Time cannot dim the cherished thoughts
of loved ones who have gone,
Nor age those brave and gallant souls
whose memories linger on;
They live enshrined within our hearts, forever young and gay,
Their dreams are ours to cherish still,
Their hopes will light our way.
These words were written by Mildred Reed, wife and mother, in concluding her personal memoirs, written at the age of 80, for the benefit of her grandchildren.
Love and Sacrifice brings Mildred Reed's story to life. From the small prairie town of Norton, Kansas at the turn of the 20th century to the battlefields of World War II Europe. Mildred collected her thoughts, letters and photographs from every stop along the way of a live spent traveling the country and world in military service.
Her husband, Ollie Reed, joined the Kansas National Guard on the campus of the Kansas State Agricultural College in 1916 as America's entry into the war in Europe was looking inevitable. He quickly rose through the ranks with tours in post-war Germany; the Infantry School at Fort Benning; professor of Military Science at Dexel in Philadelphia and Wentworth Military Academy in Lexingon, MO; the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth; and the Philippines on the eve of the Japanese invasion.
Ollie Reed, Jr., or Mildred's "Buddy," was born in 1919 into a family on the move. His father's assignment to Wentworth provided enough time for Buddy to graduate high school and fulfill his father's dream in his acceptance to West Point. The day after his graduation in 1942, he married his love whom he met while at the academy and, together, they embarked on a new life, just as his parents has years before.
But, World War II interrupted such dreams, and father and so were called into service overseas. Colonel Ollie W. Reed was assigned command of the 175th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division in Normandy, while First Lieutenant Bud Reed sailed across the Atlantic as a platoon leader with the 363rd Infantry Regiment, 91st Division.
Within three weeks of one another, the two men fell in combat. Back home, word of their deaths reached Mildred in Manhattan, Kansas where she was living with her daughter-in-law and six-month-old grandson, on the same day, only hours apart.
Father and son are buried alongside one another in the Normandy American Cemetery.
"Love and Sacrifice is an essential story in the history of World War Two and the entire era. Indeed, this is a story from the heart of America of a proud Kansas family. The sacrifices the Reed family made for their country and for freedom are still being made today by our military families and the message of hope arising from adversity rings as true today as it did then." - U.S. Senator Robert Dole