The average age of the American soldiers who jumped into France or landed at Normandy was twenty-two. That includes everyone including the men running the show. Plenty of those who fought were as young as eighteen.
When good confronted evil, when the flame of freedom flickered, the men sent to make it right were young. They had their entire lives in front of them, but first they had to save the world.
By midnight, the Americans would lose 2,500 KIA, 3,200 WIA, 2,000 MIA, and 26 POW. Many of them were paratroopers who had jumped into the darkness over France slightly after midnight.