VII Corps Veterans and Families,
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 11 November 2020. We hope this message finds you well.
This is our 30th Anniversary year. Just three days before Veterans Day 1990 on 8 November, when we received our no notice order to deploy to Saudi Arabia, to our rapid 250 kilometer 89-hour mounted armored combined arms attack as part of the Coalition 24-28 February 1991, that liberated Kuwait, to our six week occupation and humanitarian mission, we were a great team. We fought and won together the largest tank battle in the history of the US Army in southeastern Iraq-northwestern Kuwait. Your courageous and selfless service to our Nation accomplished all that in VII Corps with the greatest skill gained from our training, and your courage, discipline, teamwork, and yes, sacrifice. 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 continue to endure the pain of their loss.
As these years pass, I continue to treasure 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 30 years.
Across America, we honor on this Veterans Day, this special day in America, all those who selflessly served our Nation and what we stand for. We also honor those who serve today, those around the world, many in combat daily, 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, and we honor their Families.
The continuing battle with COVID-19 has caused us, as you know from our recent survey we sent you, to weigh different options about our 30th Reunion. We value your input and response to that survey. Those three options are: 1) execute as planned 25-28 February 2021; 2) postpone until later in spring 2021 late April or early May; and 3) postpone until 2022. We will discuss those this Saturday 14 November taking counsel from your input and let you know.
All the best to each of you and your Families this 2020 Veterans Day.
Fred M. Franks
General, US Army (retired)
Chairman VII Corps DSVA Board of Directors