A Hero!!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by royinidaho, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Messages:
    8,853
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    A genuine American Hero – "Shifty" – died January 17, 2011. Please do me a favor and pass this on so that untold thousands of American citizens can read the story of one citizen soldier … and a genuine American hero.

    Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry Division. If you've read Band of Brothers or seen it on HBO or the History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.

    I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn't know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the "Screaming Eagle," the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat.

    Making conversation, I asked him if he d been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the 101st.

    I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served, and how many jumps he made. Quietly and humbly, he said "Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so, and was in until sometime in 1945 ... at which point my heart skipped.

    At that point, again, very humbly, he said "I made the five training jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy … do you know where Normandy is?" At this point my heart stopped. I told him "yes, I know exactly where Normandy is, and I know what D-Day was."

    He then said "I also made a second jump into Holland, into Arnhem." I was standing with a genuine war hero.

    And then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of D-Day. I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France and he said "Yes ... and it's real sad because, these days, so few of the guys are left, and those that are, lots of them can't make the trip." My heart was in my throat. I didn't know what to say.

    I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in Coach while I was in First Class.

    I sent the flight attendant back to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I'd take his in Coach.

    He said "No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still some who remember what we did and who still care is enough to make an old man very happy." As he spoke, his eyes were tearing … and mine are brimming up now as I remember that moment.

    Shifty lost his fight with cancer on Jan. l7. There was no parade. No big event in the Staples Center. No wall-to-wall back-to-back 24/7 news coverage. No weeping fans on television. And that's not right!

    Let's give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet way.

    Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the veterans.

    Rest in peace, Shifty … and thank you for your courage and humility in service to our country.

    Chuck Yeager, Maj. Gen. [ret.]
     
  2. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,380
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    God what a story. I love meating these guys. I never have considered what I have endured to be even close to the level of what they did.

    May I meet him in the halls of Valhalla
     

  3. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,651
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Just bumping this up cause more need to read it. It is so sad to watch the last of America's greatest generation leave us. Thanks for posting that Roy.
     
  4. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,256
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Not to add to a depressing post, but Major Dick Winters died about a month ago as well. I almost hate watching Band of Brothers now, as most of the guys they interviewed in the first part of each segment have passed on. Major Dick Winters, Shifty Powers, Bull Randleman, Lt. Ronald Spiers and several others they interviewed are all gone now.

    RIP, and Currahee to all of them.

    Kevin Thomas
    Co. C, 1/506th
    101st ABN DIV
    '77-'81
     
  5. texan79

    texan79 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    353
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    ....One for the Airborne Ranger in the sky.

    RLTW
     
  6. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Roy I really appreciate how you offered Shifty your seat . That shows the character that you have Sir ! We should indeed be more thankful for these great men of war for they have paved the way for our freedom that we enjoy day by day . Thank you Shifty and to all of the men in uniform !

    bigbuck
     
  7. shorty

    shorty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    272
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Lest we forget...Amen
     
  8. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Messages:
    8,853
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004

    bigbuck......you miss read. That was Maj. Gen Chuck Yeager who offered the seat.

    Though I would have done the same thing given the opportunity.
     
  9. bigbuck

    bigbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    oops sorry. Thanks for the read.
     
  10. 0311 G Az

    0311 G Az Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Our loss, Rest in Peace sir.
     
  11. Down Under Hunter

    Down Under Hunter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    912
    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    God bless the troopers !

    I am from Aus and we all need to be more patriotic. Our children need to now what these people did. May their memory live on.

    Nice post Roy !

    DUH
     
  12. mustang58

    mustang58 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    226
    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    I posted a note but in the wrong thread. Will try to get it right this time. We also lost a gentleman in Idaho this year that barely made the news papers. He was Medal of Honor winner Ed "TooTall" Freeman. I made the statement in the other thread that I thought the media would sooner spend their time discussing Hilton and Lohan and I still believe that. Neither one of those two will ever do anything for themselves let alone this country. It is a sad state of affairs but I hope if anything comes of this economic turmoil it will be that we get back to our roots and the things that made this country successful.
     
  13. jrw1976

    jrw1976 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    205
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Amen!!
     
  14. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Messages:
    8,853
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    This triggered a thought, though not to hijack or take away from the intent of this thread.

    What Ps me off is that the WikiLeaks analyst is possibly facing the death sentence and Jane Fonda got off scott free.......:rolleyes: