About Wade Franks

Wade Franks is a decorated Vietnam Veteran who travels the country as an inspirational speaker and evangelist. Wade resides with his wife of 40 years, Gail, in Huntsville, Alabama, and is father of one daughter and grandfather to three grandhcildren.

As a soldier in Vietnam for eighteen months, from January 1969 to September 1970, Wade served primarily in the A Shau Valley, with the 2nd 501st 101st Airborne Division infantry unit and later with the 47th Infantry Platoon Scout Dog (47th IPSD). Wade has been awarded two Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in battle and three Bronze Stars as well as the Air Medal and various other campaign medals.

While serving in combat in the A Shau Valley, Wade fought in the battle known as "Hamburger Hill." This battle would later be known as one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War. In the battle he saw many of his friends killed or wounded before he incurred one of the wounds for which he received a Purple Heart. Later while serving with the Scout Dog Platoon, Wade's dog, a German Shepherd trained to walk Point with Wade and seek out the enemy while on patrol, was credited with saving the lives of two squads of American soldiers before being killed in an ambush.

Like many Vietnam Veterans, Wade returned home to find a country in turmoil, and a life filled with stresses with which he was not prepared to cope. For the next four years he would hitchhike around the United States living in Salvation Army shelters, flop houses and even sleeping on the road side and under highway bridges-all while addicted to drugs and alcohol.

On a return trip to his hometown of Huntsville, Alabama, shoeless and penniless and having been high on drugs or intoxicated for almost four years, Wade was reunited with the girl he loved from high school. Later in 1974 he and Gail would be married and not long after their marriage they would give their lives to Jesus Christ and begin the Journey that would lead to a long-awaited healing and ministry of sharing the gospel.

In 1998 after meeting Dave Roever and hearing of his ministry, Wade was given the opportunity to travel back to Vietnam as a part of Dave Roever's Journey back team. Wade has been involved in the Mission Vietnam Ministry for the past 16 years. Wade has made over 30 trips to Vietnam and is Vice Chairman for Mission Vietnam.

Wade's story is one of survival and hope through faith in Jesus Christ. In light of the past events and trauma of Wade's life, his mission is to make his life count in honor of his fallen friends who never made it home and to devote his life to the work of sharing the hope and healing found in Jesus Christ.

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