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Robert Kennedy

“Every American boy should be made to play football and box and participate in all kinds of athletics, and above all the American should be taught discipline and decent living. Then he should be given a year of the toughest kind of military training, not the kind that we know, but the kind I gave my Rangers.

God, but I wish I had those boys now; we would tear the Germans stringy. I hear of those boys now and then and although they are almost all gone now, they have done unbelievable things and are spoken of almost in a tone of reverence by officers and men alike who have fought with them.

They were men.”

__________

The closing of Major Randolph Millholland’s letter to his daughter, Ginnie Schry, on December 22, 1944. Millholland trained the 29th Rangers for the D-Day invasion, leading them in a five-week course in amphibious landing, cliff scaling, and hand-to-hand combat. The group was ultimately disbanded and never saw combat as a unit, though Millholland’s men were later deployed separately throughout Europe.

I found this excerpt in chapter four of John Robert Slaughter’s book Omaha Beach and Beyond. The picture is of Bobby Kennedy, taken by Jacques Lowe, and available at 1stDibs.

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