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Excerpts From the Graduation Speech
To Parachute Training Facility Class
Of Fort Benning, GA, April, 1998
By  0. B. Hill

You can be sure that the whole country is proud of what you have accomplished here at Ft. Benning. You have proven to be stronger, more determined and more dedicated than the average soldier. ...


You know that now you can wear the wings of a qualified jumper. You are a paratrooper. One of America's finest. ..


Troopers are a special breed. They have a special spring in their step. They walk more erect. They take more pride in their uniform....


You are all better educated than we were back in the early forties. You are supplied with equipment that is superior to any in the world. You are in better physical condition. You share the same spirit, but you have many more things to your advantage. ... You are the finest soldiers of today and we are very proud of you. ...


After leaving Benning, you will learn yet another part of life in the airborne. There is a special bond between you and troopers of other countries. In many cases, this bond feels stronger than family ties. ... This bond will remain with you throughout life. I can assure you that all veterans in this group today feel a special bond with our visiting British paratroopers. ... It is always good to get together with airborne people.


It is now my pleasure to welcome you into the world of the airborne soldier ... From all who have gone this way before, I wish each of you,  "Best airborne wishes and soft landings always."

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