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Contributor: Joe Cantafio II Poem Categories

This poem / song is in loving memory of Ryan Cantafio... a Marine, husband, son, brother, relative to others, and friend . . . who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving his beloved country in Iraq on November 25, 2004.
Made the ultimate sacrifice for our great USABrave Warriorcountry as flag
Brave Warrior, your battles are over, it's time to rest your head.
Brave Warrior, lay down in the clover, the earth is now your bed,
Brave Warrior, a flag is now wrapped around you, your grateful nation mourns.
Now rest in peace, and sleep for the ages in the place where you were born.

Brave Warrior, your time was short, now it's time to say goodbye.
Sweet Warrior, mount your faithful steed as you ride off in the sky,
A folded flag is all that's left to remind us, of how you lived and died,
Brave Warrior, they've all come to see you, they've come to say good bye.

When the poppies fate, and the cold winds blow,
and the graves are covered in the fallen snow,
you will warm our hearts with the memory of your love.

Brave Warrior, evening is falling, the fields are empty and gold,
Brave Warrior, your star shinning bright, your spirit of peace we now hold,
Brave Warrior, your ship finds its harbor, where the water meets the sky.
And I will think of you as I breath my freedom, with a tear drop in my eye.
Sweet Warrior, I'll never forget you, good soldiers never die.

Your memory will never die.

By Joe Cantafio
Copyright 2004
Listed November 25, 2007

Joe Cantafio's explains why he wrote Brave Warrior...

Brave Warrior, is a song inspired by the life and heroic death of my cousin Ryan Joseph Cantafio, USMC, who paid the ultimate price for American freedom on Thanksgiving Day (November 25, 2004) in Fallujah, Iraq.

The lyric reflect the visions of the day of his funeral; the whole town of Beaver Dam, WI lined the streets as the funeral procession slowly drove from the funeral home to the cemetery waving flags and trying to smile through their tears. During the funeral ceremony a letter was read, written by Ryan's commanding officer in Iraq. Ryan was referred to as a "brave warrior" and the letter ended with the words " ...good night sweet warrior, I kiss your head."

Ryan was a Green Bay Packers fan, he loved family, life, hunting, fishing and his beautiful-young wife Amanda.

LCpl Ryan Joseph Cantafio, USMC
Ryan Joseph Cantafio in his Marine's dress blues

Ryan Joseph Cantafio, USMC

Ryan and his father, Joe, were like brothers. They were business partners in a auto body shop, re-named "Ryan's Auto" after Ryan was buried. The shop now features a beautiful memorial tribute to Ryan, seen by everyone who drives by.

Being an entertainer and patriot, I promised my cousin Joey that Ryan's memory would never fade, as long as I have anything to say. Forgetting is a fear I have come across with may Gold Star families.

Ryan died a hero. The day before he died, he saved the men of his company during a firefighter as the gunner on the back of the Humvee ... the day he died, he saved more men, but couldn't save himself.

Ryan was a quiet and honorable American; loved by everyone who met him, an American who stepped-up on September 11th, 2001 and joined the Marine Corps. Ryan spoke with his actions and will forever be remembered by everyone whose live he touched.

"Brave Warrior, I'll never forget you, good soldiers never die; Your memory will never die."

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