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ChrisLeonard

2017 Veterans Day Message from General Franks, USA – Ret.

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On behalf of our VII Corps Desert Storm Association Board and the President of our Association, COL (RET) Mark Rado, my wife Denise and I want to wish all our VII Corps Desert Storm Veterans and your Families all the very best this Veterans Day 2017 and every day. We commemorate 27 years from 8 November 1990 when we received a no notice order to deploy to Saudia Arabia, then our rapid 250 kilometers 89 hour attack as part of the Coalition 24-28 February 1991, that liberated Kuwait. We did all that as a team. Thank you for your courageous and selfless service to our Nation in accomplishing all that in VII Corps with the greatest skill gained from our training, and your courage, discipline, teamwork, and yes, sacrifice, during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Our grateful appreciation as well to our Families who served with their own brand of courage, those in the USA, UK, and those staying in already forward deployed locations in Germany. You all made a difference when it counted. We also honor and remember, as we do at our annual Reunion Memorial Service by individual name each year, the sacrifice of those of VII Corps who in Lincoln’s words, ‘gave that last full measure of devotion’ and their Families who endure the pain of their loss. I value our wartime service together with all of you and remain honored to have been your commander as Denise values the invaluable Family contributions at home. We both continue to treasure the friendships over these 27 years.

We honor on this Veterans Day, this special day in America, now in this special commemorative month, all those who selflessly served our Nation and what we stand for. We also honor those who serve today, those around the world, many daily in combat, who stand between the evil out there and all the rest of us, just as all of you did with your own service in VII Corps during Desert Storm and beyond, many in this current war.

We will have our 27th Annual Reunion this year at Ft. Hood, Texas, continuing now locating our Reunion around our Nation. Most scheduled activities to include visits with Soldiers serving today and equipment, lunch in a Soldier dining hall, our annual Memorial Service honoring our Fallen and their Families, and our Reunion Dinner are on Saturday 24 February 2017. Details are listed on our VII Corps DSVA website to include an opportunity to sign up to attend. We hope to see you at our 27th Reunion.

JAYHAWK!

General Fred Franks (signature)

Fred M. Franks
General, US Army (retired)
Chairman, VII Corps DSVA Board of Directors

A Memorial Day Message from General Fred Franks, USA – Ret.

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Desert Storm VII Corps Veterans and your Families,

As we approach the sacred day of Memorial Day in America when we honor and remember our men and women who died in military service, Denise and I, on behalf of our Association President Mark Rado and our VII Corps Desert Storm Veterans Association Board, want to thank you and your Families for your own service and our service together in VII Corps during Desert Storm.

Together with all of you we honor and remember this Memorial Day and every day our own Fallen, those 111 of our VII Corps Desert Storm Soldiers who in Lincoln’s words, “gave that last full measure of devotion.” As you know, each year at our annual Reunion we honor and remember our own Fallen at a special Memorial Service. This 26th anniversary year of our victory in 1991 on 25 February 2017 in Houston, Texas, Chaplain Col (ret) Wayne Lehrer, assisted by Col (ret) Dave O’Connell, conducted a military Memorial Service, as he has done each year, where our past Association President MG (ret) John Altenburg read each of their names one by one. One of our former commanders gives commander remarks as is appropriate at these ceremonies. This year LTG (ret) Don Holder, war time commander of 2d ACR, gave moving and inspiring remarks that were posted on our website.

We said at the end of Desert Storm over 26 years ago that “we will never forget” and we have not forgotten our VII Corps comrades nor as a Nation all those who have fallen in military service. May we all pause in our own way this Memorial Day 2017 in deep remembrance to honor and remember all those who gave it all in military service–and their Families who bear the pain of their loss. We value our service with each of you and look forward to seeing many of you at our 27th anniversary Reunion the weekend of 23-25 February 2018 as we return to Texas, this time central Texas.

JAYHAWK

General Fred Franks (signature)

Fred M. Franks, Jr.
Gen, US Army (ret)
Chairman VII Corps DSVA

12 May 2017: Military Spouse Day

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Tomorrow, on Friday 12 May 2017, the Army will celebrate Military Spouses Day as a part of the annual observance of National Military Appreciation Month.

During Desert Shield/Storm, the spouses of our soldiers stayed in Germany, committed to our mission, were part of the fabric our TEAM, and played an integral role in the success of VII Corps. The organization of spouses during our deployment became the precursor to today’s doctrinal Family Readiness Groups.

General Franks has asked us all to take time on Military Spouses Day to remember the particular role that the spouses of VII Corps soldiers played in the eventual success of our campaign in the desert 26 years ago.

JAYHAWK!

For more information on Military Spouses Day:

https://www.army.mil/standto/archive_2017-05-11/

National Desert Storm War Memorial letter writing campaign

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National Desert Storm War Memorial (logo)Do you think that Desert Storm should have its own memorial in our nation’s capital alongside the WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and Korea memorials?

Such a memorial is in the works and you can help by writing a letter to ensure that the memorial is built in the optimal location.

Background

The VII Corps Desert Storm Veterans Association Board, including General Fred Franks, has been working closely with our friends at the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association. This group is working tirelessly through the approval and funding efforts necessary for a Desert Storm Memorial to be built in Washington, D.C.

The Memorial has been authorized by Congress by way of enabling legislation that was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2014. Additionally, President Donald Trump recently signed into law a resolution permitting the Memorial to be built in a “Prominent Area I Location” just like the existing memorials mentioned above.

The Next Step is Crucial

The list of possible locations has been narrowed from 100 down to two:

  • In Washington, D.C. at 23rd and Constitution – directly across from the US Institute of Peace and near the Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Memorials (preferred)
  • Across the river in Arlington, D.C., adjacent to the Memorial Traffic Circle
National Desert Storm War Memorial site options
The two site options: The preferred site is outlined in white dashes in the Northeast portion of the photo

The National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission (NCMAC) is holding a hearing on 16 May 2017 to commence the final phase of the site selection process.

The VII Corps DSVA Board agrees with the National Desert Storm Memorial Association that the first option is, by far, the preferred location for our memorial.

“We have to be on the D.C. side of the Potomac River at 23rd and Constitution.”
General Fred Franks
VII Corps Commander during Desert Shield/Storm

The Letter Writing Campaign

The NCMAC is accepting letters of support for the 23rd & Constitution location from now until 2 May 2017. You can join Veterans of Desert Storm, military organizations, concerned citizens, as well as members of President Bush’s Cabinet in 1990-91 by adding your letter of support.

Instructions

  • Write a letter of support in your own words using the talking points and linked documents below.
  • Send the letter as an attachment (Word Document, PDF, scanned document) to glenn_demarr@nps.gov. Note that there is a distinction between an attachment and the body of an email. The letter must be an attachment to be considered a letter of support.
  • Share this page with fellow veterans and supporters of the VII Desert Storm Veterans Association.

Talking Points

  • The 23rd & Constitution location is near the National Mall and other popular D.C. attractions.
  • The less-preferred location in Arlington is also the future location of memorials for 21st Century conflicts Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. We feel that it is more appropriate for the Desert Storm Memorial to be built near the sites memorializing other 20th Century conflicts.
  • We feel that the proximity of the 23rd & Constitution location to the Vietnam Memorials is especially appropriate. General Franks and many other Desert Storm commanders also served in the Vietnam War.

For more details, please see the following documents:

MEMORIAL OVERVIEW FOR NCMAC HEARING

NCMAC LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN SAMPLE LETTER AND GUIDELINES