A Genuine Hero

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A Genuine Hero

Post by ditchdoc » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:34 am

Excerpted from an email I received.

Memorial Service: you're invited.

We're hearing a lot today about big splashy memorial services.

I want a nationwide memorial service for Darrell "Shifty" Powers.

Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry. If you've seen Band of Brothers 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 5 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 was, and I know what D-Day was. At that point he 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 and 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 still care is enough to make an old man very happy." His eyes were filling up as he said it. And mine are brimming up now as I write this.

Shifty died on June 17 after fighting cancer.

There was no parade.

No big event in Staples Center .

No wall to wall back to back 24x7 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.

"A nation without heroes is nothing."
Roberto Clemente

This was a man of a certain time. A man who left everything behind to serve in a just war to protect the rights we all enjoy today. We owe them everything. Never forget.
Ignorance is curable. Stupidity is forever.

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Re: A Genuine Hero

Post by The Volfish » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:01 am

Thank you Shifty Powers; we owe you and many others a debt of gratitude for the freedom we enjoy.

Do I pay full price for every place I get to fish? Fuck no. - nemo

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Re: A Genuine Hero

Post by shunned » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:02 am

I make a point to watch that every november, seen it probably ten times anyway... I know exactly who you're talking about.

proper men one and all.

nice one, kansas.
the depths of your narcissism never cease to amaze me

-raffa of all fucking people


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Re: A Genuine Hero

Post by mark » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:52 am

It's unfortunate that the true heroes of our country remain hidden in the ramblings of today.
To Shifty, and all the others past and present... :cool
It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves - in finding themselves. -Andre Gide

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Re: A Genuine Hero

Post by LTD » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:40 pm

100% TO Shifty! :cool
"At some point reasonable people have to accept certain changes our presence has brought about, learn to not make similar mistakes in the future and appreciate and enjoy what we have while lamenting what we've lost"~~~~~ Muddled Duck


Fish every fish like it's your last!!!

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Re: A Genuine Hero

Post by mwk » Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:05 pm

:cool To Shifty

I watch Band of Brothers all the time, have the DVD plus whenever it's onTV

No doubt the greatest generation.........so sad to see what has become of our leaders

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Re: A Genuine Hero

Post by SOBF » Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:36 am

True hero's.I watch Band Of Brothers way to often.
Here's a pic of a more modern day hero. Thank God for all of them !!
ImageOn April 14, 2004, Cpl Jason Dunham and his squad of Marines were in Karabilah, Iraq manning a checkpoint. An insurgent leapt from his car and began choking Cpl. Dunham. Two of his fellow Marines rushed to his aide, when he shouted at them, “No, No. Watch his hand.” The insurgent dropped a grenade and Cpl. Dunham reacted without hesitation; he took off his Kevlar helmet and placed it over the grenade, he then covered the grenade with his own body shielding his fellow soldiers from the blast. They were all three wounded; Cpl. Dunham died 8 days later.
They just Commissioned a ship here in Maine named after Cpl. Dunham.

http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story ... 9&ac=PHnws

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