2022 Freedom Ball Keynote Speaker
Dear Veterans and GVDA Supporters –
We are excited to announce that the 2022 Freedom Ball Keynote Speaker is Commander Frank "Walleye" Weisser, U.S. Navy Retired. He had many impressive assignments throughout this career as an F-18 pilot including combat deployments in the fleet and two assignments to the Blue Angels. Frank was also selected to fly some of the most intense flight scenes in the motion picture Top Gun 2:Maverick.
As an Atlanta native, Frank is excited to have this opportunity to speak to the Freedom Ball attendees and share personal stories of his time flying the F-18 Hornet & Super Hornet.
CDR Frank Weisser, US Navy Retired
Commander Frank J. Weisser is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from North Springs High School in 1996 where he lettered in football and track. He attended the United States Naval Academy, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 2000, and was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.
Frank reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida for aviation indoctrination in October 2000. He completed flight training and received his wings of gold in November 2002 and remained with Training Squadron 7 (VT-7) as an Instructor Pilot in the T-45C as a Selectively Retained Graduate (SERGRAD).
Frank reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 87 (VFA-87), the "War Party," in April 2005 where he deployed aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in August 2005. During this deployment, Frank flew 34 combat missions over Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Frank joined the Blue Angels in September 2007. He served as the Narrator and VIP Pilot in 2008, Opposing Solo pilot in 2009 and as the Lead Solo pilot and Operations Officer in 2010. While assigned to the Blue Angels, he earned a Master's Degree in Systems Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in September 2009.
Frank returned to the fleet as a Department Head for Strike Fighter Squadron 97 (VFA-97), the "Warhawks," at NAS Lemoore, California. While assigned to VFA-97, Frank flew 37 combat missions over the course of two deployments to the Western Pacific/Arabian Gulf aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in support of Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.
Following his Department Head tour, Frank reported to the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany in December 2013. While assigned to the NATO School, Frank was the Director of Mobile Training and Education and oversaw all NATO School training activities throughout the world, while personally conducting training in Ethiopia, Ukraine, Germany and France.
Frank rejoined the Blue Angels in July of 2016 where he served again as the Opposing Solo Pilot and Lead Solo Pilot. Following the completion of the 2017 season, Frank remained in Pensacola to assist the Naval Aviation Enterprise with the Transition from the Legacy F/A-18 to the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet where he oversaw maneuver testing and implementation to ensure a successful first air show season flying the Super Hornet in 2021. During this time, Frank was selected to be the pilot for all extreme low altitude and inverted scenes for the Top Gun 2: Maverick major motion picture film.
Please join us on 12 November 2022 as we honor our Military Veterans and Active-Duty military members. The Georgia Veterans Day Parade, Veterans Festival, and Observance Ceremony will take place at The Battery Atlanta. That evening, we will present our annual black-tie Freedom Ball at the Oceans Ballroom of the Georgia Aquarium.
Kevin L. Miller
Georgia Veterans Day Association, Inc.