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Colonel Ollie W. Reed
A son of the Kansas prairie, Ollie Reed was Huckleberry Finn with his pants rolled up and no shoes on his feet. It was a good life in the wide-open spaces of northwestern Kansas.
But, Ollie had bigger dreams. Graduating high school in 1915, he turned down an appointment to West Point to remain close to his sweetheart, Mildred Boddy. Instead, Ollie opted to study agriculture at Kansas State University.
“I am giving up my appointment to West Point. I want you to be my wife, and I wouldn’t ask you to live the life an army woman has to. She never has a settled home, or garden, or any of the things a woman likes. I’m changing my plans. I will go to Agriculture College and learn about stock. We’ll go to South America and raise fancy cattle,” Ollie wrote.
War was raging in Europe and Ollie, like so many other young men on American college campuses, joined the reserves. A summer along the Texas-Mexico border guarding against Pancho Villa with the Kansas National Guard and acceptance into the First Officers' Training Camp at Fort Riley set into a motion a life of service and dedication.
Ollie and Mildred moved from assignment to assignment around the globe, raising two sons, one of whom would follow in his father's footsteps, fulfilling a dream.
As plans were underway for the Normandy invasion, Colonel Reed was called to England. As American troops fought their way through the hedgerows of Normandy, Ollie was assigned command of the 175th Infantry Regiment. In a letter to Mildred from France, Ollie addressed his misgivings: "This is my third day in command. I have learned what real prayer is – prayer for my men and myself. Join me – please."
Col. Ollie W. Reed
Dennis Whitehead, Producer / MMImedia / 1410 N. Nelson Street / Arlington, VA 22201 / 703-524-4040 / firstname.lastname@example.org