Based: Ft. Riley, Kan.
4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: October 10, 2007
High School: Visions in Education (Carmichael)
Although he was just 20, [his mother Billie-Jo] Hull said, her son always had been clear-eyed about a soldier's risks and embraced them, expecting his family to follow suit.
Before he left for Iraq, he told her that if he died, "He wanted me not to lose it. He wanted me not to blame anybody," Hull recalled. Then, she said, he told her: "Don't bad-mouth the military. Don't let nobody in the family bad-mouth the military."
A prankster with a boyishly innocent face, he was "OK with dying," said Hull, 35. "He knew it could happen."
On Oct. 10, Cady was killed when the vehicle in which he was riding overturned in Baghdad, according to the Department of Defense.
The life of a soldier was the little boy's dream that Cady never gave up. He learned to read at age 3, his mother said, and decided on the military at age 4 after he saw television news reports about Operation Desert Storm.
She recalled their conversation:
"When I grow up, I'm going to be a soldier," he announced.
"No, you aren't," Hull said. "When you grow up, you're going to be an attorney."
Cady would not be dissuaded. He started talking to Army recruiters when he was 14, his mother said, and enlisted after graduating from Visions in Education charter school in Sacramento in 2005. But he waited until the day after his mother's birthday that August to leave for boot camp.
He was a chemical operations specialist assigned to the 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Ft. Riley, Kan. He was deployed to Iraq in February.
From the start, he envisioned the Army as his lifelong employer. His mother recalled him saying, "I think when I start moving through the ranks, I will pause at Capt. Cady because that sounds cool."
Although he was single-minded about the military, his mother and friends recalled a playful, motor-mouthed talker who was quiet only when reading a book, especially one by Dean Koontz or Stephen King.
"I used to tell him he was worse than a girl when it came to talking," said Camille Crowninshield, whom he was dating before he was deployed.
He loved shooting pool and going to clubs, but also playing football and camping. And he'd do anything to get a laugh.
Read the rest of the LA Times article here and read more about Army Specialist Frank L. Cady III here and here.
Memory of Frank L. Cady III:
Cady was my brother, we were both born on 25 AUG 2005. Our childhood was spent in Ft. Leonard Wood MI. We had to live in the same room for 6 months, we changed beds once and awhile but we did everything together. We called ourselves the bulldogs. We were united with our other brother Bryant. The three of us shared the same dream. On 06 OCT 08 I received an email from my lil brother telling me how much fun he was having in Iraq. I had just returned from my tour over there and was proud of him. On 10 OCT 08 I received a call from our "mom" telling me my brother in arms was dead. His dream is my dream, my dream is his. I love you battle, I'll see you soon.
August 22, 2008 at 12:42 p.m