Jonathan Cadavero

Jonathan Cadavero

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U.S. Army
BAGHDAD, IRAQ 02/27/2007

The Bible’s chapter 6, verse 45 of Luke says, “A good person brings good things out of the treasury of good things in his heart”.   Sergeant Jonathan Cadavero was this living Bible verse. Jonathan was the son of the superintendent of the Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; Jonathan Cadavero attended the Waldwick Seventh-day Adventist School in Waldwick, N.J. In 2000 he followed his sister to Columbia Union College, a small, private, four-year, Christian college affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Takoma Park. While Jon was a senior at Columbia Union College which is now Washington Adventist University, he worked the registers at Barnes and Noble bookstore near the White House.

Paul Wolfawitz, Assistant Secretary of Defense under Donald Rumsfeld engaged him in conversation, was so impressed with Jon that he later invited Jon for a private tour of the Pentagon.

On November 15, 2009, the gymnasium at Waldwick Seventh-Day Adventist Academy was renamed the SGT Jonathan D. Cadavero Memorial Gymnasium.  These exceptional events demonstrated that those around Sergeant Cadavero  not only recognized, but publically honored  the good that was Jonathan Cadavero.

Army Sergeant Jonathan Cadavero died on February 27, 2007 as he supported Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Jon was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.  He died in Baghdad of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.  Two other soldiers also perished.  Jon was twenty-four years old.

He was a Combat Medic with six months in country.  He had married just three months before a fellow medic who was assigned at his location.    Michelle Heiter Cadavero, married Jon in November 2006. She is now a widow at 19. “I am honored to have served next to him as a soldier, as his wife and as his best friend,” she said.

Friends and family and Cadavero’s 10th Mountain Division saw many sides of Jon.  They saw a Leader, a Patiot, a Bro, an Inspiration, and a life worth emulating.  Jon cherished underlined Bible passages, and was proud of his Ukranian grandparents who found refuge in the America he stood for.   He had slogans such as “Never Say Die” remembers by college basketball teammate and roommate.  His sister Kristia would say his favorite saying was “Evil prevails when good men do nothing.”

Jon was a born-and-bred New Yorker, who came to be a Maryland resident.  Maryland, according to his sister in Chevy Chase, Maryland, who said his very last words to her were: ‘I have no regrets. I would do it all over again,’ and ‘I love being an American soldier,’

A final prayer was spoken, a final hymn sung. The bell tolled 24 times. The honor guard carried the flag-covered coffin back to the salutes and flags outside and into the hearse. People gathered at the church steps to watch.

Michelle Cadavero sat with her hands on her knees and was composed. A chaplain saluted Cadavero’s coffin and said “stand down.” Then she put her head down and put one hand to her face.

Jonathan’s portrait is also located on Poster 4


9 Responses to “Jonathan Cadavero”
  1. Jerrell Gilkeson says:

    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

  2. Jerrell Gilkeson says:

    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

  3. Jerrell Gilkeson says:

    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

  4. Kleber DeGracia says:

    I will never forget you brother, you have always been in my mind. You have been a best friend and I remember learning so much from you. Not to mention how much I love your family and grew up at waldwick going to the office where Mrs. CAdavero always greeted me with a smile as she asked “what happened this time kleber? What did you say to Mr. Gilliland? Or how can you be late if you live 5 minutes away?? Ok shhhh go to class”
    I learned to take notes from Jonny… to be more organized and I remember him telling me that I will learn about cars my looking at them on the street… to the point that even at night time, I will be able to tell which car is what make or brand just by looking at the tail lights… he was right! Every time I do any of the things he showed me how to do, I remember him. Every time I eat pizza I remember him… we loved eating pizza from Rays pizza down the street from Waldwick SDa.
    Plus many more memories I shared and remember him by!
    Then I left for the US Navy… when they asked me in boot camp to quote someone that I remember, I quoted Jonny….
    I said, “If we go away and fight for our country, we will do so bravely, and we will fight, so our kids won’t have to”
    Those words will never be forgotten in my mind!!
    May God bless the Cadavero Family, May God bless the rest of family and friends and may God bless the remainder of fallen heroes lives that were touched by this great man, amazing best friend and wonderful Brother!
    See you soon brother… See u soon!

  5. Johnsky Estervil says:

    I just what to take this time to thank you Jonathan Cadavero for everything you had done for our country. We all will always keep you in our hearts and one day we can see you in Heaven.

  6. Mr. Locke says:

    An AWESOME kid, I can’t get through a week without using a “Jon-ism” to keep the class lite-laughing.
    Forever remember.

  7. Thank you for your sacrifice and for helping our country get better to the family you have done him well and taught him to be the best he can.

  8. Michael Meliti says:

    Thank you for your sacrifice and for helping out the U.S.A. I never got to meet you in person by I’m sure you were an amazing, brave, and noble man. Thank you.

  9. Naomi Faroul says:

    Thank you for everything you did for this country. May rest in peace.

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