Ltee Frank Canda served in all four platoons 1969-1970


Ltee Frank speaks about 'Nam Pt.1

Ltee Frank speaks about 'Nam Pt.2


From: Wally Mendoza Date: 05/30/05 07:00:14 To: TROOP ADDRESS Subject: Sitrep: Frank Canda

Hey Brothers, It is with an extremely heavy heart that I have to report to you that our buddy Frank has passed away. Nancy (his sister) just called me and it has taken me a few minutes to get myself together.  it has not hit me yet, but I find it an obligation to all of you to tell you this saddest of news on this Memorial Day, as soon as possible. We will all eulogize him in our words and thoughts, we all respected him and certainly we all loved him. Frank was a leader for the few months that he served with us and He continued to be a leader to all of us up to his last day. The Lord will receive him now, be we are all better men for having known Him. As soon as the family notifies me of Services I will pass it on to all inmediately. Lets all say a little prayer and spend a few quiet momnents remembering who Big Daddy called.."Fearless Leader" Love to all Wally

Another tragic loss.  Sorry to hear of Frank's untimely passing.  He was a truly nice guy, and a pillar of the A 4/12 veterans group.  Frank called me a few weeks back and we talked for over an hour.  He told me that he had some health problems which he had not made public to the group at large, but at that time he was doing OK, and I felt like he was probably doing pretty well, all things considered.  It is a shock to hear that he is gone.   At least we can be assured that we now have a good officer in charge for the quartering party in Fiddler's Green.   Requiescat in Pace, Trooper Frank.  You will be missed. Jim [Good]

What a shock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had no idea Frank was even ill. When I take my flag and Cav pennant down tonight I will look up and thank God for the privilege of knowing and serving under Lt. Frank Canda. Bob Rebbec

Hey Guys, It appears as thou Frank died of a heart attack. Nancy does not know too many details yet, she just found out this morning. I will pass on details to all of you as I receive them, those details that are allowed to be made public by the family, as you know Frank was an extremely private fellow, and Nancy, his sister is even more. I will share all I can with all of you, as soon as I know. Love to all, Wally

Frank was a good man and a trooper, sorry to hear about his passing. Bob T.

This news REALLY sucks. I had no idea he was that ill. I know he was having "some problems", but never imagined it was that serious. I mean hell, at our advancing ages who ISN'T having "some problems"? Truly sad news. Greg

Hey Greg, Frank had been having trouble for some time now.  He had been in the hospital for a few days, a couple of months ago, because his blood preasure was 220/ 120....he was quite concerned, the doctors were at a loss as to what was causing it and when I reported I had a cyst in my kidney Frank did some research.....he concluded and was convinced that his blood preasure was been  driven by blockage of some sort in the canals to the kidneys.. The doctors kept messing arround with the medication and now it appears that it was a heart attack that took him from us. Take care buddy, I will send out more info as I get it, or if I get it. Wally

Keith, and Jim R. since you asked, the Funeral Mass will be on Thursday of this week at Assumption Catholic Church, in Broadview Heights.... It is not set in stone yet, but that seems to be the time for now.. As soon as I receive a confirmation I will post it. I will also be forwarding all e-mails from the Troop to Nancy.  Frank's brother Greg went to Frank's home and looked on the computer and noticed all the e-mails that are coming in to the Troop E-Mail and he will be monitoring them.....Nancy found it an honor to think that we thought so highly of Frank..... I'll be in touch later. Wally

Brother Troopers, I just got back from a camping trip and could not believe your note Wally. This has hit me VERY hard. Frank was a true soldier, a good leader and a great American. It was an honor and a priviledge to have known and served with LTee. I was really looking forward to talking to LTee in Vegas this year as I have in years past. He told me once that I was the salt of the earth, a good NCO and a guy he would go to battle with anywhere at anytime. I told him I considered that the highest compliment anyone has ever given me. I will miss LTee very much. I wish I would have known he was sick so I could have gone to see him. I would have liked to have hugged him one more time and been able to tell him how much I loved  and respected him. As my fellow Cav Brothers keep passing I feel like I'm dying alittle at a time. Another piece of my heart is gone and I have lost another true friend and Brother I will not see again at our Reunions. I have but one request, please let your fellow Brothers know when your health is failing. I know Frank was a private guy but we are family here. I love all you guys like my family and I'd like to be there for you when I can. Wally if you would please send me an address for Frank's family so I can send a card. I am really going to miss LTee's smile and his wit. This is a very sad day for me. I must close now as I can hardly see the keys. I could never put into words the feelings I have for you guys and now I have once again lost the opportunity to tell a fellow Brother what he has ment to my life. May God keep you and yours safe and healthy. I hope to see ALL of you Troopers in Vegas, I only wish LTee was going to be there with us in life cause I know he will always be there for me in spirit. God Bless, Rag

I'm sick about this. Frank was a great guy who genuinely cared about his brothers in the Cav. I just talked to him last week. He told me he had a "relapse" of the heart problems that put him in the hospital several months ago, but the docs thought they had it under control. Frank was looking forward to seeing everyone in Vegas this year after missing last years reunion in D.C. to attend a family wedding. It's been a tough five weeks for the Cav, losing PR and Frank. 'Course, they're probably tossing empties at us now from Fiddlers Green. God bless Frank Canda. I'm a better man for having known him. You don't have to be tall to be a giant. Long live the Cav.  Jim C.

Frank Canda was the trooper who first contacted me concerning joining the A Troop, 4/12th Cav Commo Net.  I had posted a message on the 1/77th Armor web site looking for a buddy of mine who was in B Company when I was in A Troop in 1971.  Frank had read my message and got hold of me to join the commo net.  As you all know he was the glue who held this commo net together.  As far as keeping everyone straight on this web site Frank's motto was, “No task to difficult, no mission too great.”  I'm sure he had the same motto while serving in A Troop. I feel privileged and honored to have met Frank at the second reunion in Las Vegas.  He gave a great speech to kick off the dinner and kept the ball rolling all night long.  As Rag stated, Frank was a great man, a great Cav Trooper and a great American.  He will be sorely missed.  Rest In Peace, Frank and save a cold one for me at Fiddler's Green. Take care, J.T.

Frank you are going to be missed but I know that you will be getting things ready when it is our turn to make the trip to Fiddlers Green. You were truly an Officer and a Gentleman. The Cav lost a fine brother today.God Bless you Frank you were a true friend and brother Jim M.

Frank, I am so saddened to hear you have left us to Fiddler"s Green. In my heart I know you are monitoring this web site (Politics stays on the PFC net) and I want you to know from the bottom of my heart (and Peg's) what a honor it was to have known you. We will toast to you, PR, and hopeful no other entries into FDG this year's reunion. We will miss you. To the Brotherhood of the Cav. Trap

My Respects, and Karen's too.  We are saddened.  He was a good-un!  Always tried to be fair, and I will miss his banter, and his kind spirit.  Wild Bill

What a Shock.    I just started reading todays mail when I saw that Frank has past on to Fiddlers Green. Frank was one of the best, as a soldier and a friend. I have a lot of good memories of him from the Cav, and I was fortunate to spend some time with him at the reunion. I will truly miss him as I know we all will. God Bless. Joe

Sad day. My prayers for the family and friends. Garry Norberg

Troopers,    Very Sorry to hear about Frank Canda Passing away. To his     Family i must say I am very sorry for your loss. But just     think of him standing at the Right Hand of or Lord and Saviour     Jesus Christ. He called him home to serve in his Army. May     God be with you in your time of sorrow and forever.                                         God Bless You                                          Jerry Beverage 2nd Plt 1970

All Memorial Days are difficult for me since I came home from the war and today was particularly difficult and will always be in my mind. Growing up in grade Catholic school, Memorial Day  was a day when we had a free day just before the begining of summer vacation, it always felt like a bonus.  It was also the day that the Indy 500 was held....I recall sitting by that radio until the last lap was run, I vividly recall the huge crash in '66 or '67 when in the last lap  several racers collided....Eddy Sachs was killed, A.J. Foyt drove through the wreck and won the race. The Indy 500 is no longer held on Memorial Day, its held on the sunday prior to it, for television. Received that dreaded phone call this morning.... Nancy's first sentence was...."Frank Died".. I am no Cervantez, Hemmingway, or Shakespear, or anything remotely resembling these gentlemen to be able to describe in beautiful words what I felt, It felt as thou I had been punched in the stomach.!!!! I will always remember the day I met the LT. First day at LZ. Nancy. late in the evening, September 12, 1969. I was assigned to first platoon, he gave me that speech...."stay close to Big Daddy, so you don't get your ass shot off"...sorta like Lt. Dan giving Forest Gump instructions......and then he assigned me to his track.... In the weeks following I was to give the young LT. a royal pain in the behind with my antics and certainly my wise mouth, one day in a pouring rainstorm, at C-2 we were reading our mail and I said..."Hel Lt. let me see the picture of your sister"....he said, "NO"...and I said, " Oh come on, just let me see it", he did, I said "Oh man, can I write to her?" He said "NO" and then eventually he said yes after I conviced him that my girlfriend had just written me a "Dear John Letter" The rest is History, Nancy and I are still comunicating to this day, and this morning I got that call. Frank was a good man, an extremely intelligent man, a very sensitive man, a pleasure to talk to, ....and boy he could talk after a few beers. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become close to Frank, but He opened up to me on those weekends that we shared a hotel room in Vegas during our reunions. He was a special person, A SPECIAL AMERICAN. An Officer who brought honor to his rank. One who could balance between the right and the left and decifer what was really important. One who was so closely impacted by the Kent State incident. A man who received a PHD from a prestigious college in Ohio. A man who had an opinion about any subject and who could talk about it intelligently.. Frank was my pen-pal's brother, he was very special to me. Its dark and cool now as the sun is settling in the California West, I just spent some quiet time in my back yard listening to the wind, listening to the sounds of the evening, having a special glass of Merlot with my buddy Frank. We will all miss Lt. Canda. He will always be in our hearts and certainly in our memory.  When we are in our 70's, our 80's, and some lucky enough to make it to our 90's we will always remember our "Fearless Leader" as Big Daddy would call him. To those Troopers who are listening to me tonight and are debating if yes or no on the reunion in Vegas....make it a yes!!! not because you want to make an effort to see us.....BUT, because WE WANT TO SEE YOU....!!! We want to shake your hands again, We want to hug you and tell you how much we have missed you since 1969 We want to tell you how much you mean to us even thou it has been 35 years since we saw you or heard your voice. WE want to tell you, in person, how much you meant to us then, and how much more you mean to us now. We want to tell you how much we love you. Frank is with The Lord now, but I can bet he is monitoring everything we do and... AND HE WILL ALWAYS BE WITH US. Wally

Hey Frank give PR a Big Hug from The Kid!! This has been a Day for me!! My brother in law who was a Veteran also died today of Heart problems !!!   I know The Good LORD has Big plans for all of us, and it's never to late to let Jesus into our Hearts!! I know LTeeF is walking with The LORD, and saying lead on LORD The Cav has Arrived!!! WOW what a month and a half it has been!!! PR, LTee Frank, my Brother in Law Tim - we just never know when The Good LORD is gonna take us Home!! One thing about Heaven - it's gonna be an Eternal Ride!!! We will be Known as we are known in Heaven!! We're looking through a dark glass, and it's hard to understand the things of the Spirit. We still need Jesus to speak the words of God to our hearts. We'll know each other in heaven, for we'll know more, not less, than we know now.: Long Live The Cav!! May The Good LORD Bless All Of Us!!! The Kid

Cav Brothers, Lt Frank's passing on Memorial Day weekend will affect us, all probably for the rest of our days on this earth. Memorial Day has always had a very special and solemn meaning for all veterans, and now with the loss of a very special Cav brother, not one future Memorial Day will pass without our thoughts returning to LT Frank. Before our first reunion, Jim Good found me and put me in touch with Frank, and as they say, the rest is history. What a conversation Frank and I had that first phone call! Frank truely epitomized the Spirit of the Cavalry. His caring for those he led and his sense of humor are attributes that every leader, regardless of rank, should prosess. Fiddlers Green has received another Hero and a true American. Frank was proud of his service as well he should be. I am honored and humbled to have known him. I will miss him greatly and will keep his memory in that special place in my heart that is reserved for those who served with honor and shared the common bond of the Cavalry. Earl (40)

Sitrep: Goodbye Frank

Frank,   You were a great friend and you will be missed by all of us in the Brotherhood of the Cav. You were the driving force that started this wonderful group getting together. In speaking with Coop last night he told me that ( life was nice when we were alone and not together we were ignorant of our past and our brothers. Now we are in contact and when one of us passes on to fiddlers green a little bit of each of us passes with them. Would we want to go back to our lonely past? I would not, the fellowship we share at the reunions and through out the year more than makes up for the pain of your passing.) Our memories will endure and you will forever be alive in our lives.   I remember calling you when I received your letter 5 years ago. I told you that I had a beef with you because you shot the commo dog after he bit a trooper. You denied being the person responsible for the dirty deed. We then had a long hard laugh about the things we remember and how we remember them.  I remember your welcoming speech at the second reunion you came to the podium dressed in an Olive drab field jacket. You stated that This was how we met. And as you stripped of the Field jacket to reveal a leather vest you said this is how we are now.  In March you came to a bowling alley in East Cleveland to meet me while I was bowling in the State Tournament. I wasn't bowling worth a Sh#* and as we talked I started to enjoy the day a little better. I will remember as we left for home we had our last Hug and hand shake.   Take Care my brother we will meet some day soon.    30 Out

There are some people whom you feel you will always remember. Frank Canda was one of those people. Frank embodied that old maxim: Never judge a book by its cover. Although he was not physically imposing, inside he was John Wayne and Audie Murphy wrapped into one. I took over 1st Platoon from Frank in October, 1969. It readily became apparent the high esteem in which he was held by the Troopers of 1st Platoon. I'm lucky that I was able to follow a Platoon Leader like LTeeF. He made my job alot easier. I believe Frank held every leadership position in the Troop except for CO. I think he could have handled that job too, if called upon. He will be greatly missed. Lt Styles

Man, What terrible news.  Frank Canda was quite a man, a friend, a comarade, a brother.  He was much of the glue that has held this group together.  His wit, humor and keen undrstanding of right and wrong will be sorely missed on this commo net.  As we all age, and some of us pass, it makes it all the more important to keep these reunions going.  I'm a better person for having known Frank.  I'll surely miss him, as will we all, in October.  Farewell, good buddy, I'll see you again at Fiddlers' Green.  Save a cold one for me. Zero ( LT Dennis  Perrino)

It was a little over five years ago, Frank posed the idea of the commo net. At that time there were only about a half dozen or so of us. It was Frank who put this net together and because of it, we grew rapidly and were able to have contacted 25 guys for the first reunion. Seventeen were able to make it. Frank also put together the PFC net that prevented another Viet Nam war amonst ourselves. He also established rules for the net, but only after consulting with the membership. Frank did a lot. I remember Frank from Viet Nam, although he never worked in the 2nd. But what I remember about Frank in Nam and State side is he always was smiling and it made you feel good. John

You can not always tell the book by its cover LteeF would not have been selected to model for an army recruiting poster No one would confuse LteeF for John Wayne. Whenever a new Lt comes to a platoon you always wonder how they will match up with the last Lt.  In LteeF's case he was going to be held up to some very big standards [because] he followed Lt DeSomer “Shadow”. In physical appearances the two Lts were as different as day and night, one outgoing, one reserved, and One you knew and one you did not. My first memories of LteeF are seeing this new lt going from track to track On a shake and howdy mission (going around spending some time shaking hands and putting names with faces) we knew he would be coming down to our track Soon, we were cooking some steel pot stew and we decide we would make some “special stew” for the new Lt – so out came the Tabasco bottle. I would not say the stew was hot I would say it just a shade above burn your tongue off. As LteeF came up we ask him if he would care to have some stew, how could he say “no.” You know he ate every bit of it and never said a word, just went about his business as usual. This is when I first knew that there was more to this Lt than what you first saw. Thirty-plus years later, I met LteeF again. During the last few years I have come know another LteeF, one who was on a mission, one who had a passion for helping all troopers, one who never said no when asked to help with troop business, a person whom I depended upon when issues came up and I needed that quiet steadying voice of reason. LteeF you may be not be with us physically but you will always be in our hearts. Coop

Now, I'm going to tell you of my memories of LteeF. I first saw him at Firebase Pedro, in August 1969 when he arrived to take the place of Lt. Styles, who was then reassigned to the 2nd platoon. I had been in the platoon for a little over a month. At this time, a lot of the “old” guys were rotating home and the platoon was in a state of flux. Most of its members were new guys, just like me. However, several of us, who had arrived in June, had already seen combat.

Let me say right now that Ltee Canda proved to be a very competent leader. As was Shadow's (the first platoon leader I had in Vietnam) custom LteeF led from the front. I also remember him taking constant compass readings while we were riding along in the boonies. I guess he dreaded getting lost. I personally used the force to get where I needed. Later in my life as a policeman, I would hold my superiors up to the standards that were established by both my platoon sergeant JB and Ltee Canda. If they didn't lead from the front or exhibit the same capabilities of firmness, fairness, knowledge of the profession, intelligence, care and being “hip,” I just didn't respect them. Both of them were my personal models of leadership that I imitated when I was promoted in my profession. I know I was successful in the Honolulu Police Department because of their leadership example.

Random memory: I vividly remember one time in the bush when Ltee Canda was humming “Hey Jude.” He wanted to know the lyrics, so the squad spent some time singing it while he wrote the words down in his notebook.

He was reassigned to headquarters because his time in the field with 1st platoon was done, but he was restless. He turned up in the field once again after less than 2 months in the rear to lead 3rd platoon. He also had a short stint with 2nd platoon. His voluntary return to combat duties increased my admiration for him.

Of all the lieutenants that I had during my time in first platoon, he is the only one that I considered to be “my” lieutenant.

You can imagine my surprise when in 2001, I received an e-mail from him from totally out of the blue. As the group grew, he started the list server we call our “commo net.” As the moderator, it was his responsibility to approve those persons who wanted to join, and was the voice of reason in many of our communications since then. I miss him deeply. Pineapple.

I remember the first time I saw LTee also. I was also in 1st Plt under LT. DeSomer. Shadow was one cool dude. He knew his shit and he was always concerned for our safety. When Shadow left I figured we were in big trouble. I was getting short and wanted to make it out alive so when Frank showed up I almost died. He looked like Wally Cox and I figured this guy can't know much. It didn't take long to find out that Frank was just as great a leader as Shadow. He earned my respect very quickly. I loved talking to Frank. He had a great sense of humor and a big smile that always seemed to set you at ease. Frank was the last guy I talked to when I left Nam. I think he was the XO or something at the time. I stopped by his hotch and told him it was an honor to have served with him. He couldn't believe that I took the time to stop by and say goodbye. He felt I had more important things to be doing as I was on way home. When I saw Frank again in Vegas 35 years later he reminded me about my saying goodbye and he told me that really meant alot to him. Little did he know it meant an awful lot to me too. I truely loved Frank. He was a guy that never gave up and never allowed someone to do something he could do himself. I can never remember Frank saying no to anyone that asked him for help. He got this commo net started and he helped it grow to what it is today. We will all always owe Frank alot. He was still our great leader even after the war was over. My faith tells me I will see Frank again in the hereafter so I won't say goodbye to him now as I know he will be waiting for me. I wish I could have seen Frank one more time. I would have liked to have hugged him and told him what he meant to me as a friend and a Cav Brother. Peace, Rag

I was very sad to get the news of Franks passing on to Fiddlers Green.  Coop wrote about the special stew we fed the Lt his first day in the field.  I think I was the chef that day.  Frank took all the crap we could give him in stride.  Thinking back on the times in Vietnam the image of Frank that comes to mind most often to me is him walking around on the ground with his .45 pistol in his hand.  Got off an APC with a .50cal M2 and 2 M60 machineguns to mess around on the ground with a pistol...John Wayne didn't have jack over the LT.  I am so glad I had the chance to see him again in Vegas year before last.  He will be missed and remembered.  Jerry Malan,  1st Platoon 69-70.

Hello All,

   Just returned from the Cleveland area and wanted to bring you up to date with the events of the past two days.

   Linda and I arrived at the funeral home just after two yesterday afternoon. We met the family and placed the Troop Guideon on the table with Franks military memories. We met the entire family and were welcomed with open hearts and arms. During the visitin hours they played a computer program showing Frank from birth to just a few months ago. One kick in the head was a photo taken at our second reunion it was of Frank and PR sitting together talking. That makes me know that they are together again in Fiddlers Green.

   About 7 P.M. Rag and Linda Rinaldi arrived and they were welcomed also. We met friends and family. Just as we were about to leave, The Holy Name society came and read the rosary for Frank. After they were finished Rag and I said good bye to the family and a few other friends. We then went to the Casket and gave Frank one last salute from the Brotherhood.

   This Morning started early, we arrived at the Funeral Home about 0900 and waited around for the family to arrive. When they got there we entered and gathered with family and friends for a short service. About 10 we left in procession to the Church. At the church a funeral mass was said and Frank's brother Greg played the piano and sang part of the service. When the mass concluded we proceeded to the cemetary. When we arrived there was a two person honor guard from the Army along with a bugler. There was a short few words and a prayer from Frank's priest then they had Franks son, a nephew and me come forward to give our eulogys.
I attempted to do the Troop proud, I spoke using parts of our e-mails regarding Franks passing.

   I went back almost 36 years ago when a young second Lt. arrived at LZ Nancy. Some on had mentioned that he looked like Wally Cox but then I added that you couldn't Tell a book by it's cover that Frank ended up being part John Wayne and part Audie Murphy. I told Coops story regarding the helmet stew and Brook's comments regarding taking a platoon over from Frank. I also spoke about his smile and his care for his men. I then jumped forward to 5 years ago when Jimmy C and Frank got this whole thing rolling and the results of Franks hard work making our Brotherhood what it is today. I then ended with Coops thoughts regarding how we had gone for years with out knowing how our brothers were doing and now with our reunions and communication during the year we lose a part of each of us when one of us passes on to Fiddlers Green. Would we want to go back to the way we were. I think not our fellowship allows us to take that loss and build memories of the good times.

   After Taps and the grave side service the Family invited Linda and I back to the Funeral Home for Lunch. We sat with Franks Son and Daughter and shared some stories. After lunch Linda and I left for home.  Frank will be in our memories as long as there is a Trooper alive he will be remembered.

     Take Care My Brothers, Keith  30 Out

Living in the fast lane, has cost me again, as I seldom get on the computer, I just check in when I can, but I wish to send my condolences to Franks family and friends and all the troopers.         Big smile, big heart, in a little man that would sneak up on a bear from the front, he knew no fear, his quick wit and dedication to make life good for all those around him was un daunting, he kept his men together by being there for them through thick and thin, and bringing them all back together 30 years later, a leader of men, he put  their welfare above his, he asked for nothing in return, he proved that again by his silence of personal health issues, bowing out quietly, wanting no sympathy, or no alarms triggered, just to be there at fiddlers green ahead of many of us to be himself, a leader, friend, a man among men, his job on earth was done with the utmost of heart and soul and talents that has made him an icon with those of us that knew him.                 Frank it's been an honor to serve with you, "til' we meet again"                                                 Micheal Deierling                                                     4/12 CAV



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