On behalf of my wife Denise, our Association President Mark Rado, and our Board of Directors it is with deep regret that I report to you the sad news of the passing of GEN (Retired) Ron Griffith on 18 July 2018. A proven combat leader in two wars, Ron’s great leadership in VII Corps during Operations Desert Shield/Storm as IRON 6 commanding Old Ironsides 1st AD, was crucial to our success in liberating Kuwait with our coalition partners.
Ron was a greatly valued friend of us all and a past President of our VII Corps DSVA. We will all miss him.
Visitation is scheduled for Friday, 27 Jul 18 at 1800 at the Damaine Funeral Home, 520 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, and funeral service is scheduled for Saturday, 28 Jul 18 at 1000 at the Ft. Myer Memorial Chapel, 101 McNair Road, Ft. Myer, VA 22211. In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to the National Museum of the United States Army, online at Armyhistory.org, or mailed to the Army Historical Foundation, 2425 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201.
I ask you to keep Ron’s wife Hurdis and his Family in your thoughts and prayers.
GEN, US Army (Retired)
VII Corps DSVA
Desert Storm VII Corps Veterans and your Families,
This May 2018 as we approach Memorial Day, that has become a sacred 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.
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.” As you know, each year at our annual Reunion we honor and remember our own Fallen at a special Memorial Service. This 27th Anniversary of our victory in 1991 on 24 February 2018 in Ft. Hood Texas, at the Soldier Memorial Chapel there, 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 called out 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) Paul (Butch) Funk wartime commander of 3D Armored Division, SPEARHEAD, gave moving and inspiring remarks.
That morning of 24 February 2018 at Ft. Hood we planted in a ceremony a tree with a plaque as an everlasting Memorial to remember and honor our own Fallen. That oak tree now stands in the 1st Cavalry Division Memorial area among memorial trees and other memorials dedicated to fallen from Desert Storm and this ongoing war. Our oak tree is there honoring all our Fallen to include members of the 1st CAV, one of our Divisions in VII Corps in 1991.
We said at the end of Desert Storm over 27 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. For all of us, we also remember those of our ranks who have died since we served together on Desert Storm. May we all pause in our own way this Memorial Day 2018 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 28th anniversary Reunion the weekend of 22-24 February 2019 as we return to Ft. Hood and Killeen, Texas.
Fred M. Franks, Jr.
Gen, US Army (ret)
Chairman VII Corps DSVA
Wanted to tell you the sad news of General Butch Saint’s passing this past Sunday.
General Saint was our USAREUR Commander during our alert then deployment from Germany and there for our return then Honors Ceremony in Stuttgart. He did all he could to support us from Germany when deployed as well as saw to it our Families received the maximum support in VII Corps Base while we were deployed.
For me personally, he was a personal and professional friend.
We send his Family our sympathies and have them in our thoughts and prayers in this time of loss.
The Corps of Cadets honored the service of retired Gen. Fred Franks Nov. 1 at Washington Hall. After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in 1959, Franks served for 35 and a half years and later became the Chair and visiting scholar of the Simon Center for Professional Military Ethic. On the first of November, Franks’ 80th birthday, his career came full circle as he bid a Soldier’s farewell to the Corps.
“Gen. Fred Franks has done more to advance the Army profession than anyone I know,” Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr. said during Franks’ farewell dinner. “His drive, his commitment to excellence, and his passion for our Army has never faltered… He is, above all, a Soldier.”
My wife Denise and I and on behalf of our President Col (ret) Mark Rado and our newly elected VII Corps Desert Storm Association Board wish our VII Corps Desert Storm Veterans and Families all the very best this Veterans Day 2016 and every day. This continues to be a special year as you know. We commemorate 25 years from our rapid 250 kilometer 89-hour attack as part of the Coalition 24-28 February 1991 operation that liberated Kuwait. We did all that as a team. We commemorated this special year with over 300 of you at our 25th Reunion in February in Washington DC. By reading each name at our Memorial Service we were able to remember and honor those of our ranks who in Lincoln’s words ‘gave that last full measure of devotion’ and their Families. This year as a special honor we laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington. Our Reunion Dinner followed with an inspiring talk by the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and VII Corps Veteran, General (ret) Marty Dempsey.
Thank you for your courageous and selfless service to our Nation in accomplishing all we did together in VII Corps with great skill from our training, 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, as do this post 9/11 generation who serve today with great skill, selflessness, and sacrifice, in current operations worldwide, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. I value our wartime service with all of you and remain honored to have been your commander just as Denise values the invaluable Family contributions at home. We both continue to treasure the friendships over these now more than 25 years.
Our Board decided to move this year’s Reunion from Washington DC to Houston, Texas to be closer for more of our members. Details are listed on our VII Corps DSVA website to include an opportunity to sign up to attend. Denise and I hope to see you at our 26th Reunion February 26, 2017.
All the very best to each of you and your Families this 2016 Veterans Day.
Fred M. Franks
General, US Army (retired)
Chairman VII Corps DSVA Board
We have been asked to share some information regarding a study being conducted by the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, WI:
“Dear Gulf War Veteran,
“We would like to tell you about the research being done at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in conjunction with The University of Wisconsin – Madison and invite you to participate. This research is aimed at understanding brain function of pain and the impact of weight-training exercise in Persian Gulf Veterans who served during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm and who experience chronic muscle pain. This work is supported by the Department of Veteran Affairs.”
As we approach the sacred day of Memorial Day in America where we honor and remember our men and women who died in military service, Denise and I, on behalf of our newly elected Association President Mark Rado and our new VII Corps Desert Storm Veterans Association Board, are reaching out to you and your Families to thank you for your own service and your service in VII Corps during Desert Storm.
To remember our own fallen this 25th Anniversary year of our victory in 1991, on 27 February at our VII Corps Reunion Chaplain Col (ret) Wayne Lehrer conducted a military Memorial Service, as he has done each year, where our past Association President MG (ret) John Altenburg read each of the 111 names of our VII Corps Desert Storm Soldiers who in Lincoln’s words, “gave that last full measure of devotion.” One of our former commanders, this year LTG Karen Dyson, gave commander remarks as is appropriate at these ceremonies.
This year in special commemoration following our Memorial Service, CSM (ret) Harold Shrewsberry, Association Vice President and I, accompanied by former division and major unit commanders and CSM, laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery to honor and remember our 111 Fallen. We said at the end of Desert Storm 25 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 2016 in deep remembrance to honor and remember those Soldiers who gave it all in military service–and their Families. We value our service with each of you and look forward to seeing many of you at our Reunion the weekend of 24-26 February 2017 in Houston, TX.
Gen, US Army (retired)
Chairman, VII Corps DSVA Board
(Picture Above) VII Corps DSVA new Board of Directors installed on 23 April 2016 in Springfield, VA at a called Board meeting.
SPRINFIELD, VA: On Saturday 23 April 2016 the VII Corps Desert Storm Veterans Association installed new members to their Board of Directors at a called Board Meeting. New officers were voted on at the 27 February 2016 called general membership meeting in Arlington, VA.
New officers installed were: Colonel Mark Rado – President, Stan Lenox III – Vice President, CSM(R) Violet McNeirney – Secretary, CSM John McNeirney – Treasurer, MG(R) John Altenburg – Legal Counsel, COL (Chaplain) Wayne Lehrer – Chaplain, BG(R) Ed Dyer – Scholarship Committee Chair, CSM(R) Harold Shrewsberry – Golf Tournament Chair, COL(R) Art Hoptop – Historian. General Fred Franks, USA-Ret will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board.
General Fred Franks, USA-Ret – Chairman of the Board of Directors thanked the outgoing Board members for their distinguished service and welcomed the new Board Members.
Written statement will be forthcoming from the new President and Chairman of the Board of Directors.
To the Members of VII Corps Desert Storm Veterans Association:
Your able leader and my respected friend, General Franks, wrote me about your upcoming 25th reunion, and I am very happy to have the opportunity to send greetings to all gathered for this milestone occasion.
The decision to commit our sons and daughters to battle is never easy for a President. But after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, we had no choice but to take a stand against this act of aggression. I had full confidence in the ability of our military to complete our mission, and VII Corps exceeded my expectations -no surprise there. You maintained a legacy of operational excellence, and the role you played in achieving our objective was immeasurable.
Both Barbara and I have a special place in our hearts for the military members and families who served during Operation Desert Storm. Also close to our hearts are memories of heroes who never came home, and I join you in paying special tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.
This Navy man and former Commander-in-Chief salutes every veteran in attendance and thanks you for your service to our country. I hope that this reunion is an occasion marked by pride in your selfless contribution to a successful mission. Certainly, my pride in each one of you knows no bounds.
With respect and lasting gratitude,
George H.W. Bush
The VII Corps Desert Storm Veterans Association is a tax exempt organization under 501(c)(19) formed for members of VII Corps who served in Desert Storm, including military, civilian, and family members.