VII Corps Veterans and Families Veterans Day 2021,
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 2021.
This is our 31st Anniversary year. Just three days before Veterans Day 1990, on 8 November, we received our no notice order to deploy to Saudi Arabia. From that no notice start to our historic and rapid 250 kilometer 89-hour mounted armored combined arms attack as part of the Coalition 24-28 February 1991, that liberated Kuwait, to our over six-week occupation and humanitarian mission, we were a great team and the largest armored corps ever fielded by the US Army in combat.
We fought and won together the largest tank battle in the history of the US Army in southeastern Iraq-northwestern Kuwait as documented by the US Army War College. Your courageous and selfless service to our Nation accomplished all that in VII Corps with the greatest combat skill gained from our intense battle focused training, and then with your courage, discipline, teamwork, will to win, and yes, sacrifice in execution.
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. All of you made a difference when it counted.
We also honor and remember, as we do at our annual Reunion Memorial Service, when we call each individual name, the sacrifice of those of VII Corps who in President Lincoln’s words, ‘gave that last full measure of devotion’ and their Families who continue to endure the pain of their loss.
This year our Nation ended our military commitment to Afghanistan. Among our own VII Corps Desert Storm Veterans, we might have Afghanistan War Veterans. I wanted to share with you this Veterans Day 2021 that amidst all that is being shown, written, and said about it all, that I strongly and firmly believe all those who served in Afghanistan have earned 20 years of freedom for all of us in America from terrorist attacks launched from Afghanistan. Our Afghanistan Veterans, many more than once and from all our Armed Services, did that with great courage, ability to adapt, selfless sacrifice, and intense devotion to each other, qualities in battle we all recognize. All of us in America can be forever grateful to them and to their families and to those who gave that last full measure in that mission and to their Gold Star Families for that accomplishment. I’d ask us all as VII Corps Desert Storm Veterans, if we know any Afghanistan Veterans or Families or Gold Star Families, that we reach out to them and tell them Thank You for those 20 years and their own service and sacrifice in accomplishing that.
Yes, across America, we honor on this Veterans Day 2021, 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 still 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 service beyond, and we honor their Families.
As these years have passed, I continue to treasure our wartime service together in VII Corps even more strongly 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 31 years.
All the best to each of you and your Families this 2021 Veterans Day. Please save the date for our 31st VII Corps DSVA Reunion 24-27 February 2022 in Washington DC.
Fred M. Franks
General, US Army (retired)
Chairman VII Corps DSVA Board of Directors