Sergeant Jon R. Cavaiani

1290 Words6 Pages
Daniel Canton

Jon R. Cavaiani: Medal of Honor Recipient

Staff Sergeant Jon R. Cavaiani is the man I believe best represents Personal Courage for a multitude of reasons. He recieved the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Vietnam War. Jon was the acting platoon leader for a security platoon on a remote radio relay site in enemy-held territory. His selfless actions allowed the members of his platoon to evacuate. After everyone else was evacuated, there was an increase in enemy fire which prevented the American Helicopters from evacuating him. Because of this, he was captured by the North Vietnamese soldiers who overran his compound. He was held captive by the North Vietnamese until March 27, 1973.
Jon R. Cavaiani was born on August 2nd, 1948. He was born in Royston, England, but moved to America with his parents in 1952 when he was four years old. Jon was classified as a 4-F by the doctors, due to his allergic reactions to bee stings. This allergic reaction prevented him from being allowed to join the Army. He talked with a Doctor he knew about the problem, hoping to find a solution. The Doctor was able to help him out, getting his classification changed so that he would be able to enlist. He then signed up with the Army in 1968, and was Nationalised shortly after.
Cavaiani had qualified for Special Forces, and was sent to Vietnam in June of 1970. When he arrived in Vietnam, as a Special Forces Medic, he was assigned to I Corps as a Veterinarian, and Agricultural Advisor. He helped deliver children, treated animals, among other things while serving this role. One day, while out on a trail, a group of North Vietnamese attacked them, and shot and mortally wounded the South Vietnamese Sergeant Major who he...

... middle of paper ... be captured and held as a prisoner of war, must have been a horrible experience. Being a prisoner for twenty three months, being tortured and questioned, and being moved around. He displayed extreme personal courage, keeping himself together, and aiding his fellow prisoners of war. After he returned home, he stayed in the Army, but had to adjust back to a normal life. That took just as much courage as keeping his strength while being a prisoner of war.
Jon Cavaiani exemplifies the Army Value Personal Courage in so many ways. He is a man who so nearly gave his life without hesitation for his comrades in arms, who was taken as a prisoner of war because he elected to stay behind to cover their retreat. That is about as selfless and courageous as someone can get. He is nothing short of a Hero. Jon Cavaiani deserves the utmost respect from every American.

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