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