Desert Storm VII Corps Veterans and your Families,
On Memorial Day, Monday 29 May 2023, this special day across America, at our overseas American Cemeteries and wherever our military is currently serving, we honor and remember our men and women who died in military service to our Nation.
On this most special and sacred day, in this our 32d Anniversary year of our VII Corps Victory in Desert Storm that as part of the Coalition that liberated Kuwait, 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 President Lincoln’s words, “gave that last full measure of devotion” and remember their Gold Star Families.
We said at the end of Desert Storm over 32 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.
This year at our 32d Anniversary Reunion (held 23-26 February 2023 in Arlington, VA after the 30th and 31st reunions held virtually due to COVID) of our victory in 1991, faithful to that promise at the Old Post Chapel next to Arlington National Cemetery, Chaplain COL (Ret) Dave O’Connell, conducted a military Memorial Service, where our past Association President MG (Ret) John Altenburg called out each of the names of our Fallen one by one. One of our former commanders gives commander remarks as is right at these ceremonies. This year LTG Donna Martin, a Wartime LT in VII Corps 14th MP Brigade, and now Inspector General of the US Army, gave informative, inspiring, and moving remarks.
May we all pause in our own way this Memorial Day 2023 in deep remembrance to honor and remember our own 111 Fallen and all those who gave it all in military service–and their Gold Star Families who bear the pain of their loss.
We deeply treasure our service with each of you as well as your Families. We are planning our 33rd Reunion the weekend of 15-18 February 2024 in Washington DC at the Crystal Gateway Marriott and Ft. Myer, VA Old Post Chapel. Blessings this Memorial Day to all of you to stay well and remain in contact with each other and reach out to Families of our Fallen as that is possible for you.
Fred M. Franks, Jr.
Gen, US Army (ret)
Chairman VII Corps DSVA Board