Memorial Page Established ByJ.R. Martin & Danielle Darling
In Honor Of SSgt John J. Cleaver
04 Feb 2009
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17 We love and miss you
John! Love forever, Mom and Dad
Words cannot express all the emotions that come with your loss. I am so VERY proud of your
service to our country, yet, it is still very painful that you are gone. We had many good times
over the years and I will never forget them. Life took us different ways in recent years and I
hate that I didn't get to see you very much, but I know you were serving our country to make
it safer for my kids and yours. I don't know if I can ever forgive those responsible for taking
your life, but I can always take comfort in knowing that you were doing what you love and
that was protecting our freedom and our way of life. Many, many people were touched by you
and we miss you a lot.
19 Nov 2009
Staff Sgt. John Cleaver, 36, of Company E, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment,
4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Ft. Bragg, was killed at approx 7:30am
GMT, when a vehicle laden with explosives detonated outside Forward Operating Base
Ballard/Shajoy in the Zabul Province of Afghanistan. The attack was part of a string of suicide
bombings across the country, that took place as Afghan President Hamid Karzai was
inaugurated in Kabul for his second term in office.
Cleaver joined the Navy in 1995 and was stationed on the U.S.S. Inchon at Ingleside, Texas,
served in Kosovo, then PCS'd to Norfolk, Va., where he was a firefighter instructor for three
years, then Seattle, where he set up a firefighter training school and was stationed on the U.S.
S. Rodney M. Davis, soon deploying to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
After serving 10 years in the Navy, he reenlisted in the Army. Shortly after arriving at Fort
Bragg, N.C., he was deployed to Afghanistan as a convoy commander and a medic.
Cleaver was deployed to Afghanistan again in July, his fourth deployment to a combat zone,
stationed at FOB Apache. He was working a supply run to FOB Shajoy, they'd just unloaded
the supplies and were ready to mount up and head back, when the truck pulled up and was
detonated by the driver.
"Staff Sgt. Cleaver was one of the most disciplined paratroopers that I have ever had a chance
to work with. He always set a standard and ensured that his paratroopers always meet that
standard," said Capt. Burton Furlow, commander of Company E.
Cleaver's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the
Army Commendation Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Navy and Marine Corps
Achievement Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Navy
Unit Commendation with bronze oak leaf cluster, four Navy Efficiency Ribbons, the Army
Good Conduct Medal, the Navy Good Conduct Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters, the
National Defense Service Medal, Navy Battle “E” with silver wreath for four or more awards,
the Kosovo Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Service
Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve
Medal, the Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with bronze stars for 2nd, 3rd and 4th
award, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Naval Reserve Sea Service Medal, Navy
Pistol Medal with silver E for expert, the NATO Medal, the Combat Action Badge and the
Cleaver is survived by his parents, Ron and Teresa Cleaver, brother Ron, sister Rhonda, and
2 sons, Collin and Aiden, plus a plethora of extended family and friends.
In addition to his enviable military record, something he loved and gave his all, he was as
great a person as anyone could have the honor to meet. He always back-burnered his life to
handle the needs of his soldiers, friends, and even strangers. Always a can do, will do, did do
guy. He was our best friend and we don't know of one single bad thing he's ever done. He
loved his country, his family, his friends, the Army, and most of all his sons. Truly an asset to
Ft Bragg, Fayetteville, and the World.
John, we love you and miss you. We cry every day. "No worries", brother.
J.R. and "Rae"
May 20, 2010
Jeffrey Stephen Murphy
My husband served with Sgt. Cleaver on the USS Inchon. Both he and I express our deepest
sympathies to the family and loved ones he left behind. God bless Sgt. Cleaver, we honor
him for serving his country so proudly.
Januaruy 23, 2010
SSG Willie Reed
The Army has lost an outstanding Paratrooper. I served as SSG Cleaver's Platoon Sergeant
during a 15 month deployment Jan 07 - Apr 08. He loved the medical field but got stuck as a
motor transport operator. SSG Cleaver would accomplish any task given to him without any
problems. I will really miss him and to say I do have a scare that was cause by him which will
always remind me of him when I look at it. lol. Rest in Peace my Battle
January 9, 2010
I consider myself someone who benefited from knowing SSG Cleaver. I the time I knew him
in Afghanistan during the 07-08 deployment, he was always about helping others. He had
considered taking a reduction in rank to go to become a Combat Medic like myself. I mean he
was already EMT qualified and he always sought to help out at the clinic during sick call. He
already had the heart for it. When something had to be done, he had the commitment to
complete it; but he did know how to smile even when there wasn't much to smile about. I was
proud to be E Co.'s medic and proud to say he was one of mine. I'll miss you John Cleaver......
January 03, 2010
Thank you for serving and paying the ultimate sacrifice. I want your parents and friends to
know that I am very grateful to live in a country where men such as SSG Cleaver exist. I
thank his parents for raising such a man and his family and friends. May God bless his soul
and may he watch over the people he left behind.
Thank You SSG Cleaver. All Americans are grateful to you.
Dec 5, 2009
SSG John J. Cleaver will live in our hearts forever. You are a true American Hero!!
Remember to save a dance for me!!
|SSgt. John J. Cleaver
United States Army
KIA 19 November 2009, Afghanistan