:
*June 13th - Jon's birthday and that he would have been 27 years old this year
*the last two weeks in July when Jon had his last long home leave before deployment
*August 13 when he was delployed to Iraq.
Every summer will be especially bitter sweet because of my loss. I will have to find some comfort in all the wonderful memories I hold dear in my heart.
"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path." Agatha Christie
I miss Jon more today than ever before. Even though death comes, love never goes away. Death came all too quickly and took my beloved Jon. I loved him with all my heart and soul. I still do. Rest in peace.
Today 9/11 is set aside as a National Day of Remembrance to remember the innocent lives lost on that tragic day and to honor the heroes who risked their lives to save others. That day changed all our lives; however, this day has a little more significance for me. It’s a day that changed Jon’s life and changed any and all plans he had for himself and for his future. After 9/11 he felt a stronger “calling” to serve his country, defend its freedom, and fight the war on terrorism. It’s not easy being a soldier. There’s hard training, discipline, separation from family, physical training in rain and shine, heat or snow, 24-hour duty, lack of sleep, lack of food, never mind the prospects of war hanging over your head the knowing that one day you will be on the front line.
But Jon had a passion and didn’t fear any of the hardships. In fact, even after facing many of the things listed above, he would always say he had no regrets and would do it all over again. He loved and believed in this country and wanted others to have the same opportunities and freedoms we have. He was willing to fight for it and even die for it.
Today there are scores of memorial services from Maine to California all honoring the victims, families, and heroes. Although at the time Jon was just a college student, today I also honor Jon, my son and hero. He is thought of and remembered with incomprehensible love. Today and Always.
I find it amazing how one person can make such an impact on those around him. It's just an incredible sight to see how many people care about a single person. This loss, in a sense, has made me stronger. I've learned that life is so precious. I've learned that there's nothing more amazing than being with those you love the most; and most importantly, that God should always be your best friend.
I remember when I first met him. He immediately became my hero. Immediately. Every day, I grow, more and more like a man that God wants me to be. But, I'm happy to say that Jonny, even years later, plays a huge role in what I hope to become. He was so much more than a substitute, or a gym teacher. He was someone who reflected the image of God. He was someone who will one day hear from the King of kings, Himself, "Well done, good & faithful servant."
We will all forever miss him, but we rest in that promise that we will one day see him again under that tree of life.
For those who still can't find that peace, here's a promise from God. I hope that you will keep it in your hearts and whenever you're feeling down, remember its words. Claim this promise to God in your times of sorrow and trust that your prayer will be answered:
"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, because I am your God! I will strengthen you, YES! I will help you; And I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)
Love you Jonny! See you in paradise!
As a decorated Air Force veteran, I understand your brothers sacrifice for our beloved nation. Having attended more military funerals than I wish to recount, I extend to you Krista and your loving family my sympathies. I also want to thank you for memorializing your brother in this way.
On this day when we celebrate our independence, we remember and give thanks for those who gave their lives to maintain this freedom.
Jon--you are always in my thoughts, and your family is always in my prayers. You were loved by all who knew you.
Thanks for your service--and sacrifice. We miss you and will always honor what you have done.
DEAR CADAVERO FAMILY,
I HAVE JUST FOUND YOUR SITE. I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW SORRY I AM FOR YOUR LOSS. NOR CAN I EXPRESS HOW PROUD I AM ON READING ABOUT JONATHAN. I SPENT 13 1/2 MONTHS WITH SPECIAL OPS IN VIETNAM AND KNOW WHAT IT IS TO LOSE MEN. IT IS SOMETHING YOU THINK ABOUT AND LIVE WITH E V E R Y D A Y. YOU WILL SEE HIM AGAIN AND IT WILL BE WITH A JOY THAT NO ONE WILL EVER BE ABLE TO TAKE FROM YOU, GOD BLESS YOU, ALWAYS, ALL WAYS,
JOSEPH CANTONE email@example.com
Here's to Jon, blowing out his birthday candles up in heaven tomorrow on June 13th, alongside his cherished grandfather who shared the same birthday. Beloved son, brother, husband, grandson, cousin, friend, extraordinary soldier and medic: your light still shines brightly down here on earth!
~ Debra Valle
The wars in Iraq/Afghanistan have resulted in the deaths of 403 medical personnel (through March 10, 2009). Dr. S. Ward Casscells, M.D., Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, coordinated a special program to commemorate the service of these fallen military personnel. It was held on March 11, 2009 at Arlington National Cemetery. Approximately 100 families were in attendance to honor their fallen "hero". The program bulletin was entitled, "A Time of Remembrance-The First Annual Remembrance Ceremony Dedicated to Fallen Medical Military Personnel". At the service, Dr. Casscells stated that all the parents would be receiving a publication, "When It Mattered Most: Remembering Our Fallen Military Medical Personnel in Iraq/Afghanistan", which pays tribute to these caring and courageous souls who gave their "all". Each book was personally inscribed by Dr. Casscells, who authored and championed this book. It was funded through the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine. Included below is a verbatim transcription from this 460 page publication:
Sergeant Jonathan D. Cadavero was killed on February 27, 2007, when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near his vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq. He died while on an IED-hunting mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 24-year old combat medic served with the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, NY. He was buried at the Orange County Veterans' Cemetery in Goshen, NY.
Jon, as he was known by friends and family, graduated cum laude from Columbia Union College, Takoma Park, Maryland, in 2004, with a bachelor's degree in counseling psychology. He made the Dean's List every year and played on the basketball team, despite being only 5' 7" tall. He belonged to both an academic and a psychology honor society. He intended to attend graduate school after finishing his Army service. From the time he was a little boy, Jon was determined to join the Army. He told his sister, "Kris, I want to fight so that your kids don't have to." He was willing to make a sacrifice in the hope that America's children, and their children's children, would never have to. Jon had married a fellow Soldier from his unit, military policewoman, Michelle Heiter, the previous Thanksgiving. He adored his beautiful wife and they planned to have a big church wedding upon returning from Iraq.
Family and friends remembered the young medic as a protector and leader who was full of compassion. He stood up to bullies and befriended those less fortunate. Jon's parents, Nadia and David, are humbled and honored by the impact Jon had on friends and soldiers alike. They read with great pride the comments left on line speaking of Jon's compassion and humor; how he never missed a mission; how he was always there when anyone needed his help; and how he selflessly put aside his own needs for those of others. He is remembered as caring, and warm and very funny. He could make anyone laugh. He was everyone's friend, and he gave people a sense of belonging. In his Bible, he underlined a passage that exemplied his sense of purpose:
"Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it."
Cadavero was a medic with a platoon tasked with hunting IEDs and disposing of them before they could explode - one of the most vital and dangerous assignments in Iraq. In a six-month period, Cadavero's platoon found and disposed of 172 IEDs, 62 of which had the potential to explode. Even given the choice of staying on base to work in the medical clinic, Cadavero insisted on being on the front lines. Cadavero believed deeply in the U.S. mission in Iraq and all that America stood for. He would regularly send veterans cards on Veteran's Day thanking them for their service to this country. He served his country as he lived his life - with commitment, integrity, and honor. Sergeant Randy Acord served with Cadavero in Advanced Individual Training and in Iraq, and was there on the day he died. "He was a true friend, a great American, and the best Soldier I ever met. You are my hero, Jon." Major James Mott of the U.S. Air Force spoke with Cadavero's father. He explained that, "Truly, there is no greater calling - no greater gift of oneself - than to minister to a brother or sister during the most vulnerable time of any firefight-when comrades have suffered injury and require immediate medical attention. Often provided under hostile fire, while fully exposed to continued harm, these brave men and women, nevertheless choose to place themselves at great risk-such is the bravery and courage of every Army medic or Navy corpsman. There can be no greater example of love in action."
Sergeant Cadavero's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and Combat Medical Badge.
Jon is survived by his wife Michelle, his parents Nadia and David, and his sister Kristia Cavere.
The previous sentence ends the material in the publication "When It Mattered Most". We find comfort in knowing that we are not alone in sharing our grief for Jon and that other families of fallen soldiers also stand tall for our fallen "heroes". Every fallen Soldier is special and each family has their own story of personal pride. Jonathan left a legacy of love, compassion, and service worthy of emulation. GOD BLESS AMERICA!
David A. Cadavero
Jon was my psychology major classmate at Columbia Union College. He was also one of my best friends in the dorm. He had an amazing sense of humor. He was into filming funny skits around the dorm, in which I took part in. I will always remember him. I still can't believe he is gone. I will miss him the rest of my life but I will also treasure the memories of him in my heart. My prayers will always be with his family. Thanks Jon for living life to the fullest!
I was watching the movie "Out of Africa" the other night and I heard this poem read. While I listened, all I could think about was Jon and how much I miss him and wish that he, I, and those others who love him, hadn't been cheated of his future. .
Hey kiddo, baby brother of my college best friend and my forensic psychology study-mate, my sorrow in the loss of you oft overshadows my happy memories of you, me and Kristia in college together. Yet every day when I pass the college campus I think of you and your jokes or how seriously you took your education. Every morning when I wake and see on my dresser the photo of you and me, I smile and remember.
As I have done for two years now, each year on Veterans' Day I will continue, in your honor, your tradition of sending thank-you letters to veterans and those serving our country.
Jon I miss you man and I can't wait until that glorious day when I will embrace you and hear your voice again. Til then my friend....there will be a scar with your name on my heart.
To an Athlete Dying Young
by A. E. Housman
The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields were glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honors out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find un-withered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.
No greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for the ones he loves. Such a love is that exemplified by Christ Himself. True love of others, even though they may detest you, is the purest love of all. By love, serve one another. Jon as a medic, served all his soldiers. My sister was a 91B, too, and loved helping people. May the Great Physician soothe the hurt in your hearts as you remember Jon. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
May our precious Lord tenderly hold the Cadavero family in His mighty arms during this Memorial Day week. Being a Vietnam veteran myself, and having two of my comrades names written in "The Wall" at the memorial in D.C., my heart keenly feels the pain and weeps with yours. "Our redemption draweth nigh." That's our hope. Let's stick to it.
On this special day we remember SGT. Jonathan Cadavero and pray for his family. Though we never met SGT Cadavero personally, his dedication, spirit of sacrifice, selfless duty, and love for his companions even to the ultimate consequences, inspire us. Jon, every day of the year and especially on this day we remember and admire your service to our country, thank you. Our gratitude and prayers also go to your parents Nadia and our friend and colleague David, your sister Kristia, and your wife Michelle.
"For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first." (I Thessalonians 4:16)
Pastor Jose Cortes Jr & Joanne Cortes
Director of Adventist Youth Ministries
Greater New York Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
Happy Memorial day to you and your family Jon! You're never forgotten! I miss you man!
A mother's pain, a family's victory, and the Lord's promises all on this one page. At this special time set aside to remember those who have served this country, I pray only for God's continued love and peace for each family member of a man who served God, his country and his fellowman to the end. Blessings!
Memorial Day. A day of family gatherings, picnics, Bar-B-Q's, and parades honoring our military. But this should be a day of reverence, as we are compelled with solemn respect to remember to pay tribute not only to Jon but to all of our service men & women who fought valiantly, both on the battlefield and beyond, to preserve our own freedom, to protect our nation's ideals, and to perpetuate our cherished liberty. As Jon would often say, and a point we should all remember, that freedom is not always free. To his family & friends, Jon was a hero. And we cannot thank him enough for his courage.....the courage to fight for the freedom every American holds so dear.
We must honor those who have scrificed their own freedom, whether through their talents, their time, their service, or, in many cases such as with Jon, their lives for love of their country and for all of our sakes. Those we served and died, whose patriotism and courageous dedication to this country, should never be forgotten. Nor should their sacrifice be taken for granted.
Today, Memorial Day, we placed flowers by Jon's grave, gazed at the flag he loved so dearly, and missed him beyond words. Today, Jon was thought of & remembered in a very special way with great love & admiration.
My son - my hero will never be forgotten.
I love you Jon. Always.
Dear Members of the Cadavero family. We cannot imagine your loss but you are in our prayers continually. Jon's service and sacrifice will not be forgotten.
May the words written in this memorial inspire others as much as they have inspired me. Jon's sacrifice has not been in vain. Hope Jon's loved ones can experience God's peace.
As the weekend draws to a close and the day approaches for remembering all who have fallen in the service of their country, my thoughts are once again with the Cadavero family. There is a not a day that goes by that I do not think of Jon, and he definitely will be on my mind tomorrow, as I attend the annual services at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. The flag will flutter in the morning breeze against an azure sky, wihile the grave markers that dot the cemetery stand as silent setinels to remind us of the tremendous sacrifice that is made so that we can enjoy the day. For the short time that I knew Jon, he made a tremendous impact on me, and I looked forward to the day when he would return to San Antonio for a reunion with his training buddies. In a way, though, he IS always here, for he is in my thoughts daily--and his family is in my prayers daily.
Thanks for your service, Jon, and thanks even more for your sacrifice.
perfect design thanks
I didn't realize until recently that May is Military Appreciation Month. As I thought about Jon (of course) and our troops who have been overseas and those who are still there, it is easy to forget or take for granted what they face on a daily basis. So in honor of our soldiers, the following few words:
We complain about how hot it is. A soldier wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.
We go out to lunch & complain because the restaurant got our order wrong. A soldier doesn't get to eat today.
Our mothers/wives make our bed & wash our clothes. A soldier wears the same things for weeks but he makes sure his weapons are clean.
We go to the mall & get our hair re-done. A soldier doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.
We get angry when we have to work 5 minutes overtime. A soldier is told he will be held over for an extra 2 months.
We hug & kiss our parents/boyfriend/girlfriend like we do every day. A soldier holds the letter he got from home close to his heart & anxiously waits for another one.
We are asked to go to the store to run an errand. We don't feel like going. A soldier does exactly what he is told even if it puts his life in danger.
We call a friend to go out for the evening. A soldier waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.
We hug & kiss our husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend, like we do every day. A soldier holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.
Our cell phone is in our pocket. A soldier clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tag.
We talk to friends and miss those who live far away. A soldier knows he may not see some of his buddies again.
We go to a beach & go for a stroll. A soldier patrols the streets, searching for insurgents & terrorists.
We stay at home & watch TV. A soldier takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep and eat.
We hear the jokes about the war which make fun of our troops. A soldier hears gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded.
We see/hear only what the media wants us to see & hear. A soldier sees the broken bodies lying around him......................
Using the term "soldier" I would like to think that term applies to all the military men & women.
Let's remember our troops (whatever the branch) and thank those who served, and those who are still serving.
My personal thanks to all the men & women who trained with Jon, and who also served with him in Iraq. My special thanks to Michelle, who not only served alongside with Jon and put herself in harms way, but also gave Jon a home away from home - a "safe" haven in the midst of hell. I know only too well firsthand what your lives were like on a daily bais. My sincere thanks and appreciation to you all for you dedication, service and sacrifice. Last but not least, thank you Jon for all you did in your usual unselfish, dedicated, caring manner. How I wish you didn't have to give the ultimiate sacrifice.
Remember our troops & let us not forget them later. Let us not forget Jon.
Love you my son.
I know I never write anything on here, it's still very hard for me to write something "in memory" of my husband. He was supposed to be the man that I spend the rest of my life with. I read all these wonderful memories others share here, it just makes me so proud that he picked me. He taught me so much and I know I am the person I am today because of him. I love him so much and I am so blessed that I have him in all of my memories. I miss him and think of him every day.
And when i get to heaven to St. Peter I will tell another soldier reporting for duty sir I've served my time in hell
No one had to remind me that March 9th marked 2 years since Jon's funeral service. I think of that day often and wish I could remember more details and recall more faces. But 2 years later things are still a blur and perhaps I am still in a shockmode.
We were invited to attend a special memorial service honoring the medics, nurses, and doctors who died in the war held at Arlington National Cemetery on March 11th. How bizarre the coinciding dates so close together. As the various speakers spoke of the bravery & courage each medical personnel displayed on the battle field, no one had to tell me about how brave & courageous Jon was. Even at an early age Jon never feared to do what was right and many times he stood alone.. Jon showed courage and strength by not following the crowd, by not cheating on a test, stealing, and covering up, or lying. Many times he was ridiculed but he always said he didn't care because he ended the day with a clear conscience.
Emailing & talking to a number of men/women who servied with Jon in both Ft. Drum and Iraq, and knowing the person he was, it doesn't surprise me that he showed the same strength, courage and bravery on the battle field. To the lives he saved, he will remain a hero. To me, he already was a hero before he even enlisted.
Jon is missed so much by so many. But put all those together doesn't even come close to how much I, his mother, miss him.
You have fought a good fight my son. Now rest in peace. Jon is thought of countless times during the day, missed beyond words, and loved to the depths of my soul.
Thank you for your service to our country, and for your sacrifice. God bless you and your family for all you have given to us.
William A. Sweet
United States Army
Jon was like my big brother. I cant believe that he is gone. I could never forget him as long as i live. He had a big influence in my life. Everytime I seen him i smiled and I knew that I was just so special because I knew him...
I love you Jon and I carry you in my heart
Bro i still cant believe its been two years for me it's still just like yesterday we were in the motor pool on stryker screwing around smoking and joking and man i still remember how well u did when we took fire on route peggy and u didn't even flinch how calm u seemed and i still remember how we had to stop the entire convoy just for u when you forgot you're nods on the buffalo lol. I served in iraq with jon in iraq with task force iron claw he was attached to my platoon when we got in country as my platoon was to be routed to support his company as their infantry element he was a great friend and an awesome medic who was absolutely fearless at times when it came to doing his job and for that i am so greatful because i was always at peace with jon by my side on patrol knowing i had tge best right beside me keeping me safe one of my only regrets is not having been on that mission to help give him peace of mind like he had done for me so many times. Jon thank you for watching over me when i was wounded and brought here to walter reed i miss u bro and i'll never forget
Jonny I think about you all the time...I remember sharing bubble gum on field trips, handing out pizza and juice on Fridays, fall picnics and ice skating in Bear Mountain...the list just goes on and on...My prayers are always with your family., especially your Mom, whom you so graciously shared with all your Waldwick brothers and sisters throughout our best years....I hope to see again in heaven...Love you.
We all came together, Both you and old
To Fight for our freedom,
To stand and be bold.
In the Midst of all evil, We stand our ground,
And we protect our country
From all terror around.
Peace and not war is what some people say,
But I'll give my life,
So YOU can live the American way.
I give you the right to talk of your peace
To stand in your groups,
And protest in our streets.
But still I fight on,
I don't bitch, I don't whine.
I'm just one of the people who is doing YOUR time.
I'm harder then nails, Stronger then any man
I'm the Immortal US soldier
the one that always can
So stand in my shoes, and leave your home.
Fight for the people who hate you,
With the protests they've shown.
Fight for the sick, fight for the poor
fight for the cripple
Who lives next door.
Fight for the stranger, and fight for the young.
So they all may have,
The greatest freedom that I've won.
But when your time comes, do what I've done.
For if you stand up for freedom,
You'll stand when the fight's done.
--To my brother in arms and friend--
I've lost several good friends in Iraq but when I first heard of Jon's passing I just could not believe it.....not Jon. All I could do was hold my girls tight and when my oldest asked me, "what's wrong daddy." All I could say was a very good man died sweetie, a brother...
The news of Jon's passing hit very close to my heart. It almost seemed impossible for something like that to happen to someone like Jon. Jon and I were best friends for many of our years growing up in Waldwick. And even though our last few years in waldwick we drifted apart there was always that love and real friendship. We really were something though....we liked the same sports, teams, girls and would even wear the same outfits to school so we could look the same. He always called me, my brother from another mother....
Jon truely was one of those people that touched your life and changed it. My heart goes out to his family but especially Mrs. Cadavero....an amazing woman who loved us all so very much.
Jon.....you guard them gates of Heaven buddy, I'll be up there some day to relieve you.
I can't believe it's been two years. I'll never forget my soldier friend, Jon, since I met him at CUC. I'll be going to college in another year and i wonder what advice he would have for me.
It was so great to see you this past week in Portland and to hear of this Website. I still remember doing a week of prayer at Waldwick and meeting your son Jonathan for the first time. He was one of the nicest kids that we have ever met! All he could talk about was his love for basketball, and at the end of the week, his love for Jesus. Jon wrote me a thank you note that I have kept to this day. We remember and honor Jonathan and thank God for the privilege of knowing the Cadavero family'. We also are thankful and remain confident, that because of Christ.... we will see him again!! You remain in our prayers.
Today marks 2 years when an Army Chaplin and Casualty Officer from West Point came to my house to give me news that would change my life forever and put me in an on going nightmare.
On this second anniversary I wish to dedicate the following few words in loving memory of my beloved son:
"They say there is a reason; they say that time will heal.
But neither time nor reason will change the way I feel.
No one knows the heartache that lies beyond my smiles,
No one knows how many times I have broken down and cried.
I want to tell you something so there won't be any doubt,
Jon is so wonderful to think about but so hard to live without.
They say that time will heal all wounds and help me to forget,
But time has only proved to me how much I miss Jon yet."
Today of all days I sadly miss you Jon but you will never be forgotten.
I hold you close in my heart, always in my mind.
Rest in peace - I love you.
Anniversary dates have a way of tugging on our heart strings. They carry way more emotional weight than other ordinary days on the calendar throughout the year. Today is one such day. So on this somber 2nd anniversary, we will look for ways to celebrate Jon’s life. In that way, we honor his memory and keep his legacy alive and well.
Jon lived his life extraordinarily well in his twenty-four brief years on this earth ~ as expressed in this poem written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, entitled “Those are a Success”:
“Those are a success who have lived well, laughed often and loved much;
Who have gained the respect of intelligent people and the love of children;
Who have filled their niche and accomplished their task;
Who leave the world better than they found it,
Whether by a perfect poem or a rescued soul;
Who never lacked appreciation of the earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
Who looked for the best in others and gave the best they had.”
And Jon did just that – gave the very best he had every single day of his short life, rescued more of his fellow comrades-in-arms than we'll probably ever know, and left the world better than he found it. Flying with angels now! And forever in our hearts ....
“A loved one is never forgotten,
and to dwell in the hearts of those still here, is to live forever.”
~ Debra Valle (cousin) and Family
Hello everyone, I was pleasantly surprised to find this website. I was Jon's Platoon Leader in Iraq. I am sorry that I have not contacted you all in the last 2 years, but I have felt a loss of words each time I tried. I want you to know that Jon was absolutely everything you knew he was during our deployment. He was a great confident of mine, someone I could turn to for advice and hear exactly what I needed to hear. I am deeply sorry for your loss. Today is a tough day for me, I can't imagine what it is for you. If you would ever like to talk, my phone number is (315)681-8481
Doc, thanks for your sacrifice and thanks for the great life you lived. My children will grow up knowing the stories of the Heros of the 27th of February and know that they owe their thanks to you, Henry, Sou and SSG Schlitz.
On this day, we remember the ultimate sacrifice that Jon made two years ago. It's hard to believe that so much time as passed. Although I have been remiss in checking this site and reading the comments, Jon--and his family--have never been out of my thoughts. You are all in my prayers every day.
I know that God brought us together as friends, even for the short time that Jon was here, so that we could--and would--remember him and his family. The impace he made on every person who has written is a testament to him--and to the values that his family instilled in him. I still drean/wish/feel that Jon will write or call to tell me when he is returning to San Antonio for that reunion with his classmates and friends.
I still have--and treasure--the email that he sent me from Iraq after I told him that I had lost my mother, whom he had met at church that fall. His kind words live on, and comfort me daily.
Again, my condolences to the family.
Please know that Jon lives on in the memory of his many friends.
I only want to say that we still remeber and pray for you every day. It has been two years today, but your grief is still fresh, may God continue to hold your hand this day and the next! God bless.
Dear Cadavero family,
So....tomorrow.....two years. It must seem like just a moment ago and a lifetime ago.
I continue to pray for you. Hold on until Jesus comes, when you get to wrap your arms around Jon again, look into his face and hear him say, "I love you".
Its been near two years, and I re-live that day way too often. Jon and I had many fun days. Almost every mission I stayed right next to him, keeping watch over him. He always made fun of me for being his bodyguard. He always made me laugh too. No matter what would be going on around us, Jon always saw the humor in things and told some of the best jokes. I miss Doc everyday. I learned so much from him as did so many others. I wish everyday that things didnt happen the way they did. Know that I will never forget. I miss you Jon...
To all Jon's family and friends - know that he is not forgotten by his Alma Mater, Columbia Union College and the Weis Library staff who mourn his loss. Every year that takes us farther from his passing brings us closer to our reunion with him. God Bless.
The first time I met Jon when I was a platoon leader in A Co. We were going out to a field training exercise and had requested medic support for the field problem. He was assigned to my platoon, and I got to know him pretty well over the duration of the next week or so. He immediately impressed me; he was every platoon leader's dream Soldier - attentive, sharp, hard-working, and he knew his job. From day one, he made it a point to personally check on every member of the platoon each day. No ailment or complaint was turned away and if he didn't have an answer he would get back to you, often with a prescription or advice for whatever the issue was.
Later, Jon was assigned to my platoon for a portion of our month-long pre-deployment training exercise to California. While there he confided in me that he had been offered a job in the battalion aid station, a far cushier and easier job, but had requested to stay with the engineers because he loved the men and liked feeling like a Soldier. That was Jon - he always insisted on being where he could do the most good and he genuinely cared about the men and being their medic. He loved being a Soldier, he loved being around Soldiers, and he loved taking care of Soldiers. As a leader I could not have asked for more. The passion he had for his job and the men he served with was unmistakeble.
Once we deployed to Iraq Jon was formally attached to our company. As one of only two medics in the comany, Jon didn't have the luxury of being able to sit out many missions or get much downtime. But he wouldn't have had it any other way. As the deployment went on, day in and day out he went on patrol. He used to carry chewing gum in an ammo pouch just so that when he saw guys getting worn out or having a rough time he could offer them a piece and make them smile. He understood that we all would suffer from more than just physical ailments or injuries, and he was there to help on every level. As the medic he was also alot like a chaplain - many guys in the company entrusted him not just with their injuries, but with their problems.
Even when I left the company and went to work on staff, Jon continued to look after me. Passing me in the chow hall, or on his way to or from somewhere on camp, he would always call me over to joke about something and ask me about my health. I was having some problems with my feet at the time and because I hadn't had the time to get to the aid station, he took it upon himself to research my issue, discuss it with a Doctor, and brought a prescription to my hootch late at night, after having worked a full day. Even after I had left the unit, Doc Cadavero was still MY medic. He was just that kind of guy.
It's been nearly two years since that day I learned of his death. Since I learned that my medic, my Soldier, my friend, had died. It still eats at me as much as the day I heard. I felt then and still feel that we've been robbed. I know I speak for many when I say that the world is a lesser place without him.
Jack London wrote a poem that said:
"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot..."
The only consolation I have been able to find in any of this is that Jon glowed brightly while he was here. He gave his all in everything he did and always found time for others. He was selfless beyond words, a true example for us all.
Jon will always be with us, each in our own way. I will always remember him checking up on each and every one of us every day. Regardless of how big or small your ailment or injury was Jon treated them all with the same care and respect. Jon was more than 'doc', he was a man who could make you laugh, make you crazy and make you realize there are good people in this world. I am thankful for my chance to know him. God bless and keep you.
Jon today was weird I was walking from the hospitals cafeteria and I thought of you. The weird thing I heard your voice and I looked back. It scared me you were nowhere. I thought I was crazy but you had a way about yourself when we were going through rough times you would say in the best Italian voice “Hey yo CAR BA HALL eva dang gonna be alright, alright.” And that’s what I heard today and I knew you were just looking out for me and I appreciate it. I love you brother man. I should be out of the hospital in a couple weeks to a month and I'll come see you for the first time.
Although the Holidays are long gone & forgotten by most, it is a special time for families. We always loved Christmas especially as it was a time of year for making memories with our family,
special loved ones, and friends. We had our own traditions & rituals that became part of our holiday season. All the family traditions & rituals that I once looked forward to just became a source for magnifiying my loss. As we approached our second Christmas without Jon it became harder this year to face the festivities. Christmas morning we should have been sitting by the fireplace, sipping a hot drink, talking, laughing & making new memories. Instead, we were at the cemetery, sitting by Jon's grave & missing him more than words can ever say.
And here it is February, a month I used to love. What's not to love? A short month, days off from school, and if Mother Nature hit us with harsh wintery weather, it was OK because you could almost smell spring in the air. Now the month of February holds bitter sweet memories for me - memories of a last card, last email, last phone call and, worst of all, the tragedy that would forever change my life.
People with good intentions have said that time will make a difference; I will learn to deal with it, etc. etc. etc. To those I say: walk a few days in my shoes, feel my pain, cry my tears and then talk to me about what time can & will do. There are some wounds that are so deep that time does nothing to ease the pain.
It's hard to believe that in a few weeks it will be 2 years since Jon was taken away from me, from all of us. I think of Jon so many times during the course of the day. I remember all the love, all the good times, all the laughter we shared. Wonderful memories can never replace Jon, but I look forward to the day when we will be together once more.
Jon "lives" on in my heart and he truly was AND is my hero for he served proudly & bravely.
Miss & love you my son now more than ever.
I can’t believe it’s been two years since I last heard Jon’s voice. On February 12, 2007 Jonny called me from Iraq. I was at work, sitting at my desk, when I heard the phone ring. I saw a really long phone number show up on the caller ID, and I knew it was him. I picked up the phone immediately and was so excited to talk with Jon.
I don’t remember exactly how we greeted each other, but I imagine it was as we always did. I probably said, “Hi, Brother,” and Jon most likely said, “Sister, how is everything?”
(Ever since we were little, we referred to each other as “Brother” and “Sister.” This began when our Mum read the children’s books “The Berenstain Bears” to us, whose kid characters were known as “Brother Bear” and “Sister Bear.”)
Whenever Jonny called from Iraq, he always sounded positive and energetic. We spoke about the usual things: his missions, my work, our family, world events. He always checked with me to make sure our mother was ok.
Then he made a request of me, and then asked me to make two promises. Jon supported Mayor Rudy Giuliani for president, and asked me to make a contribution to the Giuliani campaign for him. I did this immediately, and made the donation in Stg. Jon’s name.
He then asked me to promise him to begin tae kwon do lessons. Jon took martial arts as a child, and then after a lapse of several years he began again during college and advanced to a brown belt. When we were in college together, Jon would always ask me to take tae kwon do with him but I never did. Not taking these tae kwon do classes with Jonny is perhaps my biggest regret. But I did keep my promise to him. I began tae kwon do at the academy that Jon attended and under the training of his old instructors. Jon told me that I would like it, and to my surprise I really did enjoy martial arts (I guess Jon knew me better than I did).
Jon’s second promise that he asked of me was to begin school that autumn. He and I planned to go to the same master’s program together in the fall of 2008, as his term in the Army was done in the spring of 2008. But during our last conversation he told me that he was considering re-enlisting, and he didn’t want me to wait for him. As hard as it was to register for classes in the fall of 2007, only six months after Jonny became an angel, I kept my second promise to him, too. Jon was my inspiration throughout the program, and I will graduate this spring.
Whenever I think of my last conversation with Jon, I’m reminded of one of his favorite movies, “Signs.” In the film a preacher’s wife passes away due to an accident, and her husband becomes very bitter and despondent. Several years later, the preacher’s entire family is saved through his remembering the last words spoken to him by his wife. Although he previously thought her last words were incoherent and inconsequential, he realized that her message was a “sign.”
I’ve spoken with several other gold star family members who were asked, in their last conversation with their fallen hero, to do something specific for them. Many times they feel that that request, whether to read a book or begin an old hobby or to try something new, has “saved” them by guiding them to a purpose and giving them a goal.
In the same way, I feel that Jon “saved” me. After his passing I was consumed with grief. But through two seemingly mundane and inconsequential promises I made to Jonny, those last requests of his became like a light in a darkened room. Acting on those last promises enabled me to take my first steps in which grieving, although always present, was not all consuming. Slowly, as I began to act upon the promises the future became more than just mourning the past.
Brother: you always looked out for me. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, thank you for saving me two years ago today. You are missed and loved more every day.
Dear Cadavero Family,
When I see someone that has or is serving I thank them for serving our country. Thank you for raising the kind of fine young man that served his country and continues to serve in the testimonies of all these people.
I am so very sorry for your loss. I can not imagine what you have gone through and continue to go through. Thank you for sharing a part of your son's life through this web site.
Looking forward to the day when Jesus comes back to this earth, brings Jonathan to your waiting arms, and then I can meet Jonathan face to face.
God bless you,
Atlantic Union College
Times and times again you come across my mind. I've been in the hospital for awhile and soon to get out. I finished a tattoo on my back for you. I know when we got out of A.I.T. and heading up to Drum we all were suppose to get together and get a tattoo of something military like. Well never would of thought that tattoo would of came three years later and you are gone. You're a great friend and always will be. We did things over in IRAQ no one will every realize and understand but I can tell you the day you died, which was the day before my birthday, we would get attacked 45-65 times a day two years later they are only getting attack 2-5 times a day. We made a difference. Elections are being held now and in March Officials will be taking office. That is a great mile stone. Our headquarters is deployed right now to IRAQ and 3rd Birgade to OEF. OBAMA is in office, who would of thought with our military situation but I agree it is time for change. Its been two years brother and my first child was born in October. Her name is Emma June. I miss you and I wish your family well. My thoughts and prays are with you guys always!
Lately I have found myself thinking about Jon a lot. Wondering why. While I wasn't very close to him, I am close to his mother, Mrs. Cadavero. I make it a point to visit her every time I come to Waldick. Mrs. Cadavero, my prayers are with you and your family. Michelle, my prayers are with you too. i only met you once; but my boyfriend recently enlisted into the Reserve. Since then, my prayers have been with you more than ever. I pray for comfort and healing for you and that you will feel his love in your times of loss and sadness. Just know that I and many others are praying for you!
I know this message can't do much, but i hope it brings at least a little comfort.
Jon, we miss you! hopefuly we'll see you again soon!
Thomas Olden once observed, "If the essence of my being has caused a smile to have appeared upon your face, or a touch of joy within your heart, then in living, I have made my mark." Sergeant Jonathan Cadavero's life brought many smiles upon many faces, brought joy to many hearts, and within a span of only 24 years left a mark worthy of emulation. Beyond the smiles, beyond the joy, and a compassionate, tender spirit, he had incredible "grit" and courage. While serving in Iraq, there are numerous testimonies from officers and fellow soldiers who indicated what an incredible medic Jon was during his tenure of service. Just one illustration. According to Benjamin Ritter, Commanding Officer, U.S. Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion located at Ft. Striker, Iraq "On one particular occasion, Jonathan was accompanying a dismounted element during route clearance operations. A shot rang out and as the other soldiers scrambled to find cover, one of them was hit in the leg by an enemy bullet. When the soldier reached Jonathan's covered position, he dove on the wounded soldier and went to work on his leg. Jonathan had the wound bandaged and had moved out with other dismounted soldiers to check nearby buildings within two minutes. That was typical of his treatments.... he always found the confidence to finish the job correctly. The Soldiers of First Platoon knew that when the cry went out for "doc", the man responding would be Jonathan, and that brought them enomorous reassurance. To Jonathan, the Soldiers of First Platoon were his teammates and the thought of leaving them in the hands of another medic was unconscionable. Jonathan was in every way an outstanding soldier and superb medic." This is just a brief snapshot of how Jonathan approached life/with courage, conviction, and selfless service for others.
At Jonathan's graveside memorial service, on March 9, 2007, which was conducted by military personnel from West Point Military Academy, one of the soldiers played taps. Although when I heard the song, it gave me a lump in my throat and brought tears to my eyes, I never was aware of the story behind the song, "Taps", until recently. Its roots come from very humble beginnings. Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men at Fort Harrison's landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded in the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or a Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the striken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the striken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment. When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered that it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead. The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier....it was his own son! The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army. The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral. The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they granted him only one musician. The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform. This wish was granted. The haunting melody, we now know as "Taps" used at military funerals was born. The words to the song are:
Day is done. Gone is the sun.
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky.
All is well. Safely rest. God is nigh.
Fading light. Dims the sight.
And a star gems the sky.
Gleaming bright, from afar,
drawing nigh, falls the night.
Thanks and praise for our days,
'neath the sun, 'neath the stars,
'neath the sky.
As we go, this we know.....GOD IS NIGH!
I have never seen all the words to this solemn song until now. I did not even know there was more than one verse. I now have a deeper respect and appreciation for the song than I did before. Let us remember our lost soldiers and those harmed while serving our wonderful country. Also, remember our brave soldiers who have served and returned safely. Also, say a special prayer for those currently serving in the Armed Forces. And, please never forget our beloved son, Sergeant Jonathan D. Cadavero. GOD BLESS AMERICA.
David A. Cadavero
Thinking of you and all your fallen comrades this Christmas season, and always, Jonny. Each time we light candles, we think of you and how your light shone so brightly while you were here on earth ~ and how it continues to shine even now. We miss you more than words can say . . . and carry your spirit within each of us. May God bless you – and us. Everyone!
With love and peace,
Debra Valle (cousin) and the Valle Family
I met Jon when I was 7 yrs old in 3rd grade at Waldwick SDA School. We became close friends and remained that way for 15 yrs. I can't express how much I loved him and how much I miss him now. He was and still is an important part of my life. I'm incredibly proud of him and even more so to have known such a wonderful man.
I am an Army soldier of 21 years and I've never read more loving tributes to a fellow soldier - he and his family were/are blessed to have known each other for his 20+ years. God Bless you All.
Thinking of you today, Jon, as I know yesterday was supposed to be your two year wedding anniversary to your wonderful wife, Michelle. I wish you were still here to be with her and with us. I miss you dearly and know I always will. At this time of year, I'm VERY thankful and proud to have known you. I can't wait to see you again in heaven! may that time come ever so quickly!
As another Thanksgiving Day approaches, I remember another Thanksgiving--3 years ago. On that day, I went over early to Fort Sam Houston to meet Jon and "sign him out" of his unit, so that he could join several of us from church (he attended the churcch just a block from the motel where he & his training buddies stayed on the weekend pass) for the wonderful feast. Kay made him feel right at home, as usual, and he enjoyed a great meal--and a lengthy walk along the River Walk afterwards. I still remember seeing him every Sunday in church, in uniform, looking very sharp & handsome. He, and his family, will be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow as we all join hands at the dinner table. I'm writing this a day early, as I will be leaving early tomorrow morning to meet and pick up two basic trainees from Lackland AFB to join us for the meal--a tradition that we started a year or two before Jon. Even though I was a bit remiss in not posting a note earlier this month, on Veteran's Day, Jon was again in my thoughts at the services at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
I have a friend here at college that is so proud of the troops and their efforts that he wrote a poem in memory of them for Veterans Day. i feel the need to share this.
Giving It All To Freedom
by James Gummert (2008)
I see a flag,
Waving in the breeze,
And I wonder if anyone sees,
In the ones who’ve given it all.
I see a nation,
Protected, safe, noble and free,
No place on Earth better to be,
To be happy,
Saved by the grace of God.
I see a soldier,
Standing proud and tall,
Hearing the shout of his duty’s call,
As he falls,
To keep his country free.
Great pride I feel,
For the protectors of freedom,
And the leaders who lead them,
As they wonder,
If women and men,
Even care if they make it home.
I will always remember,
The ones who’ve given it all,
Answering their duty’s call,
And for nation,
There standing tall,
To keep this country free.
When James had me read this, i realized that the pain of losing my cousin is still here yet i know that with every passing day, God's love will strengthen me and my family. Every once in awhile i do think about the old days, of Jon goofing off and letting me ride by myself in a little red wagon down the hill in my neighborhood, but then i think that he is with the Father Almighty and i know that one day, i will go to His kingdom and see my Jonny once again. For anyone who is still in pain and suffering, i know that my words cannot spare you. Just know that you will see him again when you ascend into heaven. Trust in the Lord our God and know that He has a reason for all His actions. Whenever you dispare, go to you Bible and read Hebrews 4:16, Psalms 27:1-6, or Matthew 5:4. May these few verses help guide you. May the Lord keep you, all who are suffering. With my love and God's love. ~ Bonnie
As Americans, we have set aside November 11th as Veterans Day. A day to reflect, remember, and honor those who have served in the United States Armed Force. We should especially honor those who have given their last full measure - our Fallen Heroes.
Families with a loved one who is currently serving overseas,reflect on the volatility of their status and pray for their safe return. Families of Fallen Heroes are reminded of their loss and grieve anew for their loved one.
We must never forget that America's greatness is due to the dedication and heroism of those who risked their lives defending our freedom. By their service they have kept America strong & have protected our way of life.
Looking through one of Jon's army folders, I came across the following:
"It is the VETERAN, not the preacher
Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of press.
It is the VETERAN, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote."
Because he never forgot, Jon would send Veteran Day cards to all the VETS he knew to thank them for serving this great land of ours. On behalf of Jon, I would like to thank the VETS he remembered & respected: his hero Uncle Ihor, Michelle, Uncle Richard, Peter, Lee, Frank, Jon's dentist, his neighbors Capt. Jack, Sylvia, Mr. Bradey, barber Art, Shea, Kristy, Andrew and scores of soldiers Jon served with here in the United States & in Iraq, to all in Alpha Co., his fellow medics and the men & women in the 2nd Battalion from Ft. Drum. Special thanks to all and if Jon is looking down at you, he is ever so proud to have known you and/or served with you.
Today there are nearly 25 million military veterans living among us. Thanks for your service, for teaching us invaluable lessons about liberty, patriotism and democracy.
Thank you Jon. Your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten as well. Rest in peace my beloved son with all your fallen band of brothers.
Miss & love you son -
What can I say about Sgt. Jonathan Cadavero? I didn't personally know Jon but from what I have read of those who did have the privilege of knowing him, I have to say, I feel cheated. I first learned of Jon's tragic story while I was working in Michigan. Glancing over the Greater New York Conference website I came across the sad and disturbing news. Having known Jon's grandmother, Justine Cadavero, I felt the sudden sting of loss. Being a father myself, I cannot comprehend the pain that must attend Jon's parents. David and Nadia, you have my most heartfelt sympathy. I do not pretend to imagine what you're pain must be like from day to day; how you manage to find the resolve to press on. I'm certain God's grace has meant more to you now than ever before. Recently, about 2 weeks ago, I had the opportunity of sitting with David at a restaurant while I asked him questions about his son. Wow! You should have seen his face light up. His esteem and love for his son was emotionally charged. I sat there in amazement trying to gather a glimpse of a man I never knew. David, you painted a perfect portrait. Thank you for sharing Jon's life with me. You see my friend, I don't feel cheated anymore for having never known Jon...for I met him through your eyes and heart. Thank you.
As I sit here writing this my heart is heavy. Not heavy with despair and uncertainty, but heavy with hope. Hope that someday soon I will have the great privilege of seeing you all re-united again. Then, finally being able to look into Jon's eyes for the first time...only to recognize and old friend!
My deepest respect and thanks to Jon for his selfless sacrifice.
My even more profound respect to his parents who helped to shape such a timeless character.
With a father's love,
We thank you yet again, Jonny, as well as all your fellow Veterans ~ especially on this day. Our true American heroes!
You will always be dearly missed .... never, ever forgotten.
I know Jon would want to know that he's being remembered extra-specially today. He is. No one felt a stronger commitment to God and country, and for that, we are truly thankful. Let no Veteran ever be forgotten. We cherish their memories in our hearts and souls and honor them each and every day. But extra-specially today.
Thinking of you on this Veterans Day, Jonathan, and wishing you were still here to enjoy another Veterans' Day as you used to every single year. Thank-you once again for your tremendous sacrifice for us and our country. I think about you often and miss you very, very much. I can't wait to see you again..it won't be long now. The way things are looking now and according to what the Bible says, I know we are living in the "last days" and we will be reunited with you very soon...so until we meet again, my friend, just know that we love you and always will..you may be gone, but NEVER forgotton..
Jeffrey Cadavero & The Cadavero Family
The White House, Commission on Remembrance, designated September 20, 2008 as a day of remembrance/national tribute to honor America's fallen and their families. Every family who lost a loved one in either Iraq or Afghanistan was invited to attend the ceremony. At first I was hesitant to go. Why be reminded yet again that Jon was gone? Kristia, Jon's sister, convinced me that we have to be there to represent Jon. So I agreed to go. But for weeks I as gathering enough courage & strength to face another service/another ceremony. Finally the day arrived & it was a beautiiful, sunny, cool day. Walking from the DC metro and nearing the Washington Monument grounds, I was amazed at the crowd of people. Sitting there before the ceremony began, I looked around & realized I was a mere "droplet" in a sea of people. We all were strangers but together we were bearing the pain of our common bond of loss. What could anyone say today to erase the pain or ease the burden of my loss?
A military band was playing patriotic songs in the background. Two large screens were at each end of the stage & then it happened........they started to list in alphabetical order all the names of the fallen. My eyes started to water but when Jon's name came up, I totally became emotionally unglued. Seeing his hame among the dead just pierced my heart. Again.
One of the speakers said the following, "An awareness that remembering those who have fallen is more than just the right thing to do, it is everyone's responsibility." Regardless of when their loved one passed away, I saw more tears & pain than I ever have before. My family & I did our own share of crying. Once the tears started to flow, there was no way of stopping.
"But we ......shall be remembered;
We few...we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother."
There is no amount of time that could ever erase Jon's memory. Jon shall always be remembered. His spirit & legacy lives on in my heart. I'm sure the same holds true for the many lives he touched in his short life.
Jon understood what it meant to be an American, so did the other over 4,154 who also gave their lives to preserve our liberties.
May Jon rest in peace with all his "brothers"...........
Think of Jon all the time. Miss & love him to the depths of my soul.
My personal condolence is my most loving memory of Sergeant Jonathon David Cadavero.
First I would like to tell a small story of Sergeant Jonathon David Cadavero. Before doing so, I fervently prayed to get the right words out, so whoever has read this message will know and understand the meaning.
Jonathon Cadavero came from a very humble and deep Christian family. His grandmother, grandfather, aunts, uncles, mother, and father devoted their entire lives to the love of God. With no doubt this love ran through Jon's veins.
Jonathon's paternal grandmother and grandfather knew my own parents for over 50 years exchanging the most loving and compassionate letters to one another. I knew Jonathon's father and uncle. The few times we visited together were very warm and touching.
Unfortunately I never knew Jonathon, but what he did in his final day makes me very sad, swelling with pride as his upbringing would bring such strength, compassion and guts only as honest as a true Christian could achieve.
Jonathon surrendered his seat for a wounded soldier giving comfort and dignity to him in a protected Hum V. Jonathon chose to ride in an unprotected vehicle very much knowing he was at risk. On that faithful day in February, 2007, Jonathon's vehicle was sabataged, which ended his life. Not only did he do it once, but he did it numerous times. That made Jonathon, not only a hero once, but a hero over and over. What kind of guts and strength is this! My conclusion is only a strength rendering from his loving Creator. Jonathon with no doubt stuck out above all the soldiers doing this heroic act. I don't underestimate many good stories told by many soldiers, but this alone is Jonathon's story.
Jonathon graduated with high honors in College. He had a big future ahead of him becoming a lawyer. Before going out in the business world, Jonathon wanted to serve his country first. His wonderful plans had to be put on hold to serve. Serve he did. He became a top medic in charge of many wounded soldiers. He would heal them and give them morale and comfort, applying the psychology he studied in college.
His love was so great, he stepped down and served the men beneath him with lesser ranks. Jonathon exemplified humility in every sense of its meaning.
Jonathon rests now and God has held his loving heart forever. He'll never be forgotten in God's loving arms.
Finally my message to everyone who reads this condolence will read as follows: When election day comes soon, whisper the name "Jonathon" under your breath and examine your conscience. Vote heroic and gutsy, just as Jonathon was. In honor of Jonathon, vote morally, vote honorably, vote honestly, vote truthfully, and vote for the constitution.
Vote with security and justice. It's you and a closed curtain! Think in front of your Creator, in respect of Him, who is the final judge and respect Him, because someday you will be accountable for these votes of morals.
In memory of Jonathon, just think like you never thought before, even if you can't make up your mind. Think of one issue; mankind, like Jonathon did. Think of the unborn child and you'll be on the right path. Remember, this vote is not only for our preservation of our great nation, but for the honor of our Grand Creator. He is your final judge.
Maybe after almost two years of sorrow from Jon's family, you could turn all of their sorrows into some happiness instead of this tragedy. His family will someday see the total joy of happiness in Jonathon's life.
You'll be a great citizen if you vote in honor of all these soldiers, this nation, Jonathon, and the especially the Grand Creator, who will hold your heart in his hands forever.
God bless America, God bless Sergeant Jonathon David Cadavero, my soldier of love.
Rosette A. Sokol
Not too many TV commercials have any effect on me; however, the one described below just tore my heart out.
The camera spins around what appears to be a waiting room near a gate at an airport. People are talking on cell phones, just sitting there gazing into space, or reading. Then in the background you hear what sounds like one person clapping which the camera soon captures and shows on the screen. Seconds later, you see another and another and another person standing and clapping. Soon everyone is standing and clapping. Then the camera focuses on U.S. soldiers walking through the gate and into the crowd. At the end of the commercial, you see the backs of these soldiers with "Thank You" on the screen.
No one deserves our thanks more than our military, many of which are still in harm's way. I pray for their safe return. But my thoughts are with those who did not return, who did not walk through an airport gate greeted by their family, friends and grateful Americans. My thougths are especially of Jon and why wasn't he given the chance to come home, walk through an airport gate and be greeted by his family? This isn't how is was supposed to be. I often look at his pictures and remember some crazy silly thing he said or did and have to laugh. But for every touch of enlightenment, I endure weeks of darkness. Whenever the family get together for some special occasion or for no reason at all, the emotions continue to pulsate and one feels Jon's absence. Jon's death has left a hole in my middle of my heart and life. This holds true for his family and many of his friends.
Jon was supposed to come home and he did come home but not in the way any of us expected. I know that someday Jon will wait by those pearly gates and greet his family & friends. And we will never part again. But right now, here on earth and in this case, time has not healed any wounds, and time has not made a difference. Jon is missed so very much.
Rest in peace by beloved son. I think of you all the time, miss & love you with all my heart & soul.
My heart breaks a little more everyday as I realize that Jon is never coming back. The pain this has caused is indescribable, and I pray to God that He will never make me go through something like this again. As I go about my daily life, I see plenty of people - in the news, on TV, or in person - whose existence and purpose I simply cannot fathom. Why are they still on this earth when Jon is not? It seems to me as if Jon was too good to live here, instead belonging in a place far away from the pain and imperfections that humans are forced to live with. Oftentimes, when we are asking God how He permitted this to happen to such a person, we forget to thank Him for the time we were allowed to be with Jon. Although I feel robbed and abandoned, I am ever so thankful that I was one of the fortunate people who were granted the privilege of knowing Jon. Out of the many things I learned from him, I will never forget the importance of living life to the fullest and making each day count. Jon made sure to follow this testament everyday. We all love and miss you my friend.
I remember all the times Jonny and I spent together, during Thanksgiving, Christmas or during the summer. I remember the time he took me up the hill in my neighborhood in my little red wagon and just let me ride by myself all the way down. I remember the fun times at the beach with him being his funny, amazing self. But most importantly, I remember the way he used to say the right things at exactly the right time. Ha always had a funny or insightful thing to say. That was his God given gift, humor. Jonny was his name and comedy was his game. Another thing I remember was that fact that he always wanted to serve his country. He would try to act like Uncle but fail because he always had that sense of humor messing up that serious attitude that only Uncle can pull off. When I found out that he was going into the service, I could not have been happier. I was proud to call him my cousin but more importantly, I was proud to call him my friend and hero. Jon was my hero and still and forever will be. Things that Jonny used to say to me still help govern my life today and I know with the wisdom he shared with me, I will never fall off the right path. He was a man of God and he loved his family to the end. I know that he’s watching all of us from heaven right now and keeping tabs on how we all are doing. No matter what, we have to always remember that he is still with us in our hearts and that because of him, we all have a little sparkle of grace and laughter instilled in us. When I was little I used to say to him, “To the Moon, Jonny, to the Moon.” Well, now I get to say, “Peace be with you in heaven, my hero, Peace be to you.”
I just checked on the website of "Run for the Fallen" to see where Jon was remembed, and found that it was in an area near Sparta, Tennessee; how appropriate that a true warrior (for he wanted to truly serve his country) was remembered in a one-mile run near a town named for the warrior city in ancient Greece. I think of Jon daily--and of his family; you have lost a member of the family, and I have lost a friend. You are always in my prayers.
I never knew Jon or the members of his family except for his dad David. He currently serves as my employer and the example that he sets for me gives me a clear indication of the type of man and soldier Jon was. To his mom who I know still has a tough time dealing with his death, God will give you the strength to make it. He was a good man who believed in integrity and the benefits of freedom.
Keep strong and keep the faith. I know you will see him again.
Rest in peace!
"Life is eternal, and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight." Anonymous
It doesn't take much for me to be reminded of Jon. Everyday something triggers a memory that either brings a smile or tears. Many times, both...............Right now my thoughts go back two years around the middle/end of July 2006 when Jon had his last home leave before his deployment to Iraq. He wanted to spend his ten days at home doing ordinary/simple things he enjoyed doing, going to places he loved to visit. His favorite meals were cooked when we didn't go to his favorite restaurants, we went to this lake he loved to swim at, he went food shopping for me and came home with all items on my list other than cereal & milk! But on his last full day at home, he wanted to cut the front lawn. As I heard the lawn mower start, I went to one of the front windows as I just wanted to watch him. And to my amazement there was Jon with no T-shirt, no socks, no sneakers, just his army PT shorts sprinting up & down, back & forth, singing "Sweet Caroline" at the top of his voice. Boy did I laugh.......but it was just like Jon to do something like this. Now when I water the front bushes & flowers, I can almost see and hear Jon as if he is doing a repeat "performance" just for me.
Almost is not good enough though. It never will be. Not a day goes by when my heart doesn't ache for my son. The pain that is deep inside of me is the same as when I first heard of Jon's death. Nothing has changed, it certainly hasn't gotten any better, and time has not made a difference. One learns to tolerate pain & hurt, to get up each morning & use all the strength possible to get through the day.
The other night as I was channel surfing, I cam across the movie "The Jazz Singer" with Neil Diamond. At that exact moment he was singing "Sweet Caroline"....somehow I love Jon's version better. When I think back on that day, even facing deployment & war, Jon was such a happy soul, proud to be able to serve, confident he would return, full of hopes & dreams for the future.
Until I meet Jon over that horizon, I love & miss him with my heart & soul.
I've just read your website and am both awed and sobered. What an incredible life and witness Jon packed into his short life! Just think of the ripple effect his life has had and continues to have on all who came in contact with him. How I wish I could have known him! As a mother, I cannot imagine your loss, Nadia. Be assured of my prayers for you and the entire family as you continue to struggle with the void that Jon has left. May the Comforter be very real to you each day.
I know that when I heard this I was shocked.
My memories will always be of his joke of the night before lights out in A bay. And if you didn't laugh he'd yell at you and then laugh at his own bad joke. He would always find something funny to say or do to make everybody happier. I'm sorry I never got the chance to serve with him after AIT but I can say he made the world a better place while he was here.
My condolences to the Cadavero's and all of his friends, family, and soldiers who knew him better than I did. May he have a peaceful rest.
" The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality." - John Quincy Adams. Jon's life was one of happy service to others, a service that lives on. As Albert Schweitzer once wrote "... the only ones who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." He learned to serve others from the example of his Mom and Dad. They both live a life of service for others. I am indebeted to Jon's Father for his godly example of service. I pray for Jon's family and his wife during my personal devotions, I know he is safe in the arms of Jesus our Lord, Jon's Lord and the day will come when Jesus returns and calls us all to Him. I look forward to that day knowing Jonathan will be there with his friendly smile to greet us all. - Tim
“Beyond the door,
There's peace I'm sure . . .
And I know there'll be no more
Tears in heaven!”
~ Excerpt from Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven”
Well, Jonny -- there may be ‘no more tears in heaven,’ but there are certainly a’plenty here on earth. Your family and friends will mourn your loss always, and extra-specially on those milestone dates like today - and throughout the year. So as you blow out those twenty-six birthday candles in heaven today, we’ll be marking the day down here for you as well. And smiling fondly as we recall cherished memories of you. You left more footprints on many more hearts than you’ll ever know!
~ Debra Valle and Family
Its your birthday Jonny.... I woke up this morning thinking about you today. Man we miss you...
Thank you for everything and for playing such a significant part in the lives of so many of us here.
See you soon
Today, June 13th is Jon's birthday. It's hard to believe that 26 years ago at 3:43 a.m. I gave birth to this beautiful, chunky baby boy who grew up to be such an incredible young man. I should be baking & cooking all of Jon's favorites, wrapping gifts, and waiting for him to come home. Instead, I will be at a gravesite, placing flowers, crying & having my heart broken into a million pieces again. This is not how is should be. This is not how it was supposed to be. I don't need to be at the cemetery to remember, cry or have my heart broken. Jon's face is before my eyes each day; his memory is alive in my mind & heart. Today, as I think of all the past birthdays we celebrated I am ever so grateful that Jon was my son even if it was for only a little while. He would drive me nuts at times, he would go 100 m.p.h. & never seem to slow down, but he was always such a happy kid, so full of life & enthusiasm, so curious about everything around him,so colorful & ever so humorous! And what a joy to have around.
Growing up he had his share of hurts & bumps in the road. Yet he always bounced back on his feet with the most positive attitude saying "tomorrow is a new day".......he was so tender hearted & caring to all around him, he was so appreciative for the smallest & slightest deed done for/to him. His friendliness was outstanding & he would talk to everyone & make friends everywhere he went. I never met anyone with such a sense of humor. He really would/could uplift anyone in their darkest hour. Many times when I think about Jon & remember something he said or did, I just have to laugh through my tears. Anyone who knew Jon well knows exactly what I mean by that.
I could write countless pages giving examples of what a devoted son/brother/nephew/cousin/neighbor and friend he was. He truly was THE best. This morning I went downstairs to feed Jon's dog (who also was born on June 13th) and instead of my usual greeting "Hey Rusty"...I inadvertently came out with "Hey Jonny"...............the poor dog ran to the glass doors & looked down the hill. He stood there for the longest time as ifis master, Jon. So how am I, as his mother, supposed to "get over" his loss? Sometimes I too for a brief moment "wait" for Jon to come home thinking & hoping all this is a just an awful nightmare or mistake.
Today, I will have extra special thoughts of Jon, of the love & bond we shared, of the joy, laughter & happiness he brought into so many lives - most of all mine. Never was a son more wanted or loved. While we are separated by the corridor of life & the doorway of heaven, may you rest in peace my beloved son. We will have all eternity to celebrate all your birthdays!
Remembering Jon today - thinking of him with all my love.
I miss you Jonny. I think of you and your family a lot. The end of time is coming so I will see you soon. Tomorrow is your birthday and you will be in my thoughts. My prayers will be with the Cadavero Family.
Even though so much time has passed, the image of Jon walking towards me is as clear as ever. I just finished my first step in becoming an EMT and he is the only person I want to celebrate with. I felt him with me every step of the way, from the classroom to the field giving CPR. I remember two nights before he was taken from us, he was teaching me everything he knew about medicine. Those words stayed with me.
I always read the messages left here and feel so blessed and honored that he chose me to be his wife. From the first time I saw him I couldn't take my eyes off him. Jon showed me so much, he taught me so much and I miss him dearly and I love him with all my heart.
Except for the last few years, I have been guilty of losing sight of the real significance and importance of Memorial Day. To me it was along weekend, a day off from school, and great sales at the mall. I know that many have have been and still are guilty of the same thing. I wonder how many people actually stop during the course of the day and think about what Memorial Day means? Observance of this day has diminished over the years. Except for perhaps Arlington Natinal Cemetery & other military cemeteries around the U.S., many gravesites of the fallen are ignored & neglected.
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our Nation's service. Since last week I have been thinking of our fallen soldiers. I have been thinking about over 4,000 who already have lost their lives in the current war. I understand each mother & the pain she is feeling. My thoughts have been especially with the other two families who lost their sons in the same vehcile as Jon. In a very strange way we have an unspoken connection. Meeting at Fr. Drum we shared the same tears, the same tremendous loss, and the same devastating pain.
As every day, my thoughts are of Jon. I think about how he felt it was his calling to enlist during war time & to do his duty. I think about how proud he was to be an American, how proud to wear his fatigues everywhere he went, how proud he was to be able to serve. He knew the dangers and risks and yet, had no regrets. I think about that last mission, his last day, as they were returning back to base, and am wondering why their lives were taken from us all to soon. Why couldn't they have returned safely back to base? A question many families have asked, and will never get an answer.
Jon was remembered yesterday by many - the local firemen put up an American flag at the bottom of the hill on our property and blasted the truck horn as they passes our house, the town police Sgt. brought flowers with a note attached "thinking of you - remembering Jon." There were phone calls from Jon's friends & army buddies, family & friends. Over the weekend we made many trips to the cemetery, bringing flowers, sitting there remembering & missing jon ever so much. An American flag was placed by each gravesite. Jon had three. We have no idea who placed the extra flags . But the cemetery director told us that many come to Jon's gravesite on a regular basis. I thank all those who care and remember Jon.
Yesterday, Memorial Day, May 26, 2008 was a perfect day to pay respects to the solders who fought & have died for us, for our Country. We don't kow them, they didn't know us, but they fought for us anyway. They fought for our freedom, for our rights. Our fallen heroes deserve to have one day set aside for this Nation to remember, reflect and honor them. These brave men & women have given their all in service to their country.
All who have died deserve honor, our respect and thanks. Knowing what could happend, Jon was still willing to give his all. And he did. For this, I/we thank you Jon for being one of the brave and a true American. Jon always gave 100% of himself.
Jon is and always will be missed by countless people. He certainly earned our respect and thanks.
Love & miss you son.
I'm looking at my calendar as I'm getting ready to move into my new apartment this weekend and noticed a few things. My birthday is coming up Jon, so is yours; Friday June 13. Even though Jon had mixed feelings about his birthdate I only hold on to the good memories Jon left for both his and my birthday a few years ago. Honestly, I couldn't bare the thought ot even looking at parades this weekend because I was only reminded of OUR SOLDIER. Just thinking about it chokes me up because I know that Jonny did EVERYTHING from the bottom of his heart to help man. But Jonny, we still miss you!
I recall celebrating our birthdays with nothing, literally. Jonny knew how to make meaningful things out of nothing and I do recall having a stomach ache from all the jokes Jonny was launching at me. And again, he taught me that laughter and happiness was all that mattered in life. Our Birthdays are coming up Jonny, i'm placing an extra candle this year for you. I miss my friend, I miss you alot.
Rest in Peace Soldier!
We miss you
Hey Jon, just wanted to let you know I thought about you alot today. I miss you lots man, and I'm sure you're making everyone laugh up there. Rest peacefully. Jay
On this day when we, as a nation, honor all who gave their lives for their country, I want you to know that I think of Jon every day. It was especially appropriate, and poignant, to remember him today as I attended the Memorial Day services at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. I want you to know that everyone in Jon's family is in my prayers every day. Please know that we all remember and honor the sacrifice that he made for his country--and that he is missed every day.
Thank you for posting the memory of Sergeant Jonathan “Jon” Cadavero...a true profile in Courage. While no words can fully express our sorrow, we can tell you that the bio is an inspiration to our own lives & our children. Jon and his family are truly inspirational and, on this Memorial Day, we still say a special prayer for them and be ever more proud to be Americans!
On this Memorial Day Weekend now upon us, we pause in our daily rounds to honor my cousin, Jon, and the nearly 4,400 souls of soldiers lost. Lost, but never, ever forgotten. And we will continue to honor Jon’s memory – as well as all of our fallen heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom, to the very end of our days here on earth.
The following Memorial Day tribute was written by Mrs. Lyman Hancock – no doubt a heartbroken mother, grieving for her son lost on the battlefield – though written as if it were spoken by her son. It reminded me of Jon, and is excerpted here:
When I’m Gone
When I come to the end of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile,
. . . Remember only my smile.
…. Forget to grieve for my going,
I would not have you sad for a day,
But in summer just gather some flowers
And remember the place where I lay.
And come in the shade of evening
When the sun paints the sky in the west;
Stand for a few moments beside me
And remember only my best.
Though it is impossible not to grieve for Jon – especially for his parents and sister and extended family, we are comforted by the memory that Jon was at his very best each and every day of his short young life, as evidenced by all the loving tributes of his family, friends, classmates, and comrades-in-arms. He truly made the world a better place. And it is his memory that we will especially be honoring this weekend, and each and every day in some small way. Now and forever and always.
~ Debra Valle
Cousin of Jon
A weekend passed, another one coming up. My "new" church is a cemetery and a stone bench is my pew. Jon doesn't know I'm there, he can't hear me whisper or see my tear filled eyes. Yet, I have this need to be near my son. Now, more than ever, my heart aches every day for him.
The poet & author, Maya Angelou, wrote the following words:
"It is healthy & honorable to weep at the loss of someone we love.
Healthy because such passion must be released.
Honorable because it is respectful to admit the importance of people who have loved & supported us......people whose footprints cannot ever be matched."
The world is full of people, but there was only one Jon. A very unique & special person who gave of himself & touched my life as well as the lives of everyone he came in contact with. His footprints certainly cannot be matched!
For the last fifteen months I have received advice from all kinds of people. Family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. I am sure they all had good intentions and tried, in their own way, to comfort me. But let me say that time heals nothing. Perhaps time makes life a little more tolerable. But there is a grief beyond the reach of solace. Grief is a very personal and individual process that needs to run its course. No one can tell you about grief, about its limitless boundaries, its unfathomable depths. The loss of a loved one, especially a child (in this case my son) leaves a big space in the heart, a crater that is created in the center of your body & soul. And nothing can fill it.
Jon was a treasure of my heart and losing him is as though I lost a part of myself.
So often I dwell on all the blessings, joy & laughter Jon brought into my life. So many countless moments & memories which keep Jon close in spirit & thought. This will never change & will always be in my heart today & forevermore.
Love you son. Words cannot express how much you are missed.
Mother's Day 2008
Last year it was so hard to face Mother's Day knowing I would not hear from Jon. Or so I thought. Somehow he arranged with his sister, Kristia, to get me a special card & gift which she did present me with right on Mother's Day.
This year was even harder because I lost my mother the end of March and I wondered how the day would be & how I would get through it. Miraculously and, somehow as if Jon had something to do with it, I heard from his widow, college friends, college roommate, army buddies, and my former students, all wishing me a great day with phone calls, cards, and flowers! The outpouring of love & support was just overwhelming & touching. Thank you all!!
My "other daughter" & extended family had us over for a BBQ whichput a special touch to the day. It's because of of all these wonderful people who loved Jon so much that I was able to get through the day. Of course nothing could make up for Jon. Each day I miss him more. Each day I long to hear his voice, see his face. If only I could hug him one more time...........but that one more time would never be enough.
Although the following words are not my own, they say what is in my heart, so I dedicte them to my beloved son, Jon:
"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world.
It knows no law, no pity.
It dares all things & crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."
"The love of husbands & wives may wwaver,
brothers & sisters may become deep-rooted enemies,
but a mother's love is so strong & unyielding that is usually endures all circumstances:
good fortune & misfortune,
prosperity & privation,
honor & disgrace. A mother's love perceives no impossibilities."
"However time or circumstances may come between a mother & her child,
their lives are interwoven forever."
As long as I live, Jon will always remain & be part of my life. My thoughts & heart carry his name & memory. Till we meet my son - I will love you with all my heart & soul.
First off Jonathan Cadavero was my best friend. We went to AIT together and were the best of buds. He started a scooter gang which was fun down in San Antonio. Jonathan was a brother to me and I can say I loved him. You showed me wisdom and knowledge that nobody would have. His kind hearted soul shouldn't had been lost. One of the things Jonathan, Miguel Flecha, and my self wanted to do was get a tattoo of something patriotic for a unit. The same tattoo and until this day I haven't got it but it is in the works. My tattoo artist has started the design and I called miguel flecha up because we all agreed to get tattoos together. On a bad note around the time Jonathan died my unit kept it away from me because I was going through a hard time because I suffer from chronic ptsd, Major depression, pseudoseizures and some personallity disorder. Until this day no one would tell me when he died. The worst thing he died the day for my birthday. I'm crying as I type because I loved him as a brother and they didn't allow me to go to his memorial service before leaving country. I've been trying to find out but been hospitalized for awhile now. Jon I loved you as a brother and I never got to say goodbye and I truly believe you were there for me as a gaurdian angel because i should had died in Iraq numerous of times and I bless you for that. I wish after AIT and before we deployed we could had spent some more time together. If any one reads this I would love to communicate with jon's family. My cell phone #5718308597 and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
And to jon's mom happy mothers day I wish I could give you a hug and show you the love your son could give you. You raised a hell of a son. He was very intelligent, physically fit, and one of the most funniest people I ever met. Your family will always be in my prays.
I have two daughters and never had a son. But knowing Jon through his mother has made me wish I had one. Jon was the best son, best friend, and best brother anyone could have. He was so kind and loving to everyone. He loved the children/students here at the Waldwick SDA School and, whenever possible, came and spent time with them. My daughter, Kirsten, still has the London key chain he gave her! Jon certainly ws someone to admire and will always be remembered.
I remember the first week of school in 2001. I had just got into school and seeing one of the nicest people that I had ever seen. Of course, it was Jonny. I remember that in our gym class, he started facing me in basketball and did a lay up. Of course, I was only 8 so I had a clueless expression on my face and the only thing I could say was "Whoa!" No matter how his day was going, his jokes could cheer anyone up. His simple smile really cleared p the sky for me.
Many times, we don't seem to understand why God allows certain things to happen. Being that Jonny was such an amazing human-being, we always ask "Why God? Why Jonny? Why now?!" But the truth is, God knows what He's doing! He knew what legacy Jonny would leave us and how his legacy would live on for eternity.
I look forward to meeting Jonny in the clouds on our way to heaven. Let's not forget Jonny and what he's done for us: teaching P.E., substituding, showing us the real way to play kickball, playing catch in the back, being the best freeze tagger in the world, and overall, being a great person to us. We will remember Jonny not only as a soldier of the United States of America, but overall, a soldier of Jesus Christ. We hope to see you soon Jonny!
Tragedies either make us stronger or destroy us with bitterness and greif. Jesus is coming and because of that fact, David and Nadia, God has given you the strength and wisom to overcome and to look to Him for power and everyday courage. I did not know Janathan, and yet I did, because I know his father. David is is the epitomy of a humble Christian man seeking God's wisdom and living in His power. And I am sure that Jonathan was that same caring Christian man.
I know from personal experience that the loss of a loved one is devastating, it is not something that you get over, you live with it everyday. Yet, we have the hope of seeing our loved ones again, hope, hope, hope...the the key to the future is hope, hope in a soon returning Savior and in seeing Jonathan again. So, my only comment would be to know the Father, it is only by knowing and service to Him that you can face the future. May God contiue to bless you and care for you every day.
North American Division
Seventh-day Adventist Church
Friend of David
Beautiful tribute to this wonderful young man.
Once in a while you come across a card or poem that says exactly what you feel inside but somehow couldn't find the "right" words yourself. That is the case with the following, which I dedicate to my beloved son, Jon:
"I thought of you with love today,
but that is nothing new.
I thought about you yesterday,
And days before that too.
I think of you in silence,
I often speak your name.
All I have are memories
And your picture(s) in a frame.
Your memory is my keepsake,
With which I'll never part.
God has you in His keeping,
I have you in my heart."
Love & Miss you Jon.
I remember the days I used to come over the house during the school week @ waldwick. We weren't that close at first, but over time we found out that we had more and more in common. After high school we lost touch, seeing each other only a few more times. Man, I regret not keeping in touch with him, we were like brothers at one point. All I can do now is wait for the Resurrection, depending that God will reunite us in heaven. He was a good and loyal friend, and whenever I think of him I miss him. Any day now the sky will burst open and Jesus will be here, but in the meantime God will grant us strength to make it. My prayers are with the family and his dear wife, may you feel God's presence near you, because He is draws closer to us during times of grief, even when it feels like He is far.
Since we live relatively close to West Point Military Academy, it's no surprise to hear & see army helicopters overhead from time to time. However, the other day as I was walking Rusty our dog, an army helicopter was flying very low and all too slowly. For a few brief seconds I thought that the army was bringing Jon home! I could almost see him repelling from the helicopter shouting "what's for dinner." It would be just like Jon to make such an entrance! As those second of wishful thinking ended, I realized that just a few hours earlier I placed a palm cross by Jon's grave. Every visit to the cemetery, with every item placed there, it's like a jagged knife that pierces my heart.
As the whole Christian world recognizes Christ's death, and more importantly, HIs resurrection this upcoming weekend, I KNOW deep in my heart & soul that on that soon coming resurrection day, Jon's name will be called. He was one of the "good guys" who will hear "Well done my good & faithful servant"................When Jon & I do meet on that glorious day, I can almost hear him saying, "He mom....why are you crying?" But those tears will be different though. They will be tears of joy. I can't wait to be re-united with my precious son and never have to worry about losing him again.
Jon is constantly in my thoughts & will remain forever in my heart. Rest in peace my son. I miss you more than words can express and love you to the depths of my soul.
I read once that good fortune and/or disasters come in pairs. That was the case this past weekend with back-to-back difficult days. It should have been a joyous weekend but instead it was one of grief & pain. Not many people are aware that March 8, 2008 was supposed to be Jon's discharge day from the Army. Yellow ribbons on every tree on our property were going to greet him. And I promised to throw him two big welcome home parties; one in New York and one in Maryland inviting his family, friends, neighors, and teachers. Somehow it didn't turn out like it was supposed to. The torrential rains on March 8th hinted that perhaps all of heaven was crying along with me.
A year ago on March 9th was Jon's funeral. I drove by the church and then went to the cemetery. As I placed flowers by Jon's gravesite, tears streaming down my face, I thought about last year when Jon was laid to rest. That day has left a permanent scar on my very soul. I was in such a fog and still in a state of shock, that I didn't recognize family members or friends. I just remember a sea of people inside the church, as well as outside. I was so incredibly touched by the outpouring of love & support shown to my family and me.
During this most difficult year, I have asked myself repeatedly: If Jon could have known that his end would come on February 27, 2007, while serving in the Army in Iraq, would he still have enlisted? Knowing Jon, I don't believe he would have. He would not do anything willingly that would ultimately cause me, his family and so many others such pain & devastation. He would have found an alternate route to serve his country. However, Jon was so proud to serve his country and be part of the U.S. Army. It was not easy but he never had any regrets. Regardless of the task, he served and gave 110% of himself Jon was so sure, beyond any doubt, that God was going to protect him, that he would come home. That is how it should have happened....why it didn't, who can answer?
So now, all the "first" lasts have passed. The seconds, thirds, tens, or even hundreds will not be faced with any less pain. Even in death Jon is such a big part of me and my life that there is no escape from his memory or the pain it holds. His pictures are all over the house, all over my office and each photo, each memory is held close to my heart. I was fortunate to have him as a son. I was proud of his dedicted service, but even more proud of the person he was.
Knowing how things turned out, how I wish I could go back in time and "convince" my dear son to take that alnernate route.....
Jon will forever live on in my heart. He will forever be loved to the depths of my soul and missed with all my heart.
Where to start, Cadavero, One in a million, and an Ace in the hole. In such a short time can someone of your caliber make a hugh impact, it is now a lil over a year later and your name is still echoed thru the ranks of younger soldiers, as someone who had all to give and gave it their all all, no matter what. For the few still here, the atmosphere was a little silent 10 days ago, our mission continues but there was an absence felt that day, by all. No one said anything, but I could tell by their actions that day. You would be happy to know we started 2 hr PT in the morning, something you always loved. Smoke me Sargeant, smoke me, words you said to me that are to well known. Although the Medics dont say much about anything, we all will carry the scar in our hearts and the band on our wrists of such a good man that once walked this earth. God bless your Family and thank you for this website.
The day that I found out about Jonny, I couldn’t and didn’t want to understand my sister on the cell as I was teaching my 11th Grade Chemistry class in PR. My kids knew something was wrong as I left the classroom and balled out crying. I didn’t hesitate to call my mother and informed her that I HAD to be in NY; she immediately hung up on me when I told her, she too couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of my mouth. Questions and surprises hit me more and more as I began to digest what had really happened, it all seemed so unfair. I even googled Jonny and read any and every article that had his name or picture on it, even the one where he was interviewed on Feb 25 regarding IED’s.
Just thinking about what had happened, it enraged me towards why so many of our loved ones fight in a war to risk their lives. But no matter what we said in the past prior to Jonny’s leave, it was his will and ambition to help and serve for this country.
As I arrived to NY for Jonny’s service, I recall looking for a book I got from him; Tuesday’s with Morrie… He didn’t want to give me a blunt reality check straight to my face; instead he gave me the book to read just for me to understand that life has a meaning and no matter what circumstance you might be in, you must live it. Jonny lived his life to the very fullest and the memories of him remain in our hearts.
My heart goes out to the whole family and I wish there was something I could do for you all to feel better but all I can say is this: “He is watching over us”.
Jonny was a good man with a good heart and he will never be forgotten.
See you soon Jonny
-Denise S. Bueso
February 28, 2008 marked one year since Johnny was abruptly taken away from us. Although it has been excruciatingly painful, we look back on the last 365 days with a sense of pride. Many have have shared their encounters with Johnny. His life positively impacted the rich and famous as well as the everyday person. We learned that he took time to interact with the intellectual as well as the ordinary, with the same degree of caring and love. People could sense in his presence that he cared. The interpersonal attributes he displayed were instilled in him by his loving, caring parents. You made every effort to ensure your children had a firm spiritual foundation and impeccable moral values .
To listen to people share their feelings of admiration and respect for Johnny demonstrates, Nadia and David, you have truly trained your children in the way God would have. We pray that you will allow the presence of the same God in whom you taught your children to believe, trust, lead and guide their lives to lift you up, cradle you tightly in His arms and fill you with His love and peace so you may continue to live out Johnny's legacy of bringing sunshine into every life you touch.
Every day, every month is difficult filled with memories, pain and tears. Not that the month of March is any easier, but I just could not write any message(s) during the month of February. It was just an extremely painful and difficult month, beyond description. I have often wondered how things would be if life could be controlled by a remote control gadget? I certainly would press the "rewind" button back to when Jon was born and just start all over again. I would press the "pause" button countless times, especially on February 26, 2007 thus never going forward to the following fateful and tragic day.
February 27, 2007 started out like any other day. It was a stressful day at school and stressful at the nursing home with my mom. I came home tired and hungry and, as I sat there eating soup, thought about the day's events and all the things that went wrong. I was SURE that nothing else could possibly go wrong. Just as I finished that thought, the doorbell rang and there stood two army officers at my front door. Of course I didn't think the worst because I prayed for Jon's safety at least a thousand times already that day. My initial thought was that Jon got wounded and they came to bring me to him....If only that could have been the case.
After that second, life forever changed and would not, could not ever be the same. I couldn't AND wouldn't believe that Jon was gone. Not my Jon. Not my beloved son. After the disbelief and shock wore off, the tears came and have not stopped since.
February 14, 2007 was the day that I received the last piece of mail from Jon. It was a Valentine's Day card. I am stillin awe that, although he was in the middle of a war zone, he made the time to go to the PX, buy a card, and mail it so that I would get it in time for Valentine's Day. But that was Jon - always showing me just how much he cared. However, there will never be another card, letter, or email.
February 20, 2007 was the last time I spoke with Jon. He just got back from a mission and was so tired but he called me anyway. He had to rest up because his unit was going on back-to-back missions and he was not sure when he would be able to call. Jon didn't want ME to worry! Again, that was Jon. A thoughtful, devoted and loving son. Now there will never be another phone call.
Questions beginning with "why" have been asked since creation. I, no doubt, will ask "why Jon" the rest of my life. This is something I don't and can't understand, not now or ever.
I recently read the following poem:
"Grief is a journey....
We move from seeing the person by sight
To seeing them in memories...
At first they are too painful,
And every memory breaks our hearts.
Gradually they help us establish the significance of our loss...
In time, our memories become our most precious possessions.
The memories wrap themselves around our being,
And our loved one is reborn inside our hearts.
That is called.....The Journey of Grief."
- Doug Manning
A year has passed and somehow time has not made a difference for the better. I miss Jon more than ever. Precious memories are all I have of my son. If I were to write down on paper all the wonderful memories I have of Jon, it would make "War & Peace" look like a short story! What hurts is that the memories end on February 27, 2007. There is no opportunity to make new memories, have new good times & laughs together, carry out the plans we made. I will be on my "Journey of Grief" for the rest of my life. There is no end, no light at the end of the tunnel.
February 27, 2008 was spent with family & close firends at Jon's gravesite. As we got out of our cars, we noticed that except for deer tracks, the snow was in tact except going to Jon's gravesite. It was heavily traveled with all kinds of footprints that packed the snow & made a nice direct path to Jon's gravesite. I don't know who came to pay their respect, but on behalf of my family, I thank all those who did remember and visited Jon's gravesite. As we were there together, those who could spoke of happy memories they had of Jon. He truly was the happiest & funniest person you could have ever met. In spite of the tears, we had to chuckle at some of the things he said & did.
Even now, my mind knows Jon is gone. But inside my heart I keep thinking perhaps, just perhaps, he's been on some secret mission and he will come through the front door any day now. This is the mother in me..............
My heart & memory bank is filled with Jon. But it is not good enough as I want my son back. I want to hear his voice, see his face, and feel his arm around my shoulder. This cross is too heavy to carry and it seems all too unfair.
Jon, I miss & love you more than ever. Always will.
My life is forever changed since knowing Doc Cadavero. It's been a year since i have thought about him and others cause i don't want to feel the pain. We had exciting times when he volunteered to walk with us and i would take no other Doc. He asked to go when others didn't. he was the best. I will never forget.
Dear Cadavero Family,
Just wanted to let you know that last week, during the 1 year anniversary of Jon's death, I spent time praying for all of you. I can't even imagine how hard this anniversary is for the three of you.
Sister Cadavero, I think of you often. As a mother, my heart goes out to you and I ask the good Lord to give you strenght to carry on. Ten years ago, I lost a baby thru an ectopic pregnancy. The doctors did not expect me to live either. In fact, the Doctor told me days later that "if I didn't pray before than I needed to start praying because they could not medically explain why I was still alive". I went through many mixed emotions and was very angry that I lost a baby that I had not even met yet, but when I stopped questioning why it happened or why He allowed it to happen and started praising the Lord for that which I could not see or understand, then and only then did I find relief. The Lord lifted my heavy heart. He caused me to go on inspite of the pain and assured me that if I am faithful, I will one day meet my child. Sister I know that my lost does not compare to the lost of your son of 26 years, I only seek to remind you that the Lord still sits on the throne and "He, is still in charge". He knows your pain and will never leave you nor forsake you. Hold on Sister Cadavero & Family, the Lord is coming soon!
Your Sister In Christ,
Great New York Conference
The words seem so short. Thank you entails so much. Thank you for the life you have lived. The faithfulness to give positive memories to your family and friends. Thank you for a shadow that is cast large enough to make me want to live a better life.
Thank you to your family. With little choice they have made a huge sacrifice of a family member that I can be free. Thank you.
Thank you to David Cadavero who continues to exemplify the best and positive when he is hurting. He honors his son in making the memories positive and not bitter. I am sure he has his own battles to fight, but the ones he fights in public, honor a positive memory of Jonathan.
Hope is the anchor of the soul. It is with hope that I pray for my friend David, his family, and that soon we can see Jonathan again as the clouds roll back and the Saviour says, "Come on home Soldier, you fought a good fight!" Now that is HOPE!
I can't believe a year has passed since Jony left us. February 27 has changed for many people that had the pleasure of knowing Jony. He was in my thoughts all day and I just want his family to know that I pray for God to give you strength each day. Be sure that we will see him in Heaven one day. Mrs. Cadavero (Nadia), it's been a long time since I've seen you but I want you to know that my heart is with you and you should be very proud of Jony. He was a great friend and a great example to others. I pray God give his family peace. Much love.
It's taken me longer to write on this site than I should have because I didn't know what to write, but what follows comes from an expression of my thoughts and my heart. I only knew Jonathan D. Cadavero through my current boss, Mr. David Cadavero. He loved his son and I only knew that because he spoke of him often. Working with Mr. Cadavero is such a joy--truly he brightens my day whenever I meet him in the morning to begin work usually by 8 in the morning. I suspect Jonathan Cadavero had the same humor and Christian attitude. I had the honor of speaking with young Cadavero on the phone once (two weeks before that day). Calling from Iraq, he wanted to speak with his father, but Mr. Cadavero was not around at that time. I couldn't see this man's expression, but his voice told me--he needed to hear a familiar voice. We ended the conversation, and somehow my heart sunk. I felt for this young man who was thousands of miles away. If I was that far from my family, I would want to hear from my Dad, too. That night, I prayed to Jesus to be with Jonathan Cadavero and to surround him with protection. Despite my talks to the heavenly father, the inevitable happened on that fateful Feb. 27 day. O, I cried, and cried, and cried and I became puzzled as to why something like this happened to the Cadavero family? Though I cannot understand the impact, one thing I must say, this young man was a blessing to many. I noticed this upon my arrival to the funeral service. I salute this young man for everything he was, what he's accomplished and could have accomplished, and what he stood for. We need more young men like Jonathan Cadavero. As I reflect back on that time, one year has come and gone and yesterday, marked the one year period of the event. My boss has begun to heal (not fully, but gradually) and still carries out jokes in the office, which is a nice comfort to the staffers. I had the privilege of speaking with Mrs. Cadavero and she is quite a lady. I was helping her to get a pastor's number and we spoke for just a few minutes. If she is reading this, I hope you're much better since we last spoke. Respectfully, I'd like to say to the family "To keep on keeping on" meaning never forget the memories of Jonathan Cadavero, and to never give up on loving those who are presently with you. The way you loved Jonathan, love the youth you are surrounded by and show them the qualities you've instilled in Jonathan. My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to each one of the Cadavero family.
Administrative Assistant to David A. Cadavero
Greater New York Conference of SDA
This marks the one year Jon. I was lucky enough to have spent it with your family whom I find ever so dear. It wrenches my heart to think about you gone all this time. Sometimes I think of how long it has taken, and then again, how fast it has gone by.
Today would of marked the one year of myself finding out of your death. I still will never forget, being in class and seeing the New York area code come up on my phone. For some nagging reason, I left out of class, to find out of your death, dropping to my knees in sorrow. One year ago today buddy, how it feels like it has been so long.
Today during school I found my mind wandering, and coming home not knowing what to do. I walked out to the lake from the house. I went to the center on the ice, standing there, waiting and thinking. I stood in the center of a snowmobile track, seeing it go across the lake into a distance. I wrote your name in the snow, the reason, I don't know. After my toes turned cold, and I couldn't stand there any longer, I started to walk in. I walked back in the same tracks as I walked out there in, thinking that maybe if you were out there on the lake with me, you would have no troubles coming to find me, just follow my tracks.
The pain has not changed since that one year ago, and to my knowledge will not change unto the future. I love and miss you tons bro, think of you always. Godspeed.
February 27th, on any other given year before 2007, was just an ordinary day in our lives. A late winter day that perhaps murmured the first, whispery promise of a long-awaited spring. Or perhaps left a gentle snowfall over the landscape of our daily lives. Off to work or school, deadlines to meet, tasks to complete, meals made, prayers quickly said, a day we more than likely don’t specifically recall with any great detail from one year to the next. Yes, simply an ordinary day in a string of many. And then in the year 2007, “February 27th” changed into a completely different day. Time stood still – if for just a moment - for everyone in Jon’s family, for his fellow comrades and friends, and the countless lives he touched. February 27th will never again be viewed as “just another ordinary day.” It will be a day that we will each mark in our own quiet way of a life cut far too short. And what might have been.
So – how best to mark this day for Jon? Anniversaries are given great meaning, and hopefully cause us to pause in our daily rounds to remember, reminisce, and rejoice about a life so well-lived and well-loved, despite its heartbreaking brevity here on earth. In marking this momentous first anniversary for my cousin, Jon, I will silently recite a line from a card that I received from my dear uncle after my mother’s death a number of years ago: “In time, as we grieve for our loved ones, we will remember that they LIVED, and not just that they died.” Today is the day to do that, if ever. Yes, we all still mourn Jon’s loss. Perhaps more deeply than ever. The void left by Jonny in the lives of his wife and family, as well as his extended family, his many friends, comrades-in-arms, and beyond, is felt more sharply as time goes on. But if we each find a way to not only mourn, but also to celebrate Jon’s life on this day, and to continue to celebrate it a little on each and every day throughout the years to come, then his legacy will live on forever through each of us. What greater gift can we give him than to keep his memory alive -- and to rejoice in the fact that we were all blessed at one time or another to have been in the presence of such an exceptional young man. He left deep footprints on our hearts that will never be washed away by the waves of time. Jon’s light continues to shine brightly, even after death. And so we must pay it forward – to our loved ones, our colleagues, to our neighbors, our community, and to the world beyond. Yes, pay it forward. Keep the light shining around us. Our everlasting gift to Jonathan Cadavero.
Debra Valle and Family
I will never forget the night..February 27, 2007. I was upstairs in my parent's house at the time my father received a phone call from his brother, my Uncle David..I then heard an excruciating "wail" coming from my father's office and I thought he was having a heart attack..I rushed downstairs as quicky as I could only to see my father weeping and uttering the words NONE of us ever wanted to hear..."Jonathan is dead"...I remember the "utter shock" I felt upon hearing the terrible news..I couldn't believe it..this can't be, I thought..I had just received a letter from my precious cousin, Jon, and e-mails & phone call not long before that..so many thoughts raced through my mind..I didn't want to believe it..I wanted to go to sleep and wake up without ever hearing those words again...
A year later (today), I still miss my cousin very, very much..he was like my "little brother"..so much more than a first cousin, he was and still is, my hero..the sacrifice he made for us and our country will NEVER be forgotton or taken lightly.
I long to see him in Heaven one day soon.
So Uncle David, Aunt Nadia, & Michelle,
Please know you all are in my thoughts and prayers today, of all days..I pray that God will give you the strength to make it through this day and the perseverance to continue on with your lives as much as you can..Jonathan touched all of our lives in so many different ways..
A year later, I still can't believe my precious cousin is gone..I wish he was still here for all of us..it won't be long and we will all be able to see him again..What a glorious day that will be!
(Jonathan's first cousin & 'big brother")
Dearest Cousin Kristia,
Please forgive me for not including your name in the end of my last entry..A terrible mistake by me, but then I realized I wanted to send you a personal message letting you that I am definitely thinking of you on this day, especially. I know Jon was so much more to you than just a brother..he was your best friend..I'm SO proud of you for keeping your promise to him in returning to school..I know that would mean an awful lot to him. Words cannot express my sympathy to you and your family on this day of Jon's anniversary of his tremendous sacrifice to our country.
Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers today, of all days. I know you are thinking about your brother and best friend all day long today..
I hope to talk to you soon!
Unfortunately, I did not have the privilege of seeing my cousins, Kristia and Jon, very much growing up. i believe the last time I saw Jon was at our grandma's funeral ten years ago. And yet I felt the loss of his death quite keenly, in a way that surprised me for not having known him. At the funeral I saw who he was and was touched by the stories of his bravery and patriotism-humor and love for his family and wife Michelle, the list goes on and on. It all made me feel that I had missed out. Because as others have said, Jon was a bright light that touched everyone he made contact with. i honestly left his funeral last year with the desire to be a better person.
So to all who loved him-may you take comfort in the realization that this life is temporary.
Heaven and Jonny await you.
Lori (Cadavero) Johns
Today is February 27th. To the vast majority of people in the world, it is just another day to get out of bed, go to school, work or whatever. For others, some will celebrate it as an anniversary, or a birthday or some other event that will make a room full of people happy. But to my family and I and extended family, it is day we will never forget. An American hero named Jonathan Cadavero was tragically killed in action in Bagdad. My nephew Jonathan, as a youg boy, would love to play with his GI Joe's. From the time Jon decided to join the military, his greatest desire was to serve his country, to make it a place that would be more safe and better for his children someday, a country that he loved. Having been in the military myself, I was excited and proud to hear of his total commitment. What a shock to hear the news that he was killed in action. Our immediate reaction was - where was God when this happened? Didn't we pray and go to church? Doesn't that count for anything? When I think of all the bad things that happen every day on our planet, I have to remember that there are still many good things that happen every day to. There are some like my nephew Jonathan who will always be the shining stares in their neighborhood or wherever they are. They brighten every life they meet, they make the world a better place because they are difference makers. And even after they are gone, their memory like Jonathan's will last forever. Today, we reflect on the commitment, the courage and unending sacrifices of these brave men and women. I am looking forward to the day when God will wipe away all the tears from our eyes, when we will see Him face to face. We all have hundreds of questions to ask our Creator. He will put His arms around us and ask .. so what's your first question? Why did you allow my ....I can't wait to hear the answers. Richard and Barbara Cadavero - February 27th
"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intellingent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded." Emerson
February 27th, will never again be the same for all who were blessed to have Jonny as a part of their lives.
I love you my dear friend, I cherish every memory of our carefree days and thank God for the honor of calling you my friend.
Our response to the following questions regarding Jon’s death has significant implications: Why should we turn for comfort to God who permitted this to happen? I’ve come to the conclusion that the question as to why bad things happen to good people translates itself into a different question—no longer asking why Jon was taken away from us in the prime of his life—but what do we intend to do since that tragic event on February 27, 2007. Jon’s life has taught us to make every day count—in fact, one of Jon’s favorite expressions was to “live for the moment.” In other words, every moment in our life is special and to maximize the experience.
After reading the hundreds of tributes on legacy.com and SgtJon.com, one can easily conclude that Jon did not lead an “average” life—not even “above average.” He led an extraordinary life filled with exhilaration and a desire to be of service to others—even up until his last moment. Michelle Tan, staff writer for Army Times, wrote an exclusive on Jon on March 13, 2007 titled, “Meeting—and grieving for extraordinary people.” (This article was sent to Army troops throughout the world.) One of her personal glimpses about how Jon carried out his responsibilities as a medic was that, “his enthusiasm and willingness to pitch-in and do his share were infectious.” (This was the case despite only getting 2-3 hours of sleep between many missions.) How typical for Jon! Each of us by our actions preach a sermon every day. Jon preached a better sermon through his life than with his lips.
Before his deployment to Iraq, Jon called his sister, Kristia. He recognized the danger he would be facing as a medic in a war zone. He gave two specific requests: “If I don’t make it, I want to have a military burial and be buried in a veteran’s cemetery.” In addition, Jon had an aesthetic appreciation for stone churches. His funeral service was held on March 9, 2007, in a stone church. It was the largest funeral service held for any soldier who was buried in Orange County Veterans Cemetery in Goshen, New York. The service was conducted by West Point Military Academy. The following day after the service, I went back to the church where the service was conducted, and thanked the pastor for including such an inspirational poem on the back cover of Jon’s memorial bulletin. The pastor, David Calvin Kingsley, said that he included the same poem when his father passed away over 20 years ago—and has served as an inspiration to many who have struggled with the meaning of death. It says the following:
You can Shed Tears That He Is Gone,
Or You Can Smile Because He Has Lived.
You Can Close Your Eyes And Pray
That He’ll Come Back,
Or You Can Open Your Eyes
And See All He’s Left.
Your Heart Can Be Empty Because You Can’t See Him.
Or You Can Be Full Of The Love You Shared.
You Can Turn Your Back On Tomorrow
And Live Yesterday,
Or You Can Be Happy For Tomorrow
Because Of Yesterday.
You Can Remember Him
And Only That He’s Gone,
Or You Can Cherish His Memory
And Let It Live On.
You Can Cry and Close Your Mind,
Be Empty And Turn Your Back,
Or You Can Do What He’d Want:
Smile, Open Your Eyes, Love, And Go On.
It has been said, “When someone dies, you don’t get over it by forgetting, you get over it by remembering, and you are aware that no person is ever truly lost or gone once they have been in our life and loved us, as we have loved them.” Jon had a “love bond” with hundreds of people—from relatives to soldiers, to fellow classmates, to neighbors who considered him their “son”, to people in all walks of life—from the founding director of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., to his barber, as well as a sergeant from the Tuxedo Police Department, but especially his mother, who he adored—not to mention his beautiful wife, Michelle, and his gifted sister, Kristia.
Jon’s death has been the darkest hour for our family—but God is penetrating our darkest moments of despair. We treasure the life that Jon led as a beloved son who felt compelled with a passion to serve his country. We thank God for the gift of Jon for 24 ½ years, and he will forever live in our hearts—today, tomorrow, and into eternity. God bless America!
David A. Cadavero
One year ago tomorrow I was handed the worst day in my life. I'm writing tonight because these were the last "normal" hours of my life. A year ago this was the last peaceful night sleep and the last time I'd have him next to me making me laugh.
About this time a year ago Jon and I were waking up to go to work. Jon had to leave about an hour earlier than me. When time came for me to head to work it was about 4am and still dark outside. I wasn't even half way there and I saw someone walking towards me, I knew it was him even though it was dark, he was dressed like everyone else and he was far away. I remember not being able to control my smile as I never could when I saw him approaching. He snuck me a kiss and walked me to work.
I went on to get my truck ready for mission while he did the same. When his convoy was leaving out he came back over to me just to say "I love you". He promised as always, he would come back and he would stay safe. I watched him walk away, get in his truck and his convoy leave before returning to my own truck. And that was the last time I ever saw him.
Just 5 hours later, my life was changed for the worse. The belief that everything happens for a reason, and it's all in God's plan still holds no meaning to me. I guess I'm selfish to say what about my plan? What about our plans? What about the family we wanted? I was robbed of the deepest love I will ever know.
Although in a few hours it will have been a year since I've seen him, the vision of him walking towards me is as clear as ever. I am still very much in love with him and very proud that Jon choose me to be his wife.
As the end of the first year after Jon's passing nears (anniversary just does not seem like the right word to use at this time), I want to once again let you know that all members of Jon's family are in my thoughts and prayers as this time nears.
I personally know how difficult these milestones are, as my mother passed away about 6 1/12 weeks before Jon, and thus I have already gone through a difficult and challenging time. However, knowing that both Mom & Jon are at peace--and more importantly with the Lord--there is the realization that although they are not physically with us, they will always be in hour hearts. I feel so blessed to have gotten to know Jon during his training here in San Antonio, and to correspond occasionally after his departure. Yet, there is a deep void in my heart. In fact, last spring, a good friend (who hosted us at Thanksgiving) said that she felt I was taking Jon's death much harder than my mother's. In a way that was true, for I knew that my mother's passing was probable, while Jon's remained on a possiblity upon his deployment.
Again, please know that you are ALWAYS in my thoughts and prayers.s
San Antonio TX
As the anniversary of Jonathan’s sacrifice approaches, I want to relay how thankful I am to have heroes like Jon who served – and are serving - our great country. While I never had the privilege to know Jon personally, I take pride in belonging to that same great fraternity of service-members, as well as a brother in the Adventist faith. I recall expressing to his father David, during a personal conversation a few years ago, how much esteem those of us in the military have for front-line medics like Jon.
Truly, there is no greater calling - no greater gift of oneself - than to minister to a brother or sister during the most vulnerable time of any firefight – when comrades have suffered injury and require immediate medical attention. Often provided under hostile fire, while full exposed to continued harm, these brave men and women nevertheless choose to place themselves at great risk – such is the bravery and courage of every Army medic or Navy corpsman. There can be no greater example of love in action.
In the era of non-volunteer recruitment of the past, Seventh-day Adventist draftees often entered service as non-combatants – principally in the medical corps. Willing to confront the hazards of fire while providing relief to the wounded made them a much-admired and often beloved component of the platoon or company they served. Yet I believe such gallantry is even more remarkable in this day of an all-volunteer force - to find such valor as exemplified by those called to provide comfort and care on the battlefield – a true ministry of healing. Such is the example of Desmond Doss – and Jonathan Cadavero.
Statistically, a Soldier, Airman or Marine knows that if they can reach the first echelon of medical care they have better than a 98% chance of survival. Translated into real-world, this means that their embedded medic is more than just another Soldier – he or she is their lifeline and rescuer. Oftentimes, the first words the wounded or nearby battle buddy would shout at the earliest opportunity would be “medic!”
Through the efforts of a wonderful Vietnam veteran – Michael G. Reagan, and his special endeavor to pay tribute to fallen American heroes like Jon while providing some solace to family members, a picture of Jon that I pulled off the tribute site was rendered in pencil art at no charge and should arrive shortly, thanks to the efforts of Bill Beans of the Robbinsville SDA church who coordinated the framing and shipping. I hope this small token of esteem and admiration for Jon fills an enduring place within your heart. You may also view Mr Reagan’s ministry at www.michaelgreaganartist.com or at www.fallenheroesproject.org. Should there be anything that I can do for you in the future, please don’t hesitate to ask – and please extend my well wishes to Jonathan’s family – especially David and Nadia.
With Highest Regards and Deepest Condolences,
JAMES B. MOTT, Major, USAF, MSC
Commander, Air Force Medical Operations Agency, Detachment USAMMCE
Dear Cadavero Family,
As we approach the one year anniversary of Jon's passing, I just would like to tell you that your son is still in the thoughts and prayers of many. On friday, the 15th of February, my wife Rebecca and I suprised our daughter Grace and took her to the Toby Keith concert for her 6th Birthday. She had a wonderful time and was very well behaved. In his second and final encore, he sang "American Soldier" and "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue." After the concert was over Grace said to me "I'm glad Toby sang the soldier song for your friend Jon who died fighting for us, I hope he heard it in heaven." As I tried in vein to hold back a tear I thought the impression that this fine young man made on the local community and the world will never be lost. His legacy will last forever. I hope he heard it...I'm sure he did.
What a beautiful tribute to a beloved son, husband and brother. Jon is a testament to the excellence of our country and the purpose for this nation to remain true to Jon and the other soldiers who make and keep our nation free.
It is easy to say, “freedom is not free.” But when the family, friends and loved ones of a fallen soldier feel the pain of loss and still fight on because freedom is not free, we all need to stand and take notice.
Thank you, Cadavero family. You are blessed and in my prayers.
It will be that time again when we are faced with the reality of what happened. I remember coming home from work and finding out. I was shocked. I was in denial. Then as more news came in, it started to sink in. It was a couple weeks before my birthday I remember. I will always be thankful for knowing you and learning from you to live life with out regrets. Rest for now my friend.
I have wanted to write a message here for sometime now. Although in my mind I knew what I wanted to write, the words just would not come out. My thoughts are constantly about my son. November & December were difficult and painful months. The Holidays have come & gone and now are just a faint & distant memory. I just couldn't send any Holiday cards. The thought of sending cards beginning with "merry" and "happy" pierced my heart. This year the outside lights remained in a box in the closet, indoor decorations were at a minimum, and a tree stood bare in the corner for over a week. Kristia came home & finally decorated the tree, placing Jon's favorite ornaments on top. It was good to be off from school and have Kristia home. I was surrounded by the people I love the most in this world: my family & close friends. And yet, I felt empty and alone. The house was full of people but one person was missing and will always be missing from now on.
The last Christmas Jon was home was in 2005. He was part of a mass exodus from Ft. Sam Houston as thousands of soldiers went home for the Holidays. I remember Jon telling me early that December not to get him any gifts because while he was in the army he really didn't need anything. However, he continued by saying, "but if you want to get me anything".......then his list was a mile long! He mostly asked for books which thrilled me to no end. It was torture for Jon to read anything but sports magazines while growing up but now, here he was a young man and an avid reader. His interests ranged from history to politics, from religion to science. Whenever Jon was home, he had a knack of somehow bringing noise, life, and laughter along with him.
I can't say my (our) Holidays were bad. However, the sense of loss and knowing that all the Holidays to come there will be that empty seat that Jon will never sit in again put a dark cloud over my head & heart. How can anything ever be the same? One would think that, as each day passes, life would be more tolerable. It hasn't. It can't. It won't. I'm a mother first and my heart longs for my son. On Christmas Day friends & former students called to wish us well. I couldn't answer the phone but brave & strong Kristia did. Every time the phone rang we would look at each other and, as if we both know what the other was thinking, Kristia would say, "I know mom. I wish it was Jon too."
Jon called twice last Christmas Day 2006. He was in Iraq. Each time he mentioned how that would be the first & last time he would miss Christmas at home. He missed his family, Christmas dinner, and all the usual family traditions. We all missed him as well, I cried after each phone call, but we all talked about the next Christmas when Jon would be home. No one ever expected otherwise. No one thought about Jon never coming home again.,
This Christmas Day, as I missed Jon beyond words, I couldn't help but think of all the thousands of families who also lost a son, brother, husband, loved one in this war. In a split second, thousands of lives changed forever. And nothing would ever be the same again. Unless you have experienced this kind of loss, you have no idea what my family and I went through this past Holiday Season. What we go through each day.
There are no words to express how I miss Jon. How I long to see him, hear his voice. Son, half of me is with you. I will love you always & forever. Mom
Dear Cadavero Family,
As we visit this site we immediately learn of the positive impact Jonathan had on everyone he came in contact with throughout his lifetime. What a fine Christian example he set over and over, showing concern and service for others. There is never an acceptable time to lose a loved one so young, but it must be so comforting to realize how much Jonathan meant to such a large number of people! Even within our classrooms, Jonathan's story will be used to emphasize the value of true dedicated service and the importance of doing more than your honest part in every task. What a legacy he has left for our students to ponder. Our thoughts continue to be with you. January 22, 2007
I've learned of the very unfortunate news of my student, but most importantly my GOOD FRIEND Jon. I'm not really good at releasing my feelings, but Jon will always be missed...and to this day I still miss Jon. I still remember the times we trained in the Martial Arts together and once in a while we'll go out and grab a bite to eat and just talk. He was a very strong willed man, and I could never understand why he was so into becoming a soldier, but I realized how much he loved his country and how he would do anything to serve it. And he did...he gave his life...and Jon I THANK YOU FOR THE SACRIFICE YOU HAVE MADE FOR THIS COUNTRY! I WILL NEVER TAKE THIS LIGHTLY! Its pretty hard typing while tearing up, but Jon.....I miss you, and to his family my prayers go out to you..I pray that the Lord will bring peace to the whole Cadavero family and he will. God bless you all!
"Cast your cares upon him, for him (the Lord) careth for you" 1 Peter 5:7
I had the privilege of working for Jon's father, David Cadavero, at New Jersey Conference. I know how much David loved Jon, for his children were the main theme of his conversations. Jon had wonderful parents, and a very loving extended family. I have no doubt that Jon had the best of his parents in him. He died a hero. But in reality, heros never die. They live on in the memories they leave behind. And, knowing that death is but a temporary state of slumber . . .soon he will awaken, and we will all be joined together in the realms of eternity.
My prayer is that our loving, compassionate and merciful God bring peace to your hearts, comfort to your souls, and that his promise of the resurrection sustain you.
I finally found the web address to the site.
I just wanted to say that I'm very sorry. I hope you know you can always talk to me.
You know, I remember one time, before I came to Wladwick. I was there because Hawthorne had a day off and my mom took us to school with her. Mandy and I were acting completly insane after school that Friday. I had written the words "Miss Piggy" across Mandy's forehand with dry erase markers and I made dots and lines all over her face with them. She also drew all over my face with them. He walked into my mom's classroom (which is now the resourse room at the end of the hall) and He just looked as us. We were on the rug my mom had on the floor acting absolutly insane. He looked at us and simply said "what are you doing?" We just burst out laughing out of embarrassment and realization of how ridiculous we must have looked sprawled out all over the floor with marker all over our faces.
It was just so funny and I will always remember that look he gave us. Mandy and I still laugh about that time once in a while. My comfort is knowing we will see him and all our loved ones again.
I hope you have a great day Mrs. Cadevero. I LOVE YOU!!
Silent night . . . Holy night . . .
Sending Christmas blessings and wishes of peace and healing to Jonny's family ~ with heartfelt love from your extended family.
Debra Valle and Family
Our hearts are still and will always remain in pain. Being a neighbor in Jon's development and watching him grow, a very bright star is no longer shining here. He is and always will be missed. We did not know Jon well but well enough to 'feel' and 'see' how special he was. I loved watching him grow over the years: seeing him outside doing yard work, walking his cute dog, jogging, shooting hoops at the basketball court across the way... Seeing him always brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart. God bless you Jon and your family ~
I dont know how to start this message. This should be a happy occasion,knowing a Cadavero from across the globe. Reading the numerous letters of praises for john, i know his now with his creator. In behalf of the whole Cadavero Clan here in the Philippines, our prayer to you John and
our deepest sympathy to your love ones.
Months continue to pass and I continue to be drawn to this website. It is like I am able to share with Mrs. Cadavero and Krissy in their beautiful memories of Jonny. My heart literally aches for you both. It also reminds me of how fortunate we are to know we haven't seen the last of Jonny. I can't wait to see him and say all of things I never got to say. I want to tell him how blessed I feel to have known him all of those years. I want to tell him that although I learned so much more about his experiences after his passing, it was evident when we were younger that he was so very special. Thanks for the laughs Jonny and for having a kindness that was well beyond your years.
It was late Sunday night, December 3, 2006 and everyone was asleep...except for Jon & me. We stayed up for hours talking, laughing, reminiscing, and making plans for five family vacations to our favorites sports after he returned home. I didn't want the night to end; I didn't want "tomorrow" to come. Jon was leaving for Iraq the next morning on a military plane.
Morning did come and breakfast was rather quiet & somber as we sat at the table with heavy hearts. The ride to the airport was even quieter. We were at a loss for words. I fought with all my might not to cry, to be positive. At the airport, Jon & Michelle got their boarding passes and then I showed signs of losing it. Michelle wanted to give Jon & me "alone time" so we said our good byes and she went to the gate. Jon asked me not to go the the gate with them and I understood why. Since there was plenty of time, Jon walked me back to my car. That's when I became totally emotionally unglued. I just sobbed and sobbed as Jon held me. Jon kept reassuring me tha the time wouldfly by and he promised he wuld come home. He told me over & over again how much he loved me, missed me and thought of me every day. I couldn't speak, few words could come out but I managed to repeat the same words to him as he said to me. He had a stop over at Atlantic where a military plane took hundreds of soldiers back to Iraq. Jon called home four times - I think it was just as hard no him to leave as it was on me seeing him leave.
A year ago yesterday, December 4th marked the last time I saw Jon. Yes, time has flown by but, for some reason; Jon was not permitted to keep his promise to return home. I couldn't go to school/work as I needed to be with Jon. It was bitter cold, snow squalls passing by, and wind gusts strong enough to knock you over. In spite of all the weather elements against me, I had to go to the cemetery. Wtih much love & pride I placed a "grave blanket" by Jon's foot rest. How I wished that yesterday could have been different. How I wished that Jon could have been one of the returning soldiers.
His last words at the airpor on December 4th still echo in my mind, "I love you so much mom. I miss you & think of you everyday. I promise to come home"............
My dear son Jon, I love YOU so much, miss & think of you everyday, every hour and how I wish you were already home...alive, well, smiling and laughing............
Today is another day of significant remembrance for me. I miss and think about Jonny every day, but some days (if possible) more than others. February 12th will always be etched in my mind as the last day that I spoke with Jon, the 27th of every month is a sad reminder that another month has gone by since his passing on February 27, 2007, and December 3rd I will always remember as the last time I saw Jon in person.
One year ago, on Sunday, December 3, 2006, Jon, along with Mum and Michelle, took me to the train station. I was headed back to DC, and the next day Jon and Michelle were traveling back to Iraq after their home leave. The train was late, giving me a few more minutes to spend with Jon. I held back the tears and tried to remain cheerful, telling Jon that I would see him soon and reminding him yet again to be careful. Jon, sensing the strong emotions in each of us –Mum watching her children say good-bye and knowing she herself would be saying it the next day to her son, Michelle knowing she would be returning to war in twenty-four hours, me saying farewell to my brother- with his typical use of humor to lighten a tense moment, began snapping his fingers, lightly stomping his foot, and singing “The Taliban Song” by Toby Keith (words below).
I’m just a middle-aged, middle-eastern, camel herdin’ man
I got a little two-bedroom cave here in North Afghanistan
Things used to be real nice and they got out of hand
Since they moved in, They call themselves the Taliban
Now I ain’t seen my wife’s face since they came here
They make her wear a scarf over her head that covers her from ear to ear
She loves the desert and the hot white sand
But man she’s just like me, No she can’t stand the Taliban
But you know someday soon we’re both gonna saddle up
And it’ll be ride camel ride
My old lady she’ll be here with me, Just smilin’ right by my side
We should do just fine out around Palestine, Or maybe Turkmenistan
We’ll bid a fair adieu and flip the finger to the Taliban
Now they attacked New York City
‘Cause they thought they could win
Said they would stand and fight until the very bloody end
Mr. Bush got on the phone with Iraq and Iran and said
Now you sons-of-bitches you better not be doing any business with the Taliban
So we prayed to Allah with all of our might
Until those big U.S. jets came flying in one night
And they dropped little bombs all over their holy land
Man you should have seen them run like rabbits they ran, the Taliban
But you know someday soon we’re both gonna saddle up
And it’ll be ride camel ride
My old lady she’ll be here with me, Just smilin’ right by my side
We should do just fine out around Palestine, Or maybe Turkmenistan
We’ll bid a fair adieu and flip the finger to the Taliban
Jon wanted to make us laugh and temporarily calm our fears of what lay ahead during the rest of their tour in Iraq. Michelle and I started giggling, especially as Jon put an arm around our shoulders and had us sway with him as he sang louder. She and I started singing along as well, and even Mum began laughing as she watched the amusing spectacle.
The train finally came. One last hug all around, the final one for Jon. One last mantra of “I miss you, I love you, I’m praying for you, I’m so proud of you, stay safe.” One last reminder from Jon to me of “Shoulders back, be brave,” a phrase of encouragement we used. One last wave from my window seat as the train pulled away from the station, before I allowed the tears to form.
Jon always did what he could to help people whether that was volunteering his time and talents for charities and organizations he believed in, treating everyone he met with respect and dignity, standing up for justice and the innocent, defending his country, or funnily singing an (in some parts) obnoxious song to make the good-bye process less painful for his sister. Today was another day of significant remembrance, of recognizing all Jon did to help us, and of renewing my promise to emulate him in all the ways that I can.
Kristia Cavere (Jon's sister)
It's another sleepless night and endless thoughts of Jon. One year ago today Jon and I were married. I remember the day like it was yesterday. A very joyfull day when we vowed to be together for the rest of our lives. To cherish, honor, and love unconditionally for the rest of our lives. His pictures are all around my house everywhere I look, I see his smile and I'm reminded of our time together and his love. I can remember everything about our time together, I remember when he proposed in Iraq while helicopters flew overhead. I remember every joke, every kiss, every warm hug. I remember when we stood in front of each other saying our vows and the smile on him that he couldn't hide. I remember the feeling that took over me every time I saw him walking towards me. I try so hard everday to remember those times and not the morning of Feburary 27th. I miss him and love him more that I could ever possibly begin to express.
Happy Anniversary. Thank you for showing me the best kind of love. You are my hero and I am so proud of you. I think about you everday. I believe you're looking after me, I can almost feel you sometime. Like you're standing next to me. I know it has to be you because I suddenly feel warm and safe and whole again, and that's something that only you could ever make me feel.
The first time we actually talked was when we were both on CQ together and you sang me the Thanksgiving song by Adam Sandler; well I just thought you would like to know that he has a new song out for Hanukkah. It's pretty funny, I think you would like it. I still sleep with the teddy bear you gave me, you told me to hold it to keep me warm until I can be in your arms again. I love you so much. I'm lost without you. My heart is yours always and forever.
I love you with all my heart. Happy Anniversary my love.
Love your wife
Thanksgiving 2007 has come & gone and now it's only a memory. In 2006 Jon was home and our Thanksging could not have been better. This year I envisioned Jon sitting at the table, relating "war stories" and, of course, him adding his twist of humor to each tale. There was excitement, life, love, and laughter throughout the house. This year was completely different. As my family & loved ones gather around the table and small talk was carried back & forth from all sides, the general mood & atmosphere was rather somber. Before we ate, Kristia offered to say grace but half way broke down and struggled to complete her prayer.
As Andy put it in an email to me right after Thanksgiving: "Sadly, I could tell that we were all aware someone was missing from the table. It's always a great time when we're together, but Jon's absence had a significant effort on all of us..................I think part of God's plan is for all of us to use Jon's characteristics & morals as an example and implicate them in our own lives. In that way, Jon's legacy will continue as long as we want it to." How well said from this young man who was Jon's "brother" in all ways that mattered.
From now until the end of time, Jon's absence will have a significant effect on me. It doesn't have to be a holiday or special occasion but every day I feel this emptiness and loss. I think of Jon all the time. Countless times during each day I am reminded of him by something I see, hear, or do and how my heart aches to see him, hear his voice at least once more. But one more time would never be enough.........
I miss you my son. All the pictures I have at school and all over the house are not enough. How I wish yo were coming home for the upcoming Holidays....
I love you Jon. Now & forever.
I've been planning to write for a long, long time, but just haven't been able to put my feelings into words. I met Jon just over 2 years ago when he began coming to church services at First Presbyterian Church in San Antonio TX, just across the street from the motel where he would stay with his classmates when on weekend pass. Looking sharp in uniform, and both friendly and courteus, Jon made an instant impression in the October 2005. In fact, we (my mother, who was visiting) and I sat right behind him, and we spoke before and after the service. Wehn he became a "regular" attendee, I (with the permission of the host) asked him to join us for the Thansgiving feast at a friend's downtown condo, that overlooks a section of the San Antonio River Walk. He was glad to accept, and I was delighted to pick him at Fort Sam (we had talked several times, so that I knew when and where to go). As we left the post, the guard said "you're supposed to have 2 trainees", but I explained we had already made separate arrangements (most trainees were picked up in pairs or groups, and had been randomly assigned to families wiilling to host). Ever the gentleman, he enjoyed the chance to visit, to assist (although the host did most of the work), and after the meal, several of us took a long, extended walk along the river (the only thing to do after a big, heavy meal). We did return him to the post by the required time, but I know that he thoroughly enjoyed the visit. He regularly attended the services until his Christmas break, and when he returned for the final weeks of his training, he stilll kept in touch (even though part of it was a "field training" where contact was limited) when he could. On the weekend of his graduation from training as a medic, he made sure that I was able to meet his mother and sister, who came down for that ceremony. As usual, we took a few pictures--so I have some great memories of that time.
I kept in touch with Jon when he returned to Fort Drum and as he underwent further training prior to his deployment to Iraq. We kept in touch by letter and e-mail a few times, and my last note from him was on Feb 14, 2007. Ever the kind and gentle soul, he began by expressing his condolences to me at my mother's death a few weeks earlier in January.
On a cold Sunday afternoon (March 4, 2007), I was stunned, shocked, saddened & devastated to see his name listed as the "latest causualty" in Iraq. My first thought was that "it can't be Jon!!", and I initially rationalized that it wasn't because the hometown was listed as Takoma Park, MD; the only address I knew for Jon was Tuxedo, NY. The newspaper here lists the casuaalites when the names are released by the Department of Defense, and the grade, name, age, unit, post nd hometown are all listed. There is no commentary, just a straight, factual listing. I realized a little later that I might be able to search on the Internet, and so I did a "Google" on Jon--and sure enough found that the listing was correct and that it was the Jon Cadavero that I knew only too briefly. I was simply devastated. Based on the information that I found on-line, I checked the newspapers from a few days earlier, and sure enough there was the words that "3 solldiers were killed today south of Baghdad by an IED"--and three soldiers were the one who were listed that Sunday.
I've come to know Jon even better from the notes that I have read here, and at Legacy.com--and the impact that he had on people, and the friends that he made, is simply astounding. He has touched a lot of people in his life--and many more in his death.
I know from his last email (Feb 14, '07) that he was looking forward to coming back to San Antionio for a reunion here with his training buddies. I had told him that when he got here, he was going to recieve a long and emotional "hug" from me. Now, I will have to wait unitl I see him in heaven--but I know that my mom has seen him again.
Jon was a wonderful individual, student, soldier, medic, and person. He will be sorely missed. He is in my prayers, as are his wife and family.
Hi, I met Jon at CUC through my mother, the librarian. I talked with him a lot while he was there. He was always very pleasant and he always had time to talk with me. Even when he left, he stayed in touch. When he called, even right before he left for Iraq, he would always ask em how things were going in school and tell me to keep getting good grades.
I count Jon a friend. He was one of the only people in my unit that I talked to, laughed with, and counted as a friend. Jon always took time out for his fellow Soldiers, no matter how tired he was, when his next mission was, or when he got off his last one. Jon and I attended church together once or twice together and would talk about it afterwards. He was one of the most intellegent people I knew. He knew how to make people smile and laugh, how to lighten the mood, and how to listen. He knew his job and was always wanting to learn more. I hear someone talk with that New York accent and think of him or hear some laugh with a similar laugh and look to find him only to remember he is no longer here. When I found out he was killed I felt like there had to be a huge mistake. Of all the people in the world, Jon made this world a better place to be. He brightened it and made it more bearable. I am so sorry for your loss. I count it a joy to have known your son and brother. He was a wonderful man. ~Kristy Paulson HHC 2d BSTB
As Thanksgiving comes around again, we are remembering last year at this time when an unexpected knock on the door brought in Jon on a surprise visit home. We were so glad to see him and happy that he was kind enough to share some of his precious leave time with us. Before his return to Iraq, he wanted us to meet lovely Michelle. Their love for each other and pride they took in their jobs was obvious to us.
We knew Jon first as a young boy who came to cat-sit for us. He arrived to meet our cat and learn what to do just before we left on our trip. He was very serious, and had brought a pen and notebook in which he wrote detailed instructions for cat care. It didn’t take long before Jon became a family member to us, and we looked forward to his stopping by for some pancakes and talk. From the first, Jon impressed us by his commitment to one day serve his country.
As all who knew Jon are aware, he was the most thoughtful and caring person. For instance, one snowy winter while we were traveling, he came to our house late at night to shovel a path knowing we would be home early the next day. If we were raking leaves when Jon came jogging by, he’d always stop, pick up a rake and brighten our day. We came to know that this was the kind of thing that Jon would routinely do for all his family and friends. It wasn’t only the help that was appreciated, it was the joy of being with Jon listening to his funny stories and feeling his exhilaration for life.
We think of Jon every day and will always love him.
Jane and Dave Applebaum
I've been dreading coming back from Iraq for a long time. I was SGT Cadavero's boss from the beginning of his journey in his new unit. SGT Cadavero came arrived at Fort Drum one late Friday evening. He said, SGT Wright, I don't think I'm suppose to be here, I was suppose to be at Fort Bliss, TX. I said, I will find out and get back with you, in the mean while, you can settle in here. He always had a story to tell to the medics and Doc Reynolds. I used to pronounce his last name wrong, so he decided to tell me it's just like saying C A D I L L A C, SGT Wright, C A D A V E R O. After that day, I had no problem. I was like his away from home mother, I am to all of the medics. I'm always trying to protect and train them. He didn't always know what to do, but he was willing to learn. He never failed me or any of his comrades. His last words to me was, my mom and my sister will be taken care of. I told him, I understand that, but you're not looking so well to me, maybe you need a break. He told me I don't need no break SGT Wright, I'm alright. That's was his answer whenever I wanted him to take a break. To Mrs. Nadia Cadavero and Krista, my condolences. I would like to visit, both of you soon. We are now settle here at Ft. Drum and I will be calling in order to meet you in person. All Jon ever talked about was the both of you and oh, I can't forget grandma. I gave him the gifts for your foot massage. Mrs. Nadia Cadavero, I sent a Soldier Medic Statue to you in memory of what type of medic Jon was. I could not enscribed it the way I wanted to due to me being in Iraq. I often have to take a break from everyday life because I asked my mom, how will I tell his mom, I took him over here, but I'm not bringing him back. I prayed each and everyday, praying I bring all of my medics back. I get so attached that it takes a toll on me sometimes. I remember, he needed a car to take Michele out and anytime he needed a better car then his own, I would let him borrow my truck. Anything to take care of my Soldiers. Mrs. Nadia Cadavero and Krista, I was talking from my heart in writing this message and crying at the same time. I sorry you all could not make it to our Brigade Ceremony today. But, I will visit soon! I feel I know the both of you through Jon. I love you both and God Speed. Our Soldier has went to a place in heaven and he is watching over us. I often call his name like he's still here. I have a pic of all of us a his first Army Ball. I will send it to you. I feel much better after months of dreading to contact you all.
My daughter, Cara, and Jon were at CUC together. She always remembered how much he wanted to serve his country. What a blessing to have had him in her life. thank you.
Grant that we may hold dear the memory of your servant, never bitter for what we have lost nor in regret of the past, but always in hope of the eternal kingdom where you will bring us together again. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.
To the family of Sgt. Jon,
I never met Jon, but was moved by a notice of his tragic death I received as a member of the Patriot Guard to add a comment to his page at Legacy,com. Words are such feeble things. Despite the effort with which I attempt to assemble them, they never come close to conveying what is in my heart when trying to comfort a greiving family. Simply put, I am in awe of brave men like Jon who freely place themselves in harms way to preserve the freedom that my family and I enjoy back here in the US. I owe him a debt which I can never repay - except to publicly thank him for his service and sacrifice and thank you, his family, for nurturing and raising such a fine man.
We do share a birthday. - June 13th. For what it's worth, take some comfort n the fact that I will remember his sacrifice on that day and pray that I may be worthy of his sacrifice.
Another significant day.....It is a dark, dreary, rainy and downright depressing day. I am describing not only the weather outside but how I feel inside as well. One of the last things Jon asked me just before he re-deplooyed to Iraq was if I could come up to Ft. Drum to meet him when he returned to the STates. I told him no force on this side of heaven could prevent me from being there. And, in fact, I would be there days before in case his flight would arrive earlier than scheduled. Today, the 2nd Brigade IS arriving at Ft. Drum from a long tour in Iraq.
Although I am happy for the troops who are coming home, I can't go to Ft. Drum to greet them and be part of the welcoming committee. My son will not be getting off the plane so this is not a joyous occasion for me.
In fact, this has got to be one of my hardest days because Jon should be on the flight home; I should be at Ft. Drum waiting for his plane to land; he should be walking down the stairs carrying his duffle bag, smiling and happy to be back home. Jon did come home but not in the way he and anyone else expected.
I don't blame God for Jon's death. But God parted the Red Sea, healed the sick & lame, restored the sight of the blind, brought the dead back to life....why couldn't He protect my son? God promised to take care of His children. Jon was a child of God, so why isn't he coming home today? I just don't understand the purpose of this. Perhaps I never will.
Jon enjoyed gospel music and one of his favorite songs was "Help Me" sung by Elvis. Part of the song goes like this:
"Lord, help me walk another mile today....just one more mile.
Lord, help me smile just amother smile today....just one more smile.
I can't make it on my own. With a humble heart, on bended knees I'm begging you....help me."
Well, today I am begging YOU, "help me."
I miss and think of Jon every day, every hour. But there are days that are more significant, painful and highly emotional for me. Today is one of those days. How I wish today could be different. If I could, I would trade places with Jon in a heartbeat.
Rest young warrior (as Jon liked to call himself). You are missed and loved by so many people. Most of all by me.
I love you son.
God bless Jon and his family and friends. I thank you all for your sacrifice as well as Jon's sacrifice in giving his "last full measure of devotion". No one should ever forget the sacrifices made by those who protect us and this great nation. I don't personally know Jon or his family - but we're all part of the American family - so, I feel his loss in that way. God bless America.
I was in the same platoon as Cadavero, but did not have the honor in deploying with him. I still cannot believe that he is gone. Its been over a year since I saw him last, and I can still remember exactly what he looks like. I lost a lot of friends this year overseas, but he sticks out in my mind the most. I allways remember how we would be in formation (waiting for something or other) and all we would wanna do is get it over with. We would all be in bad moods, grumpy and tired. But Cadavero never was. He would allways crack jokes, and get us all laughing and smiling. It was like he had the gift to rejuvenate you. He would allways rally us together. To his familly, I would just like you to know that everytime a patriotic song comes on the radio, or they talk about the brave soldiers that sacrificed for us your Soldiers face pops into my head. I will remember him as long as god keeps me on this earth, and I am sure I am just one of many that he has touched. " And we he gets to heaven, to St. Peter he will tell. Another soldier reporting in " Sir, Ive served my time in hell" " If you ever need anything you can reach me at this email: email@example.com God Bless
Veterans Day Tribute - Part 2
Whenever I write a message on Jon's website, I get rather emotional and the tears run down my face faster than I can type. Therefore, last week when I wrote my message with regards to Veterans Day, inadvertently I omitted the following veterans that Jon knew, respected and was grateful for their service:
*Peter Mucha, *Lee Rich, *Frank Azar, and *Terry Johnsson.
On behalf of my son, I thank you for your service and sacrifice. All individuals named today and on October 12th were a positive influence on my son. I thank you for all your did for him and for being part of his life.
Jon - all the veterans you knew miss you terribly. But not half as much as me!
I love & miss you son.
There are days that have special meaning to me. Today is one of those days. The exact date was November 20, 2006. It was the Monday before Thanksgiving. I was at the nursing home, sitting in my mother's room. My mom was sound asleep so I stepped outside into the hallway to stretch my legs. As I looked toward the nursing station I spotted two young men; one in civilian clothing, one in army fatigues. For a brief second I didn't know what to think & thought perhaps I was halllucinating. My feet went from walking to running. It was Jon & Andy. As we met, after all the hugs & kisses, I asked Jon what he was doing there & if he was in trouble! He titled his head backwards & laughed as he told me he was on home leave for two weeks & wanted to surprise me. Surprised I was! My heart was beating so rapidly that I thought it would leap out of my chest! For once, I shed tears of joy as I was so grateful to have Jon home. Last year, Thanksgiving lasted two weeks at our home. Jon had a way of bringing life, laughter and joy into any occasion. He certainly brought that and much more last year.
Today, I will be in the nursing home again and, although my mind knows Jon is gone; my heart will be hoping & waiting for him to walk down the hallway so we can cause another "ruckus" in the nursing home. If only I can turn back the clock and have it stop..................
I miss & love you son beyond words.
American revolutionary Thomas Paine wrote in his pamphet Common Sense: "It is not in numbers, but in unity that our great strength lies."
The unity that is America springs from one cause - freedom. Generation after generation, Americans have stepped forward to defend our freedom and to preserve the founding principles of this great Nation. From Valley Forge to Vietnam, from Kuwait to Kandahar, from Berlin to Baghdad, these patriots have stood watch over America's peace, and when necessary, they have borne the costs of our Nation's wars.
On Veterans Day we honor the men and women who have served in our military. Today, there are more than 24 million living veterans. They are among our Nation's finest citizens. We honor their solemn pledge to defend our freedom. We thank them for their example of service and sacrifice, and we should pledge to uphold their legacy by teaching younger generations about their role in securing the blessings of liberty.
Every Veterans Day Jon would send cards to all the vets he knew to thank them for their sacrifice and service. This year, no cards were sent. However, special people have not been forgotten. So, on behalf of Jon, I would like to thank the following vets:
*Jon's barber and friend, Art Cook
*Jon's dentist, Dr. John Urcioli
*neighbors and friends Sylvia Alvarez & Capt. Jack
*Uncle Richard Cadavero
**hero and beloved Uncle Ihor Bekersky
and for all others that I might have missed, be assured that Jon would have remembered and sent you a card. He appreciated you as individuals, was grateful that you served our Nation, and was proud to have known you.
Unfortunately, Jon was not permitted to join that elite group of "living veterans." Yet, in his own way he is a veteran as he has "fought the good fight" and now Jon rests. Jon, you are our hero, and we are so proud of you. We will never forget the ultimate sacrifice you made so that we can remain free. May Jon rest in peace as we now think of and remember him.
Not a day goes by when I don't think of you. I miss and love you son.Mom
Dear Sgt. Jon,
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you often. You were always my best friend, you became my hero, and you will forever be my inspiration.
The 12th of every month has a newfound significance for me, as it was on February 12, 2007 when you and I spoke for the last time. The conversation ended with your memorable and awe inspiring words, “I have no regrets, I would do it all over again, and I love being an American.” Especially today, November 12, the observed Veterans Day, your words have an incredible significance for they embody the strength and courage of the soldier you were, and the veteran heroes that you emulated.
Veterans Days was always your second favorite holiday (after Christmas), and faithfully every year you sent cards to every veteran you knew to thank them for their service to our great country. You chose as your heroes those who continued freedom and liberty for us. Brother, you yourself are a hero and there are no words strong enough to thank you for allowing us to continue to be free.
I promise to thank all the veterans here on earth for you. Please thank all the veterans you’re with in heaven for me.
Love Your Sister,
An open letter of gratitude to my beloved nephew, Jonathan Cadavero:
Since you didn’t get my last letter, I am taking this opportunity to express a few thoughts of gratitude for all you have done for our family.
First of all, we miss you so very much. We are all deeply moved by your sacrifice, your selfless devotion to country, and your love of family, friends and community. Jon, it is almost impossible to put into words what we are all feeling. We know that we cannot be physically with you, but to tell you the truth, you are still so very much with us in spirit! We will always remember the gift of your presence. You are so very much a part of us – you will always be a part of us. We miss your compassion, your caring spirit, your sense of humor, and your love of the active life. We are so proud of all your many achievements and we will always cherish all the good times we spent with you. Your family and I are now trying to rise above the ashes of our grief. We are trying, each in our own way, to honor your memory, trying to find our way forward in order to pay tribute to your spirit – because we know that is just what you would want us to do. It is such a hard task – such a very hard task for us – but we are each trying in our own way.
Jonny, I found a piece the other day that I thought you would like. It’s entitled “I am a Soldier.” I hope you like it. It reminds me of you in so many ways!
I am a Soldier
“I do so solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me according to the regulations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, so help me God. I am a Soldier.
I do not choose the time or the place - convenience is not in my vocabulary. I stand at the ready and when my orders come, I go. I am a Soldier.
The job I am given to do, I will do, even if it costs me my life. I will do it. I am a Soldier.
A car approaches, a bicycle, a cart. I fix my stare, I hone my senses, I have but a short time to take action, but I shall restrain. It is part of my job. I am a Soldier.
I repair hospitals, schools, and homes. I help rebuild smiles for people I’ve never met before. This, too, is part of my job. I am a Soldier.
I gaze at those around me in a foreign land. I see a child, a wife, a parent, friends. Oh, how I wish I were home. Oh, how I wish they were mine. I am a Soldier.
Yes, take me home when the job is done, but only when the job is done. I am a Soldier.”
Jon, the job is done – welcome home!
With eternal love and respect,
Oh, Jonny! On this day when you paid tribute to so many Veterans through the years, we pay tribute to you and the ultimate sacrifice you made. We can never thank you enough. But still, we thank you. And we thank all your brothers and sisters-in-arms especially on this day - those still with us on this earth, and those who are now with you. We will miss you always - our family is incomplete without you here with us. But your spirit lives on through each of us, and we vow to 'pay it forward' in honor of your memory. Now, and always.
With much love to you, my youngest cousin!
No words are worthy of a young man who would give his life for the defense of our freedoms and homeland. My cousin stood by his convictions to the end. I am still in awe of his unwavering loyalty and courage.
With love, admiration and deepest respect,
I was teaching my language arts class today, we were working on a project and I was handing out construction paper. Since sixth graders enjoy arguing over everything I was choosing the color for them, one little girl was sad because she wanted yellow and did not get it. Then one of my boys raises his hand and offers his yellow paper, which I happen to know is his favorite color, and gives it to her. Insignificant but something you did so many times throughout our childhood. As it is he reminds me of you because he's a jokester but today I just felt blessed because his actions so clearly reminded of how lucky I was to have you as a friiend.
Hope to see you in Heaven, neighbor.
I've tried to leave something here several times I just could never find the right words. Writng something in memory of my husband still dosen't seem right.
From the very first time I met Jon I knew he was someone special. He would always come up to me with random jokes and doing whatever he could to get my attention. I'm so happy that I saw what a beautiful person he was.
When Jon and I deployed we were both worried about each other, but being there with him was heaven in such a horrible place. Jon didn't just make me laugh there but everyone around him loved him, we could barely get a moment alone so many people wanted their time with him.
Jon and I will be married for 1 year this November. A time that should be together, instead I'm watching our videos and looking at our pictures remembering him. I'm so honored that Jon chose me, he married me and now I have such a wonder family from him. My mother-in-law has been more of a mom to me than I've ever known. And when I've wanted to close up, she is always there. So thanks mom.
Jon I miss you. I love you and I think about you every day. Happy (early) Anniversary my love.
Michelle Cadavero (Doc's Wife)
Jon meant so much to me from the very first time I had met him. I often remember back to that longful day, and think about what significance it has had on my life. There has not been a day go by since his passing, that I have not thought of him. It seems as though the significance of him being gone has really not hit me as well. I grew up with two loving sisters that I love to death and would do anything for, but never a brother. Through the years of school, I had always had friends, but it was not till the army, one of the least likely places I would of ever thought to find a best friend that it happened. From that point on, Jon was not ever a friend, but a brother, he seemed to be that brother that I hadn't had. Jon was there for everything that me and him ever had to go through. The rough times of the Army, the stresses of life in general, and on the contrary the best times that I'd ever had in my entire life. Being an Army Medic together, Jon and I shed through the blood and sweat of the everyday training. I remember always being in first squad, after a long days training, and looking back to that third squad, to see Jonny with that big ole' smile on his face, and we'd just laugh. The nights of the Dining Facility, and the calls home that we would make to our friends and family. Whenever we both either needed to talk, there would always be time. I remember back to times, that he'd wake me up after the army's "lights out" just so that we could go chat. He taught me so much about life, and everything in between. Lately, it has really seemed to sink in that I will not have those times anymore. I sometimes lay there in bed, wishing I could just run down to the end of the bay where Jon's bunk was so that we could talk, but then reality seems to set in, and the bay fades away, leaving me to my bed here in New Hampshire. I cannot express how much I miss you Jonny, and how much I wish I could of been there with you. Theres not a day that goes by, that I don't think, that if I was there, if I could of done anything different for you. As a brother and a Medic, its normal and I understand this feeling of wanting to be there with you, but the thought and the just awe wonderment of it being in my head, I just can't explain. I can't say how much I miss you man, and how much I think about you bro. Those days on the Scooters down in San Antonio while listening to Margaritaville and Tobey Keith, and the river walk to go along with it. I will never forget. To Kristia, Nadia, Michelle, and everyone in between. I cannot even think to a point where I could give my condolences to you from the near depths of my heart. These depths are unexplainable. You all have been so strong, so strong, that it is an example for me to be the way you guys are. I miss you Jonny, and all the family and friends in between. God Bless you all and GodSpeed. I'm ending this so that in any hopes that Jonny may read down upon this passage and listen to my and everyone else's words. Jonny, from the graduation of Medic school, I end this in saying to you. Congratulations Doc, you've done great things, we'll see you on the high grounds, GodSpeed. Jonny, I'll see you on the high grounds bud, keep a watch over everyone just for now. Love you tons bro. Your buddy Shea.
When I first met Jon, I was like “Who is this? And why is he ALWAYS around? And what’s so funny?” He did not hesitate to talk to me when we first met at Waldwick; he was so kind from the very beginning. He was always active and NEVER still. If he wasn’t saying some joke, while substituting for a teacher, you would most definitely find him playing basketball with the kids in the court. And how can I forget the basketball clinic he held with Mr.Locke? Oh boy, I really made a fool of myself there but he always assured met that I would make it to the WNBA in my next life…
As we became friends, I was drawn closer to the beautiful person he was: honest, gentle, kind, sincere, dedicated, determined, and (above all) loyal to that amazing love he had for his mother. I never knew of a man that loved his mother so much as Jonny did, Mrs. Cadavero and his sister were his life. Whenever I felt down, he always knew what joke to say to make me roll laughing and forget about my bad day. He always assured me that I was going to become someone successful no matter what obstacles I encountered in life.
I never agreed with Jonny in joining the army but he made it clear to me and many others that it was his duty to defend his country; his love for man was unconditional and by this he taught me that actions will always speak louder than words. Even in training in SC, TX and NY, he never complained about the torture he would go through; perhaps because he knew I would say “You see silly!!! I told you so”. Instead, he would brag about how good he going to look in his uniform, knowing that I would have no other choice but to laugh with him. Yet, in all seriousness, whenever I would ask him why he was doing this he would always reply “So that my mom, my sister, my family, Rusty, my friends, you and everyone else I know would be safe” and I believe that was his conviction to the very last second.
Jonny will forever be in my heart, forever loved, forever admired, and will forever be remembered…
Gracias Jonny, I miss you… See you soon
Denise S. Bueso
Memories are powerful because of what they represent. They are reminders of times and events that have lodged themselves in our brains. Often the mind’s ability to recall moments in time and the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings associated with them is nothing short of remarkable.
I did not know Jonathan Cadavero for long. Our paths did not cross that often. However, in spite of that, he made an indelible impression on me.
I remember his smile. Whether as broad as from ear to ear or barely imperceptible, he knew how to set others at his ease with the slightest bit of effort. Perhaps it was the tenderness, depth of feeling, or sincerity that underlay the facial expression that made it so noticeable.
I remember his enthusiasm for basketball. Seldom would he visit the school without taking the time to “shoot around” for a while. He could always interest others – younger or older – in a game. And he had skills that he was not afraid to showcase.
I remember how the children at the Waldwick School adored him. The youngest among them would literally cheer when he walked into their classroom. They would run to him and embrace him and he would make time for them. The older students saw in him a role model and they enjoyed chatting or playing with him.
I remember the generosity of his spirit. So often he would stop by my office and ask me what I needed and how he could help. It was unsolicited and unexpected. On many occasions he was a substitute, P.E. teacher, tutor, coach, and/or office assistant. Each task he performed with aplomb.
I remember the delight that he brought to his parents. I was always touched by the bond he shared with his mother. There was magic in her countenance and a buoying of her spirit when he walked into the office to greet her. Those of us who heard David talk about Jon could never imagine a father who was prouder of his son.
Some people come into our lives and quickly leave, some stay awhile leaving footprints on our hearts and we are never the same. Sergeant Jon Cadavero has certainly left footprints on our hearts and we will never be the same. He lived his life to make life less difficult for others. To us, he had already improved the world in his head and heart and had started with his hands. As Martin Luther King Jr. said “The quality not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important” and undoubtedly Jon touched many lives with the quality of his life.
To his family we quote Santayana as saying “There’s no cure for birth and death, save to enjoy the interval.” May your memories bring you comfort and keep Jon close in your hearts. God will mend a broken heart if you give Him ALL the pieces.
I once read that watching a son grow is like watching an oak tree grow from a tiny acorn. You have no way to predict how the winds of time will affect each stage of growth. All you have is the hope and love you feel when you look into his sweet, trusting face.....you nurture him and guide him along until it is time to let go and then you just watch...as day by day, "branch by branch", he grows up to be a mighty oak with courage, wisdom and strength all his own.
In his short life, Jon grew up to be a mighty oak. His roots were strong and well grounded and he sustained the winds and storms of life. From a young boy Jon had courage to do what was right, even if he stood alone. He had the wisdom to know right from wrong and the strength to live by his conscience.
I was proud to have him as a son, proud to be his mother. Although Jon is gone, my love from him has not stopped growing. Nor will it ever stop. There are no words to express how he is missed. Rest in peace my son.
I love you - Mom
I still can't beleive it that Jon is gone, especially as the holidays approach and with them our annual trip to NY. Some days, when phone rings, I expect Jon to be on the line with his usuall, "Hello Uncle, how are things". Life sure is funny, especially how things happen. Why is it that I survived the Tet offensive, and he had to fall to a home made IED??
To many times we do not look at the present, to say nothing of the past, or, God forbid, the future. Jon, inspite of his never ending humor, was a serious man. The few times we did talk about our country and where it is going, the dangers that lurk from all directions, his seriousness and commitment was brought out. He made his commitment visible to all and paid the ultimate price; I honor him and all the others who have taken a similar stand. Our country needs more men and women with the same.
Ihor Bekersky, PhD, FCP
Nadia, thinking about you and feeling sad still even after several months. I know time doesn't heal and that the grief only gets more ordinary as the days go by. I always think of Jon at Waldwick with a grin and being so very funny. Nadia your eyes always lit up when he was near. You were so devoted to Jon and Kristia. Will keep in touch!!!!!!
Hugs, Cherry Ashlock
I only had the pleasure to know Jon a littlr whole , but in that short time I knew I was in the presence of someone special .I met allot of young men in my business over the years a few srood out and of that small group Jon stood out on top.. I just finished reading the tributes and storys about Jon and they said everything , I am so sorry he lost his life bu he did it helping others something Jesus would do .
Nadia you can be proud for for teaching him to be the way he turned out he had to have someone showing the way.
I think I told you I had 6 girls I was never one to say I want a son but if I had one I would like one just like Jon God bless you and your family you all did a good job raising him , we shall all meet again someday Peace Art Cooke
Dear Kristia and family,
I am truly sorry for your loss and your sweet brother, Jon, is a true hero. I lost my sweet son, Michael who was a test pilot for the MV-22 Osprey helicopter in the Marine Corps. Jon will always be in your hearts every day and his spirit will always be with you all. Our love and our prayers are with all of you.
I’ve been checking this site everyday to see when I’ll finally be able to post this message. I find it fitting to put it up for your 25th birthday. A lot has changed since that day in February. Like your cousin mentioned, I still have not come to terms with what has happened. I feel like I’ll be pretending you’re just still in Iraq for the rest of my life. I remember that last email you sent me. I foolishly deleted it. You mentioned that we should all go on a vacation together, somewhere tropical. I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to that. To you coming back and having life return to normal. We all knew what could happen to you, but it never seemed like it would. I remember the last letter you sent me. You included that picture of Peyton Manning making that stupid face, and then you called and we both laughed at it.
I wish a lot of things were different. The most obvious, I wish you were still here. Now that you’re gone I really begin to understand and appreciate the kind of person you were. You treated strangers like best friends, always holding out the door for them and helping them if they needed it. I’m angry at myself because I know that no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to be like you, neither will anyone else. Why do we always have to learn things the hard way?
The memories we had were so funny. Whenever you wanted to do something I always questioned you. You’d always tell me to stop being a baby and do it. Ex. Lake George when you said it was ok to pretend to drive around in random people’s boats and that guy came over and yelled at us. And that time at the Tuxedo Park Country Club when Mrs. Japanese lady kicked us out because we weren’t members. And then our second year at Lake George, we were both in the tube together and when you fell off after a sharp turn I was laughing so hard I couldn’t hold on anymore. There are so many more. I can’t even count.
Onto a more serious topic, I hope you know that you successfully managed to stop all traffic and other town activities in the town of Goshen on March 9th. This is a feat that cannot be easily conquered. The amount of people at the church was overwhelming. I know that if you were there you would’ve ordered Kinchley’s (thin crust pizza) for everyone.
If there’s one thing I wanted to thank you for, it’s for your caring and generosity. I remember in Kindergarten when my school had an outdoor field day in June. I had recently broken my ankle and had to wear a cast. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and watching all the other kids have fun by myself, you took time off from school to sit there with me so I wouldn’t have to be alone. Despite the 7 year age difference, it never mattered to us. You treated me like a best friend. Remember those days in middle school and high school when you would pick me up so we can go out for lunch? I wish I could’ve thanked you for everything just one last time. Unfortunately, you can never fully appreciate something until you don’t have it anymore.
In ancient Sparta, before the men went off to war, Spartan wives would tell their husbands to come back with their shields, or upon them. Being a coward and running away was the worst possible thing a Spartan could do, and it was considered an honor to die in battle. Your death is a tragedy, but at the same time it is an inspiration for all who knew you. If there’s one lesson all of us can learn from this, it is to try to lead the kind of life you led, implementing the rules and principles you lived by in our own lives.
On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you for your service and dedication. And more importantly, thanks for always being there.
“Those are a success who have lived well, laughed often and loved much;
Who have gained the respect of intelligent people and the love of children;
Who have filled their niche and accomplished their task;
Who leave the world better than they found it,
Whether by a perfect poem or a rescued soul;
Who never lacked appreciation of the earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
Who looked for the best in others and gave the best they had.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The world became a lesser place on February 27, 2007. Receiving that heartbreaking call from my uncle on that quiet, late winter evening, I felt time stand still for just a moment. Our worst fear had been realized. It was, more or less, an unspoken fear when Jon was first deployed back in August of 2006, but acutely felt by us all. We all hoped for the best for him, prayed for his safety, cheered him on through e-mails and letters and occasional phone calls. And now: it seemed impossible – implausible – totally unimaginable. He was so heartbreakingly young! So vital, so brave, so very alive. But now suddenly gone in an instant. Those first few hazy days and weeks, we were haunted by that old Irish ballad, “Oh Johnny, we hardly knew ye.” It was surreal, to say the least. Our hearts were shattered: not only for ourselves, but also for Jon’s parents, for his sister, his wife, his aunt – for everyone whose lives he touched. And he touched countless souls in the fleeting time he was here on earth – we’ll never know just how many. We mourned the loss of someone who had so much more to give. For what he might have become. How far he yet had to go.
Helen Keller once wrote “Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all.” This is how Jon lived his life. With a joie de vivre unparalleled by anyone else I have ever met in my entire life. With an unselfishness far surpassing anyone else you would ever come across in the normal course of day-to-day life. He gave his life, without an apparent moment’s hesitation, in an attempt to save countless others. Numerous tributes have been written about him and how he showered everyone with kindness, generosity, and in particular, his wonderful, inimitable brand of humor. He left ‘footprints’ on everyone’s hearts, and all who came in contact with Jon felt truly blessed. He was THAT amazing and had the effect of making you want to strive be a better person. He was always my “little” cousin (the youngest of seven on his father’s side), but he had the biggest heart of all of us.
Today, June 13th, marks what would have been Jonny’s 25th birthday. A birthday that he shares with his beloved grandfather. And a true milestone in one’s life – that first quarter century. It is, and now forever will be, one of those ‘anniversaries of the heart.’ A day that we will each mark quietly, with fond memories of Jon and how he truly epitomized the words ‘This little light o’mine, I’m gonna let it shine.’
Many thanks to my cousin, Kristia, for setting up this wonderful website where we can leave our tributes to Jon. She, too, is a bright shining light in our family and also has that magical effect of making you want to be a better person. Her eloquent words of wisdom belie her young age, and inspire us all.
So let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, everyone. For Jon, for his family, his wife, his friends, for our troops – Jon’s brothers and sisters-in-arms – and for each of us here on earth. The memory of Jon will serve to make the world a brighter place. And that is truly his greatest legacy.
Wishing all love and peace and grace,
Debra Valle and Family
Heaven welcomed three new heroes on the morning of February 27, 2007: Sergeant Paul Soukenka, Corporal Lorne Henry, and my brother, Sergeant Jonathan (Jon) Cadavero. As part of the 10th Mountain Division’s Alpha Company, they were on a routine mission to search for and neutralize IED’s in southern Baghdad, Iraq, when the armored Humvee they were traveling in was struck by the very device they were hunting for. It occurred at approximately 9:30 a.m. local time, 1:30 a.m. EST. We were sleeping safely in our beds. They had been up before dawn, continuously doing their duty to ensure that we at home would continue to live in freedom.
The darkness that comes over the loved ones of fallen soldiers is indescribable. An ever-present shadow will always remain with us, for this is a loss that one never gets over or gets accustomed to, but somehow learns to carry along with them. The feelings experienced are a mixture of admiration for their bravery, respect for their service, devastation for their sacrifice, a continuous wondering of why-with a 98% survival rate of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan-our beloved soldier was one of the few that was taken, and a slow realization that although they are gone from earth they will always remain here with us. We may live on earth, but we are alive in the next place. Jon is now transformed and fully alive, waiting for us in a place of comfort and warmth and peace.
When Jon came home in late November 2006 on a 2-week leave from Iraq, I revealed to him that on Veteran’s Day I survived, without injury, what could have been a fatal car accident. He in turn confessed to me his exact occupation in Iraq of being an I.E.D. hunter, something that he kept secret from everyone. Before I could even begin my request of his staying on base and working in a medical clinic, Jon quietly stated that being on the front lines was where he belonged because that was where he was most needed. Jon trusted in fate and had a belief that there was a grand plan, known to God, yet unseen to man. Jon found his way to serve God by loving his country and protecting his family, which challenges each of us to discover our own way to lift the veil providence places over our lives to understand how we, too, can best serve God and love our neighbors.
There are times when God whispers quietly that He is with us, and other times when He is shouting that He is here. On the Sunday before Mother’s Day, in that misty place between sleep and waking, I was overcome with the feeling that Jon was sending me a message about two specific Mother’s Day cards that he wanted me to purchase, a purple card with yellow butterflies for our mother and a purple card with dark purple flowers for our aunt. Although I searched every card store for the specific qualifications that Jon wanted, my search was in vain (and my faith faltering) until a seeming misfortune led me on Mother’s Day morning back to a store to correct a mistake made with a duplicate photo of Jon. A box of forgotten Mother’s Day cards had just been discovered, amongst which I immediately saw the two cards I had frantically searched for; as if written by Jon himself, the card to our mother stated the bond between a mother and child can never be broken by “time, or distance, or separation,” and her positive influence helped the child to “change the world in a positive way.” Jon is with God, and God is with us.
There is a spark of the divine in each human life, and Jon’s spark shone bright. He really lived life, he made every moment count, he stood up for what he believed in, he didn’t ever want to wonder “what if,” he didn’t live passively but as a leader. Up until Jon’s last moment he was moving forward with his eyes open, but it was time for our beloved Jonny to stand down; his watch was over, and he has been assigned a new post. The life that soldiers live is not just their own, but they live, between their loved homes and the desolation of war, for the continued hope and promise of all Americans; my vow is to use Jon’s influence and example to live for both of us, to live for two, until the day when we are together again. We as Americans have a responsibility to live our lives in the best way we can, taking the special talents God has given us, in tribute to our soldier heroes who lived and laid down their lives for us, and were welcomed to heaven far too soon, to ensure that our country would remain a bit of heaven on earth, a glorious land of freedom and safety and faith.
I doubt there's been a day that has gone by that Jon isn't mentioned in thought or prayer from my wife or I and Spc. Shea Ahern. Jon was a young man I never met but has given me strength in many ways. I have truely admired his dedication to duty, honor and love of country. He will never be forgotten in our family. There are no words that can comfort us here on earth during a time such as this, but may we find solace in knowing that someday we will all be together. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
To Sgt. Jon’s Family, Friends, Brothers-In-Arms, and All Who Mourn His Loss:
There are no words profound enough to bring comfort to those who love Jon, but perhaps there can be some solace found in his. In a brief phone call to me after a particularly grueling mission Jon stated that, as had many soldiers before him, amongst the hell of war he was able to understand the power of redemption and the love found in sacrifice. He was assured of the immortality of his soul, and passing into the next life was not to be feared, for, in his words, “there is no ending, it’s the same journey, just in a different place.”
Jon belonged to God and has returned to Him. We were lucky enough to have Jon here with us for a little while; we loved him, raised him right, and helped him on his path in being who he was meant to be. We are happiest when we are doing what God planned for us to do, and Jon was very happy being a soldier. As he said in his very last words to me: he had no regrets, he would do it all over again, and he loved being an American.
I can picture Jon now, as he did on earth, finding the veterans in heaven, thanking them for their service, listening to their stories, and proudly telling some of his own of the IED’s he found and the lives he saved as he followed in their heroic example of keeping America free.
Where the soul goes after death is a reflection of the life it has led on earth. With his love of man and closeness to God, Jon didn’t just reach heaven on the morning of February 27, 2007 – he was already there.
Jon’s Loving Sister,
Dear Sergeant Jon,
Wow...just writing those words, "Sergeant Jon" is SO impressive to me. I am SO proud of you for your tremendous accomplishments you made so quickly while you were in the army. I can't believe you are gone…seems like just yesterday that I saw you while visiting you, your sister, and my friend, Julie, that one weekend back towards the end of June of 2004. I'd give ANYTHING to go back to that time...we had SO much fun together. Remember that dog you took care of that you found near the police station? You treated that dog better than most people treat other human beings…you finally got
in touch with its owner and returned the dog to an owner who couldn't care less and didn't even offer you "one red cent" of a tip!!! I couldn't believe that!! But you weren't the least bit upset as I was...because that's the kind of person you were...ALWAYS looking for the best in people...I want to pattern my life after yours...you made a TREMENDOUS difference...everyone I know who knows you has nothing but positive things to say about you...I wish you could have heard what people said about you at your funeral...how impressive your funeral was!!! I have never been to such an incredible gathering...the
church in Goshen, NY was completely full-even spilling out with people into the lobby and outside of the church. The graveside service was extremely touching as well. Veterans from all over came to honor you...A 4-star General was there to preside over the service and with tears in his eyes, he gave various medals to your mom, sister and wife Michelle...I was DEEPLY moved…
Jon, you were more than a cousin to me…you were like my little brother...I only wish we could have spent more time together…we spent most of our lives living close to a thousand miles apart and would only get to see each other on very rare occasions like at Grandma's house. I always looked forward to those times...the first memories I have of
you was back in July of 1988 at Grandma's 80th birthday celebration...we were at the Yonkers church running around outside-having a blast...I’m SO glad that some pictures were taken of us during that time…were only 6 and I was 18...it wasn't until the spring of 2001 that we were able to see each other on a much more consistent basis...I stayed in your dorm room at CUC and we had SO much fun that weekend, talking sports and playing basketball at a nearby park...I will treasure those memories forever...it still hasn't "fully hit" me that you're gone...I'm sure reality will REALLY set in when I go back up there to visit Kristia and you won't be there...a VERY important member of our family is gone and you are DEEPLY missed.
I can't thank-you enough for the TREMENDOUS sacrifice you made for our country...what a sense of loyalty you showed...I don't know of anyone else that would be willing to put their life on the line for a country...you didn't even think twice about it…if only everyone else were "1/2" as loyal to their country and everything else in their lives, this world would certainly be a MUCH better place to live in...I will NEVER forget you my "brother"…and long for the day when we will be reunited in Heaven…I
know that day is coming VERY soon.
I'm SO glad you were able to get married to Michelle before you died...what a wonderful person she is!! I know she loves you dearly as you loved her...I only wish you could have lived to enjoy life with her and have been able to start a family and live out the rest of your life...but it wasn't meant to be I guess…life is SO hard to understand sometimes...I have to leave all those unanswered questions to God and just trust that He knows the end from the beginning in each of our lives and He knew this was going to happen before you were even born…I"m just thrilled that I got to know you, Jon...I am a MUCH better person as a result...as we ALL ARE.
I love you and can't wait to see you again.
Until we meet again,