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Medal of Honor Jon Cavaiani Burial and Escort to Arlington Natl Cemetery November 5, 2014– More photos to follow.

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Retired Sgt. Maj. Jon R. Cavaiani, a former prisoner of war and recipient of the nation’s highest military award, died Tuesday, July 29, 2014 in Stanford, California.

A friend to many, and a true American Hero – he will be sorely missed.  If you would like to leave a tribute message, scroll down below the videos.

On July 31, 2014, Jon was transported to Philadelphia. Photos below and to the right.

Flag Ceremony to Honor Jon R. Cavaiani

In Memory of Jon Cavaiani Video 1 (includes clips of interview with Jon regarding his time in Vietnam and photos)

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In Memory Jon Cavaiani — 38 Comments

  1. To the Cavaiani family
    Jon worked with my Mom, Marie G. Reid on the Vietnam Veterans memorial, located in Washington, DC. His support and enthusiasm for this project was a tremendous help. I especially remember his commitment and dedication to commemorating and honoring the service of all veterans, past and present. He was also a lot of fun to be around, and I will always remember the time that he visited our home.

    I offer my sincere condolences for the loss of our beloved hero.RGR

  2. Jon,
    Your passing leaves a feeling of emptiness that cannot be filled. Thank you for your love and dedication for our great country. I count it a real honor to have known you. Rest in peace.

  3. Jon and I crossed paths from Fort Benning in 1973, though Berlin, Fort Meade, Ft Eustis, and while visiting Ft Bragg. Jon was the single most intense individual I have ever met. He was driven to be with and remain with the Forces. Jon could not accept others that did not meet his high standards regardless of rank and if you knew Jon, you probably can remember the stories. One task I had was to get Jon to accept a commission, which, as we all know, he never did. His mind was on being a great NCO and remaining with the Forces and did not see why the Medal would cost him the chances of going back
    Like I said, Jon was unique and sadly I did not get a chance to see him as a “little ole winemaker” in California. Now gone, he will always be with me as the character that never stopped the challenge to be the best. R.I.P. Jon, hope you know I was there for you always.

  4. It was an honor to know you and to learn of your sacrifice for this great nation. You are a true American hero. Godspeed! R.I.P.

  5. We are so very sorry to have learned that we’ve lost yet another friend, and a brother in arms. Barb, you are in our thoughts and prayers! Godspeed, Jon!
    Betsy and Harry

  6. No greater American hero. A gracious and unassuming friend. Your trials of life are over. You left a set of giant tracks down here, Jon, for another hero to fill. Semper Fi. Ike

  7. What beautiful tributes for Bobby. I will always remember our time at Livingston High School and going to your home to swim with you, Carl, cousins and friends. I am so sorry for his passing. I just wish we could laugh together one more time. A part of my heart goes for his service.
    My love to his wife and family.
    Always your friend.
    Mary Anne (McCabe)Jantz
    Livingston, California

  8. Jon was a truly great American. He shall be greatly missed. Be at peace my friend. God Bless & Semper Fidelis

  9. As a young soldier at the Defense Language Institute in 1977-78, I got to know Jon, who was stationed there. He gave us a talk one day about what to do if captured. I will never forget it, nor him. A great man, and a great American.

  10. Will miss you so much Jon! Love you! We will take care of Barb for you. We love her so much! Rest in peace.

  11. It is with deep sorrow that we lost a American Hero Class of 1962 Livingston High School. You were always with a smile on your face and fun to be around. Much sorrow in my heart looking at our year book with all pictures of you. You attented our class reunion in 1985 and 2002. In 1985 you arrived at our reunion in full uniform with your metal of honor and other metals. It was a joy to talk with you, I remember you had to leave the reunion early to report for duty that night. Prayers for Barbara and family. You are a true Hero, thank you for serving our country with respect and honor. Sincerely, Janet Atkins Krebbs

  12. I heard about your passing from Maryann Jantz, I am sorry for the loss of such a great man and brother in arms. Thank you for your service. Heaven gained a Hero. Rest easy Brother, you stand relieved, we have the watch.
    Bob Daniel BMC(SW/SCW)ret.

  13. Jon you will be missed dearly by all of your friends and family. I will never forget our little talk as we sat at the hospital in Philly. It meant a lot to me. You and Jack are now together again. Heaven will never be the same. Barb you also have been in our prayers as well. You know your Philly family are always here for you.
    Love you Richie

  14. I met/worked very briefly with SGM Cavaiani in the early 80’s. I never saw him again but I never forgot. I am fortunate to have served with him, if even so briefly.

  15. Ruth and I had the privilege of spending three hours with Jon and Barb at the Ebb Tide in Annapolis in May of 2012. We hope to attend the funeral. Our condolences to Barb. You will be missed brother, RIP.

  16. I met Jon via Wags @ Cookies Tavern
    He is truly a great man of substantial substance quality and courage. God bless Jon and his
    Family. Semper Fi Jon and I am drinking Jack Daniels in your
    Danny Martelli

    Jack Daniels in your honor.
    Danny Martelli

  17. SGM – I was privileged to meet you while assigned to 10th SFGA in 1979. I heard you tell your story and encourage we young troops to carry on the tradition you and your Brothers established through your incredible courage and fortitude. I am honored to have known you, even for the short time it was. RIP and condolences to your Loved Ones.

  18. SgtMaj – You are a true Warrior Brother and an inspiration to our nation. I am glad to call you friend. You can now stand down Sir, your tour is complete.

    Semper Fidelis

  19. Bob I truely enjoyed our friendship through high school and these later years. Have spent the last few days looking at the high school year books and talking with and sharing memories of you with our classmates. You will never be forgotten. Thanks for including me through your journey here.

  20. Jon, You will always be Bobby to our family as your parents named you on the day you were born. I and my sons call you our hero and that you will always be. See all those that helped sculped you into the adult you became, they too were so proud of you.

    Love you always cuz,
    Debby Fowler

  21. Jon I will always remember how you came to Sarasota Florida for a golf tournament and wine dinner we were doing to benefit The Special Operation Warrior Foundation. I will also always think of the great times we had in SF, Napa and Philly with Barb, Mike and friends. Jon you were truly A Great American Hero and Friend. God Bless You John & Janet Perseo

  22. It has been an honor and a heck of a lot of fun to have had you in our lives. We are all grateful for the time we were given, and our hearts go out, especially to Barb. I assume you and Jack and Wags are already having a glass – do you think you could arrange n MCLEF fundraiser up there?


  23. Jon ,
    there is not enough space here to say it all
    You are one of the great people in this world you a get a chance to meet in your life time.
    I will always remember you & and all you gave
    Rest in Peace now we will be joining you some day
    Barb you have my prayers
    Past Commander Del Vets Post No 1

  24. I never had the good fortune to meet Jon…as a young SF radio operator I knew his name and heard of his exploits. SGM you can not be thanked for all you did, a true hero among men…Your dedication to the Regiment is without equal…Barb, to you….you are the epitome of a devoted wife…you stood by your man through it all….I think I am speaking for all the Special Forces Brothers…when I Salute you…DOL

  25. Jon Sgt. Major,

    We can’t put into words the tremendous love & respect we have for you & Barb and how fortunate we are to call you friend & family. I remind everyone that it is because of men like you & all you have done in this life that each & every one of us in this country get to be spoiled little brats & make good choices, bad choices and everything in between. Thank you sir for all the sacrifices you made for all of us. We love you.

  26. “Lo there do I see my father, Lo there do I see my mother, my sisters and my brothers , Lo there do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning. Lo, they do call me, they bid me take my place among them, in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever” – RIP SGM Cavaiani… A hero amongst heroes… See you at our stammtisch in Valhalla! – De Oppresso Liber!

  27. myself and several other members of the Viet Nam Vets motorcycle club had the honor of spending the day with Jon at the Gator Nationals in FL several years ago. A better man you will never find.

  28. I will miss you my friend,pal & most of all are with jack & wags now

  29. My friend for 30 years. You will be missed. Semper Fi Dino and Gail and Dino Jr.

  30. I had the great fortune to have met John several times. And to have been able to call him a Brother Elk.
    May he rest in peace.God Bless

  31. I spent 10 minutes with you in Wildwood New Jersey, we exchanged words, had a drink and just shared words of thanks. You signed a T shirt for me and took a picture to add to my colection. You Sir are the example I wish to live and hope to instill in my children and Grand children. God Bless you and all those who have served and still serve. I am truely blessed to have had any time with you and to have you of all people shake my hand and say thank you for your service. I still tell people the story of that day, RIP you are a True American Hero!

  32. We are sorry to hear this and were just talking about you at the Burlington County Farm Fair with Veterans.

  33. You will always be Bobby to me. Growing up in Ballico going to school together working together working together in the orchards having so much fun. You are a true American hero!!

    If anyone know how to contact Jon’s brother Carl, please contact me

  34. It’s sad to say Good Bye to a good friend and Great American. Our Condolences to your family. You will be sorely missed.

  35. To my friend of 30 years. You will be missed. Dino and Gail and Dino Jr.

  36. Jon,

    We’ll miss you but I believe your in better hands now brother. Say hi to the rest of Wags platoon. We love you.

    Semper Fidelis my Brother

  37. Sgt. Major: The one conversation I will never forget- On your birthday recently, you called me back after my traditional call, stating you were enroute to ‘Nam to search for your friend. And that if his remains were found, you would sleep at night. Sir: sleep well with your compatriot Jack. Heaven is a better place.

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