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Ike, JFK & the 101st Airborne…

When I joined the Army in 1959 at 17, I took Basic and AIT (radio school) in Georgia. I also volunteered for the Airborne.  It was in peacetime, so few passed the rigid testing and training. Out of some 1500 volunteers, only 36 of us graduated from Jump School at Fort Campbell, KY that February 1960.

JFK.PT109-001Dwight David Eisenhower (Ike) was President when I went in and John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) when I was honorably discharged in 1961. During World War-II, Ike was a 5-star general and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe.

Jack Kennedy was a Lt. JG and commander of PT-109 in the Pacific. Kennedy survived the war with the Navy’s highest honor, the Navy Cross and a Purple Heart for his extraordinary heroism, and went on to become a Congressman, Senator and President.

Jack was just a couple of years older than my young parents. The first president born in the 20th century.