The database page for Edward Joseph Cavanaugh
"To live in the hearts we leave behind,
Father of: Katherine, Sharon, Eileen, Sheila, and Cecilia
Well, it has been 20 years since the United States pulled out of Vietnam. Unfortunately, it has been 24 years since you were pulled out of our lives. I believe you would have been proud of all of us including Mom. I realize now that you kept us pretty sheltered from what your life was really like. You wrote to us only of things that were happening in our lives and of some of the people you met. Not once in any of the letters, that some of us saved, is the devastation of the country and how people were reacting to the war mentioned. I do remember going back to high school and being told by someone that I didn't even know that you got what you deserved. I was so taken back that I quit talking about you except to those that were close. I am sorry. I relied on our military friends to help me keep you alive. All our "Uncles" and "Aunts". When people did ask about you, I did hold my head up and tell them that you were an Officer in the Army and you died for your country and for every single person that lives here. I am proud of you. I will always be proud of you. Although, I decided that I would never marry anyone that was in the military because I did not want to ever have to go through what Mom did. I use to listen to her after she thought we were all asleep crying herself to sleep, or not going to bed until she was exhausted in hopes of falling asleep quickly. So, what do I do - but marry a policeman. He looked so handsome in his uniform. Oh well ...
You have 4 handsome grandsons and 1 beautiful granddaughter now. We have told them all about you and funny things you did with us. Mom still has the sign "HAPPY DAUGHTERS ARE WORKING DAUGHTERS, WORK ... WORK ... WORK." We have made the children understand that you are their own special guardian angel. That you will keep a special eye only on them. I laugh to myself when one of them says that they miss you. I know in my heart that you were by my side when each of mine were born. I just wish that I could have placed them in your arms. I know you would have been a wonderful Grandfather. I do wonder if you would have been as strict with them. I doubt it!
Next year, for your 25th anniversary, we hope to take the children up to West Point. I want to show them all around and hope that I can instill the same pride in them that you instilled in us. You were so proud of being a graduate from West Point. There was no discussion as to where you would be buried.
I only have a few regrets of my life; you did not meet the man I married, dance with me at my wedding to "Daddy's Little Girl," and meet your grandchildren. Other than that, "Thanks Daddy" - I am living a good life and I will survive whatever comes my way, because you gave me a good role model, our Mother.
Sharon wrote this letter to her father and placed it in the frame with his photograph. I thought those visiting the Virtual Wall would be interested in reading it. I hope Sherry does not mind.
Hey Dad, it's Sherry again. It has been 37 years now. How time flies. Ryan is in the Navy, I tease him about visiting him on ship in all my Army stuff. You would be proud of him. Catherine is in her senior year of college, she is going to be an elementary school teacher.
Robert is in his sophomore year in college. I think a biology or history major. They are all good young adults. I am learning to let go of them. Some days it is hard, but I did not raise them to keep them home. Jimmy and I are doing great, you would like him.
All the other girls including Mom are hanging in there. We were at the Wall on Memorial Day. It was very crowded but really neat with all the motorcycles. We have not missed a Rolling Thunder in about 4 years. I love you and occasionally wonder what our lives would be like if you had come home. We are making a baseball trip to the northeast stadiums, so we will drop by West Point.
Sherry Cavanaugh Gogan
To the family of Col. Edward Cavanaugh,
Many years have passed since that fateful day you were wounded, but in many ways it feels like yesterday. Guess it's one of those remembrances of war that just haunts one as a lingering nightmare. I only met you once on the medical evacuation chopper that day but of all the wounded you stand out foremost in my mind. You wanted all the younger guys tended to first before you would allow me to work on you even though your wounds were the more serious of most. You told me you wanted the younger guys to be able to have the opportunity to have what you had. A very brave man and a very thoughtful person. God Bless You and your family always.
Spec 5 Scott Hanson
If anyone knows the whereabouts of any of his family please contact me.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 Nov 2001
Last updated 06/30/2006