Frank Hahnel - USMC Veteran - DeBary, FL

Frank is a former U.S. Marine and a Vietnam War Veteran. Frank served with 1st Tank Battalion, 1 Marine Division, I CORPS, South Vietnam from May 1967 to May 1968 (369 days in country, boots on the ground). Frank is a 1968 TET Offensive Survivor.

Mr Hahnel provided assistance in nominating two Medal of Honor nominations for Captain Richard Whan Hopper. Mr. Hahnel, an eyewitness to Captain Hopper’s sacrifice, provided assistance to Congressmen Mica’s team for the medal nomination. 

Corporal Mario R. Jenkins, a Police Officer and dog handler with the University of Central Florida Police Department was shot and killed during a football tailgate party in Orlando, FL on September 24,2005. Corporal Jenkins was a Marine reservist and it was his wish to be buried in a Veterans National Cemetery. But Corporal Jenkins Marine reservist time did not count for a VA burial benefit and the Department of Veterans Affairs would not allow it. Frank wrote to then President George W. Bush and offered to give up his own veterans’ burial entitlement at Arlington and give his benefit to Corporal Jenkins. The VA said NO. Frank received a letter, and Certificate of Appreciation, from the then UCF Police Chief Richard Beary and Corporal Jenkins’ good friend Detective Dale Dennany for his effort.

Mr. Hahnel continues to serve in his community and has become a source for the church family to depend upon as they often turn to him in their time of need and assistance. As an example, an elderly woman was having issues with her electrical panel in her home. Mr. Hahnel, a master licensed electrician provided the work free of charge to assist her in her time of need. 

Education and Training Accomplishments: 

  • University of Central Florida – Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology Degree, dated 12/18/81
  • Florida Technological University – Associate of Arts Degree, dated 6-10-77;
  • Criminal Justice Minimum Standards Certificate, 320 Hours, Seminole Community College (SCC), dated 12/20/77 w/Certificate of Compliance # 02-20293, dated 3/6/78
  • State of Florida Certificate to Conduct Alcohol Breath Testing for the City of Winter Springs Police Department, dated 2/23/78
  • Department of Treasury – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Seminar on Firearms & Explosives, dated 11/5/77
  • City of New York Auxiliary Police Primary Training 70-D, dated 11/30/70;
  • U. S. Department of Transportation TSA Basic Screener Training, dated July 2002, TSA #27748
  • State of Florida DBPR, Division of Real Estate, Salesperson License #SL-0656088, dated 9/16/1999
  • Post-Licensing Education for Salesperson, SCC, dated 6/24/98; 30 Hour Foundations of Appraisal, SCC, 9/20/2000
  • 30 Hour Appraising Single Family Residence, SCC, dated 10/23/2000
  • 15 Hour Standards of Professional Practice, SCC, dated 11/6/2000
  • Chapter 498, FS: The Uniform Land Sales Practice Law, DBPR, dated 3/14/2000
  • The People’s Law School, Florida Trial Lawyers Academy, SCC, dated 11/25/97
  • Project Management Academy, nccer/Clemson University, dated 5/12/2000.

Summary of the Nominee’s Professional or Employment History: 

  • Frank is a UCF graduate engineer, 12/81
  • An Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) Lighting Designer, 12/79
  • Lightning Protection Institute “LPI Professional Designer and Inspector” #87, dated 2/84
  • UCF student he was a member of ASET (American Society of Engineering Technology) 11-5-80
  • Master Electrician #131 (City of Sanford, 5/78)
  • Registered Electrical Contractor #ER0006414
  • Frank is an expert in AHCA hospital code compliance and health care electrical design
  • Frank has worked in the Florida Building Construction Industry as an Electrical Engineer producing detailed electrical contract drawings and specifications for the installation of power, lighting, Fire Alarm, communication, lightning protection and specialty systems for Architectural & Engineering Firms and Electrical Contractors. Frank has been involved in numerous Large Scale projects in Florida
  • Marianna Federal Correctional Institution Main Campus, Satellite Camp, WITSEC Camp (Witness Security), UNICOR (Federal office furniture manufacturing), the Central Energy Plant, Secure Site and Site Power Distribution System, Marianna, FL, all with Hansen Lind Meyer (HLM), 5/86
  • Saxon Medical Center, Orange City, FL, 5/93
  • Sarasota Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower, Sarasota, FL, 7/92; Ambulatory Surgery Center at Martin Memorial Hospital, Stuart, FL and Third Floor ICU Renovation, VA Hospital, Gainesville, FL all w/Tilden Lobntiz Cooper (TLC); Orange County Courthouse w/2 five Story Florida State Administration Buildings, (CEP) Central Energy Plant, Parking Garage and underground utility tunnel system, Orlando, FL (3 year project) w/Tri-City Electrical Contractors, 2/95
  • Harris Corporation Bldg. #5, Melbourne, FL (clearance required) w/Hoag Wismar Henderson (HWH) Architects/Engineers, 9/79
  • U. S. Embassy – Khartoum, Sudan (Africa) w/ Tilden Lobnitz Cooper Engineers, 10/87 (required Secret Clearance)
  • Portofino Bay Hotel @ Universal Studios, Orlando, FL w/ Tri-City Electrical Contractors, 6/97
  • Disney’s Beach Club Village w/ Kelly Electric, 12/01; End sample list.

Advocacy on Behalf of Veterans: 

(1) Medal of Honor Nomination (MOH) #1 made September 2011, for Captain Richard Whan Hopper, USAF pilot #FR62162A, KIA in a Martin B-57 Canberra on March 25,1968,1 CORPS, South Vietnam;
(2) Metal of Honor Nomination #2 made September 2014 with Congressman John L. Mica, for Captain Richard Whan Hopper.
(3) Grave side Testimonial and Bronze Plaque installation for Captain Richard Whan Hopper, Mount Jackson Cemetery, New Castle, PA, Friday, July 17,2009. His wife and 2 sons, w/100 friends & relatives, knew Captain Hopper was KIA in Vietnam but did not know HOW. Frank, an eyewitness and rescue participant, told all in attendance the details of Captain Hoppers unselfish sacrifice and bravery, saving the lives of US Marines on the ground below but loosing his own life in the process.
(4) US Army Helicopter Pilot CWO Bobby Wayne Hall 11 and copilot CWO David Hilemon were shot down over North Korea, December 17,1994. Bobby Hall was taken prisoner by North Korea and then released on December 31,1994. David Hilemon was KIA in the crash. Frank purchased a POW flag and had it flown atop a 260 foot tall tower crane at the Orange County Courthouse construction site until CWO Bobby Hall was released. Frank then mailed the POW flag to him at his hometown in Brooksville, FL with a welcome home fellow Vet letter.
(5) Corporal Mario R. Jenkins, a Police Officer and dog handler with the University of Central Florida Police Department was shot and killed during a football tailgate party in Orlando, FL on September 24,2005. Corporal Jenkins was a Marine reservist and it was his wish to be buried in a Veterans National Cemetery. But Corporal Jenkins Marine reservist time did not count for a VA burial benefit and the Department of Veterans Affairs would not allow it. Frank wrote to then President George W. Bush and offered to give up his own veterans’ burial entitlement at Arlington and give his benefit to Corporal Jenkins. The VA said NO. Frank received a letter, and Certificate of Appreciation, from the then UCF Police Chief Richard Beary and Corporal Jenkins’ good friend Detective Dale Dennany for his effort.
(6) The August 07 issue of “Leatherneck” magazine mistakenly indicated a Marine M48 Tank at the wrong place in South Vietnam. Frank wrote the editor and identified the correct location and all the names of the 6 Marines in the picture.
(7) Back in the mid 80’s, Frank was harassed by fellow workers about a small flag that he placed in his work area. Frank wrote a letter to the editor of the “Orlando Sentinel” with his response which was published in the newspaper.
(8) Frank is a member of the Veterans Administration “Million Man Program”. His DNA was taken, tested and results archived for comparison for similar medical ailments to help all humanity.
(9) Frank is an organ donor.
(10) Frank outreaches to other local veterans, drives them to Veteran Service Counselor’s and/or outpatient clinic appointments here in Volusia County, FL so they can realize, and utilize, all of the benefits they are entitled to. 

Civic Activities and Contributions: 

(1) After a new Dunkin Donuts shop opened in our town, Frank noticed that there was no STOP sign at the ‘drive through’ exit which created many near accidents. Frank went to the Debary City Building Department and presented the potential crash problem to them. The City declined to do anything so Frank contacted the Architect, who called the owner, and he had a STOP sign installed that same day. Frank claims that is his STOP sign.
(2) Frank is active at All Souls Catholic Church, Sanford, FL. He is a certified Catechist, Diocese of Orlando, and taught First Holy Communion and Reconciliation preparation to grammar school students. Frank is also an Extra Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion; Minister to the Sick; Mass Coordinator, and Lead Minister at Holy Catholic Mass. On weekends, Frank visits the sick in their home, in Hospital, and at an Assisted Care Nursing Facility. Frank has served the Lord in these capacities for more then 20 years and still does.
(3) Frank will stop along the road and give meal money to any needy person.
(4) Frank is very mechanically inclined (outstanding H.S. shop training) and will stop to assist many a stranded motorist. One time, even though his back was out, Frank changed a pregnant women’s flat tire and got her back on the road.
(5) Another time a woman could not get her car started at a local lunch shop. Frank worked on the cars electric system until the engine started and she was on her way.
(6) When Hurricane Irma hit a fellow Vet (former paratrooper w/bad back) had his wooden fence destroyed. Frank went to his home, assessed the situation, and spent the next 2 week’s removing old fence fragments and installing brand new fence. Jose and Maria were very thankful.
(7) During the local 2018 election Frank drove 2 Vets to the polls so they could vote.
(8) Frank always wears his seat belt and will not drive until everyone is belted in.
(9) Frank does not drink and drive (he gave up drinking in 1969). Frank does not Text and drive. End sample list.

Awards or Honors: 

(1) Aviation High School member of the National Honor Society, 12/19/62. 
(2) At UCF Frank won “1st Place Individual Display” from the Florida Engineering Society w/$50.00,2-28-81;
(3) Certificate of Recognition from the Department of Communication, FTU, for participating in “Persuasive Speech Contest”, 12-5-75;
(4) The Marianna Federal Correctional Institution Project was jury selected to receive a “Citation for Excellence” in the 1986 Exhibition of Architecture for Justice, American Institute of Architects, 5/86;
(5) Frank received Award of Excellence on the Orange County Courthouse Project, 5/95;
(6) Frank received “Letter of Appreciation” from PCL Constructors at Disney Beach Club Villas Project w/Kelly Electric, 3/01;
(7) A Certificate of Appreciation from the UCF Police to Honor Corporal Mario R. Jenkins by Chief Richard Beary and Detective Dale Dennany, 11/18/08;
(8) 2019 Veterans Creative Arts Festival, Orlando VA Medical Center, Frank won “FIRST PLACE” in 3 Event categories; Event 1: Poetry “1 Maine and a Navy Corpsman”; Event 2: Assemblage “Iwo Jima”; Event 3: Metal Work “Taps, Iwo Jima, and Jesus & Mary”.
(9) A Certificate of Appreciation from the Marine Corps League by Frank S. Kish, National Commandant, 7/21/06;
(10) Certificate of Appreciation from the US Army “Freedom Team”, by General George W. Casey, Jr., Army Chief of Staff;
(11) Certificate of Recognition for Cold War Service by Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense, 7/1/11;
(12) Disabled American Veterans Certificate #509149, In Grateful Appreciation, 6/30/69;
(13) Member Certificate #204387553, American Legion, Post 0400, Orlando, FL. End sample list.

A. Civic pursuits: Frank is a registered voter, votes in all elections, and encourages others to vote. He has served as a juror and has never asked to be excused. He obeys the law and pays his taxes. Frank has never been arrested or charged with any crime. Frank defended our nation with his life during a time of war. Frank registered for the draft as a youth when he was required to do so in NYC, 10/22/63, Selective Service System #50 7 45 343. 

B. Business: Frank has worked in the Florida building construction industry for over 40 years designing modem. Code Compliant, electrical systems for commercial buildings, industrial facilities, high rise residential structures, hospitals, hotels, Federal Detention Facilities, tourist attractions, and more. Every single day, people inhabit and utilize these facilities to live in, conduct business, play, and relax. His outstanding electrical designs are an incredible contribution to each person, personally, that uses any of these facilities. 

C. Public Service: Frank volunteered as a part time Police Officer for the City of Winter Springs, 9 months, and as an Auxiliary Police Officer in NYC (17 Precinct) 3 years. After 911, Frank and 20,000 Floridians tested for TSA. TSA only needed 200 screeners at OIA. TSA then weeded out 19,800 applicants and hired only the “best of the best” (as reported in the Orlando Sentinel). Frank was one of the 200 “Best of the Best” and still is. Frank served with the TSA at OIA until they were permanently organized. D. Other pursuits: Frank is a very caring Christian man and volunteers in many, many ministries. He is an excellent engineer and will gladly help anyone in need. He will share his professional experiences, knowledge, skills, mechanical abilities, tools, and the like, with anyone in need or with whoever asks for help. 

The following good works are but a few of the more recent charitable acts that Frank has accomplished for Floridians: 

(a) Recently, the wife of a deceased US Navy WW11 veteran, was still living in her home under the title of “Life Estate”, with the veterans son titled to the real property after her demise. The veterans’ wife wanted the right to sell the home and then move into a more manageable and less expensive Senior Living Facility. She talked with Frank about these concerns and Frank wrote several letters to the out of state stepson. The stepson had great love and respect for his stepmother and gladly relinquished his right to the real property. Frank then filed the required forms and paper work with Seminole County for her. She then sold the home and is now happily residing in the Senior Living Facility. 

(b) A church member was having a personal legal problem and contacted an attorney for help. She met with the attorney and paid $300.00 for the 14 hour meeting. Afterwards, she felt that she still had no resolve to her problem. She asked Frank for help and he wrote 2 letters to the attorney and got her back half of the fee that she paid. She was very happy. 

(c) An 82 year old church member had an auto accident. She was rear ended at a red light on July 18,2019 and Geico Insurance told her that they would only pay $1,271.43 for the damages. She asked Frank if he could help and Frank filed a Small Claims Action in Seminole County Court for her and then she recovered $4,253.23 from Geico Insurance. 

(d) On October 27,2019 a church members’ vehicle was struck by a car backing out of a parking space in a WalMart parking lot. Allstate Insurance Company offered $200.00 for the property damage and attempted to close the case -without payment. She too asked Frank for help and Frank recovered $975.00 from Allstate Insurance for her. She too was very happy for Franks’ help. Please note that with anything that Frank does for people, that it is always done “Free of Charge”, that is Pro Bono Publico, without compensation to him for anything. That is his standard. 

(e) Last, an elderly women had her State Farm Homeowners Insurance Policy canceled after a required Home Inspection revealed that the electric panel was Federal Pacific with Federal Pacific stab-lock circuit breakers (known to not perform properly). She obtained 4 estimates from licensed Florida Electrical Contractors as high as $5,936.00 to change out the FPE Panel. The homeowner could not afford to pay that much as she is retired on Social Security. Frank, a Master Electrician (City of Sanford #131) performed all the work for her at no charge. The actual cost to her for the needed electrical equipment was only $734.01. And, the final electrical inspection by Seminole County Electrical Section passed the first time without any additional work or violations. The homeowner is very happy and feels much safer with the new electrical service.