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Jon R. Cavaiani
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Military Personnel
    (August 2, 1943-July 29, 2014)
    Born in Royston, England, United Kingdom
    Came to the US at age four
    Became a naturalized US citizen (1968)
    Joined the US Army and served in VIetnam
    Received the Medal of Honor for his actions as platoon leader while providing security at a radio relay site located in enemy-held territory (June 4-5, 1971)
    He was initially classified 4-F because of a severe allergy to bee stings.
    He said receiving the Medal of Honor created pressure to always live up to the ideal of a model soldier: 'You have to maintain, you know, the image.'
    He repeatedly exposed himself to heavy fire while directing the platoon's defense.
    He remained on the ground to direct helicopters to the landing zone when the platoon was being evacuated.
    The next morning, with a heavy ground fog preventing further helicopter evacuations, the North Vietnamese launched an attack.
    He ordered the last 18 men to escape while he provided covering fire with a machine gun.
    Despite having 'almost 120 shrapnel holes' and several bullet wounds, he managed to evade capture for eleven days.
    During 23 months as a prisoner of war, he lost 106 pounds.
    He made over 5,000 parachute jumps during his life.
    Late in his military career, he was assigned to the United States’ most elite counter-terrorist force.

Credit: C. Fishel

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