President John F. Kennedy had a special relationship with the United States Army Special Forces. That relationship was sealed on Oct. 12, 1961, when the President visited Fort Bragg, N.C., to review the troops. At the now-historic meeting between Kennedy and then-Brig. Gen. William Yarborough, Kennedy embraced the iconic Green Beret.
That relationship was celebrated with the dedication of the Kennedy-Yarborough statue at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg.
The statue was created and paid for by Ross Perot, a long-time supporter of special operations. Perot is responsible for a number of statues on Fort Bragg, including the Bull Simons statue on the JFK Plaza and the Dick Meadows statue at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command headquarters.
These two memorials, both cast in bronze, preserve the memory of two Special Forces trailblazers. The Simons statue was dedicated in 1999. Simons served as a company commander of the 6th Ranger Battalion in the Pacific during World War II.