Fairhope Veteran of the Year
Frank M. Connell
On October 22, 2018 the Fairhope City Council recognized Lieutenant Colonel Frank Connell (U. S. Army Retired) as Fairhope’s Veteran Of The Year. LTC Connell graduated from Fairhope High School in 1954 followed by his Business Administration degree from the University of Alabama in 1958.
In January of 1959 Frank began his active duty military career that continued for over 20 consecutive years with an additional 4 years in the US Naval Reserve while in high school and college. During his active duty time, he served two complete tours in Viet Nam, and two 3 year tours in Germany, where he met and married his wife of 57 years, Elvira. Also, while in Germany he earned a Masters of Commerce Degree in Economics from The University of Richmond. Additionally Frank served two short tours in Thailand, was an instructor of logistics force structure and operations at the Quartermaster School in Ft. Lee VA, and later at the Army Logistics Management Center. His final active duty assignment was developing future logistics force structure in the Concepts Analysis Agency (CAA) in support of the Pentagon’ s Director of Logistics.
Frank’s military decorations include: the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal (2 awards), Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal (2 awards), Army Commendation Medal (2 awards), Vietnamese Honor Medal (!st Class), Meritorious Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 5 campaign stars, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal and 4 overseas bars.
Following his active duty service, Frank worked an additional 20 years for a defense contractor in the National Capital Region before returning to Fairhope for a well-deserved retirement. Frank has not slowed down one step in retirement and has never stopped serving. He is a charter member of the Baldwin County Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America where he is currently the 1st Vice President and previously the treasurer. Frank currently serves with the US Armed Forces Honor Guard, is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5660, and the American Legion Post 199. If these service projects were not enough to stay busy he is the Cantor for Saturday night services at St John the Baptist Catholic Church where he has been a member and lector since 1998. Frank has also been a member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church’s choir since 2011