VII Corps Veterans and Families Veterans Day 2022,
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 2022.
This is our 32nd Anniversary year. Just three days before Veterans Day 1990, on 8 November, we received our no notice order to deploy to Saudi Arabia to execute what would be a totally new mission against a new enemy on different terrain and organized differently than our Cold War VII Corps with US Army units from the USA and British units from the UK and Germany. All that plus we were to leave our Families in our forward deployed location in Germany. From that no notice start requiring enormous initiative and adaptation by individuals, units, and Families in our new Corps, 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, extraordinary initiative, 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 111 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.
Yes, across America, we honor on this Veterans Day 2022, 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 32 years.
All the best to each of you and your Families this 2022 Veterans Day. Please save the date for our 32d VII Corps DSVA Reunion 23-26 February 2023 in Washington DC.
Fred M. Franks
General, US Army (retired)
Chairman VII Corps DSVA Board of Directors