One Tin Soldier

A letter in tribute to John Buttacavoli was sent in by a true friend, poet and shipmate, Michael Ercole, SM3 1959-61, who remembers his friend and shipmate in this way:

My tribute to my dearest friend, "Butta", Of all the qualities of Butta, I want to remember these..

His constant thoughts of family & home. On a day with my Butta, we sat around the table talking of old times and I said to him, "Butta, I want to do something for you. Just name it and it will be done." Butta looked at me, got up, went to his garage and got an ax and told me to follow him. He took me to a place where he wanted to plant flowers and pointed to a couple of small stumps and said, "Take these out". He could have asked for anything, but just wanted his garden, Thus, the following tells of my feeling toward my buddy:

God looked around his garden and
found an empty place
He then looked down upon the earth
and saw your tired face.
he put his arms around you and lifted
you to rest. God's garden must be
beautiful, he always takes the best.
He knew you were in pain; he knew
that you'd never get well upon this
earth again, he saw the road was
getting rough and the hills were hard
to climb, so he closed your weary
eyelids and whispered, "Peace be thine."
It broke our hearts to lose you, but you
don't go alone, for part of us went with
you, that day God called you home.

Love Always/Mike Ercole