Our Soldiers do not die until they are forgotten, may we as a nation, never forget them.
Frank Robert Gross was born August 18, 1985 in Virginia Beach, VA. He grew up in VA and NC and excelled at baseball and fishing. His pitching skills broke numerous records at his high school, Indian Rocks Christian School, in Largo, FL. He attended Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL on a baseball scholarship and transferred to Southeastern University, Lakeland, FL. Frank graduated from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fl with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Digital Art and Design and a Master’s Degree in Business at age 24 in December 2009. He earned perfect attendance during his three year academic career.
July 2010, Frank graduated from Basic Combat Training in Ft. Benning , GA , Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 378th Infantry Regiment, earning Expert Marksman Award, for his score of 39 out of 40 on the M16A2 Rifle Qualification Range. He attended AIT at Ft. Gordon, GA, Bravo Company, 369th Signal Battalion, 15th Regimental Signal Brigade, earning “distinguished honor graduate” Class 25C, 071-10. Frank returned to Ft. Benning and graduated from Airborne School and then entered RASP. He was stationed at Ft. Hood, TX, where he volunteered for Charlie Troop, 2nd Squadron, 38th CAV Regiment, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, Long Range Surveillance, Phantom Trackers. One year after graduating from Basic Combat Training, Frank was deployed to FOB Spin Boldac on the southeastern border of Afghanistan.
The photo is of Frank taken at his favorite surf spot, Rin Con, Puerto Rico, he altered it to include the black birds, which seemed to be a theme that he often used in his artwork. It is solemnly prophetic with his hands raised to heaven. Who would have known that a few months later he would become a resident of heaven. This piece has been displayed at the state capitol in an exhibit by Gold Star families including works of the fallen.
Cpl. Frank R. Gross was 25 years old when he died, July 16, 2011. He was a gunner conducting a combat vehicle recovery mission near Kazeh Kalay, Afghanistan, when the MAT-V he was in struck an improvised explosive device, Frank died instantly.
August 19, 2011, Frank was buried in “Section 60” Arlington National Cemetery, on what was his 26th birthday. He is Oldsmar, Florida’s only fallen hero.
In honor of Frank, his family has opened a restaurant in Tarpon Springs, Fl. It is called Frankie’s Patriot BBQ and it is located on 2364 Keystone Road in Tarpon Springs, Fl.