Frances Cannon was born on December 11, 1944, in Alton, Illinois, and was raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on April 28, 1967, and after completing basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas, he completed advanced infantry training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Pvt Cannon deployed to Southeast Asia in October 1967, and served with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade in South Vietnam from October 1967 until he was captured and taken as a Prisoner of War on January 9, 1968. He was badly wounded at the time he was captured, and died in captivity on September 8, 1968. His remains were returned to the United States on August 14, 1985, and he was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix, Arizona.
Epitaph For A Hero
If I should perish overseas
In service to my Land
I shall have died a noble death--
Let none misunderstand.
I hope my body will be found,
Returned back to my home,
Where it was nourished and inspired--
No more to yearn, or roam.
Home is the soldier then from the war
Back to his family;
Home is the patriot at last,
Buried in majesty.
Pause, visitor, and cast a glance,
Upon a hero's grave;
Be thankful to breathe Freedom's air,
For which his life he gave.