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#266284 - 07/16/09 07:52 AM RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you.....
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13318
Loc: Iowa
I usually do not forward the “touchy, feely” stories that ask you to pass this on to 10 other people or else e-mails, but this story in my humble opinion deserves to be shared and you, of course, can do with it what you will.

I wish you all a nice summer.



Randy



Subject: Memorial Service, you're invited. Another hero passes on.


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)

Joe Patterson
72B20 8TH RRU...9/65 to 9/66
VHFS..9/66 to 8/67
Torii Station..9/67 to 3/68
Ft. Stewart, GA...3/68 to 3/69
Glad to have served with the best!!
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#266286 - 07/16/09 09:07 AM Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... [Re: SirQuack]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7395
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Thanks for sharing that, Randy. Very touching indeed.

It is very sad that time marches on the way it does and many of the veterans of that war are gone. So many heroes, so many good men sacrificed and went through hell, but, truly, the world is a different place because of them.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#266288 - 07/16/09 09:46 AM Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... [Re: St_PatGuy]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6600
Loc: It's all about the location.
I'll share a little story of my own here.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited a small aircraft museum at Paine Airfield in Everett, Washington. They had a number of significant aircraft there inc. a Spitfire, P38, Hurricane, T-Bolt, ME109, Comet, V-1 "buzz bomb" amongst others. Anyhow, I was browsing around the exhibits, checking out the various planes when an older fellow by the name of 'Jim' comes up to me and asks me if I had any questions about any of the planes on display. At first, I was just going to say "thanks, each plane has an explanation of it's history on the plaque" before I realized he worked along with a couple of other volunteers, for the museum. So, I thought "what should I ask him". I had noticed that they had a Hawker Hurricane on display that had come out of Ontario, which I was curious about so I let Jim know that I was visiting from there and had noticed it. He proceeded to tell me about it's origins, likely built in either Thunder Bay, Ont. or in the plant in Montreal(back in WW2 of course) and how they ended up with it. As it turns out, Jim was a B-25 pilot in WW2 and for the next 2-3 hrs he told me all kinds stories about things you will never read in a book or see on a documentary. Knowing I was from Canada, he had a rather humorous story about some pilots from Nova Scotia who used to fly their Lancaster bomber from Eastern Canada, down to the Carribean where Jim was stationed, load the plane up from front to back with rum until a mouse couldn't squeeze himself aboard then fly back up to Nova Scotia. He said they always got a kick seeing these guys come down and cram their bomber full of booze(a Lancaster can hold something over 20,000lbs I believe). Jim told me of some of his missions, and some fellows he knew of who enlisted in the airforce who lied about their ages(some just 14!!) to get into combat....this went on all afternoon, story after story. I was an eager listener and Jim was happy to relate his experiences to me. I thanked him for his time and service before leaving, I believe, sometimes it helps veterans when people just listen to them, sort of like a therapy in some sense when people acknowledge what they did for us. There are less and less Jims in the world as the years go by, we can learn a lot from the past so we can go forward and the best part of my visit to that museum was meeting and talking for hrs to Jim.
_________________________
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#266299 - 07/16/09 11:55 AM Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... [Re: Adrian]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6246
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
The "Shifty" Powers story made the NBC network news last night, and deservedly so. About time!!!!
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#266300 - 07/16/09 12:13 PM Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... [Re: Ajax]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10832
Loc: Central NH
Too many people in this world confuse fame with importance.

I feel bad that he was not better recognized while alive to appreciate it. Likely though, as many of that era would attest, he would have thought he was "just doing his job".

Greatest generation, indeed.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#266308 - 07/16/09 01:10 PM Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Thank you, my friends.

I was reflecting on D-Day recently. I don't really know the origin of the question, but my son asked something about the general popularity of America among other world citizens. I gave him an answer that wasn't good enough, and that he can probably never hope to fully understand. I am deeply saddened that relatively recent events have diminished Americans unfathomable accomplishments on behalf of freedom. As his grandfather's generation passes away, we lose not only the heroes that made the world what it is today, but also the people who have the context of those events - the individuals who were actually saved. We MUST continue to tell these stories.

And - for whatever, unrelated reason - Patton has been ringing in my head lately: "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

Even if some prominent leaders bristle publicly at the concept, I still believe in American exceptionalism.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#266322 - 07/16/09 02:20 PM Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... [Re: tomtuttle]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Thank you, my friends.
I am deeply saddened that relatively recent events have diminished Americans unfathomable accomplishments on behalf of freedom. As his grandfather's generation passes away, we lose not only the heroes that made the world what it is today, but also the people who have the context of those events - the individuals who were actually saved.


The below article appeared in my local paper today. It was buried in the back pages, but glad I found it. It is good to see the the opinion of America will always be tied in part to the efforts of such men. French Legion of Honor At another spot in the paper it said 3,000 more troops from Louisiana were on their way to Afghanistan.

And finally, while the vets of WW2 are great men, worthy of constant praise, I find them no greater than the current generation of warriors. In 1941 we were attacked, and feared the goals of Japan and Germany to take over the world. These men left their family to stop that from happening - in part protecting their way of life and their homes.

Today, 18 year old men (and women) line up to volunteer to fight a much murkier fight based on pure patriotism. There is no fear their family will be taken over by the Afghans or Iraqis, no thought that Evil will spread around the world if they don't risk their lives today. Just the knowledge their country needs them to serve its needs and the needs of the less fortunate. And they are handcuffed by the role of savior, care giver, builder and warrior while their WW2 predecessors at least had the benefit of clear lines of engagement. I'm not minimizing the great sacrifice of the WW2 vets - my grandfather is one of them - just putting it into context.

But as you think about the dying generation of warriors, those of many museums and books and films, also remember those whose sacrifice is just as great, but not (yet?) the subject of the praise it deserves.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#266339 - 07/16/09 04:12 PM Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... [Re: Zimm]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10832
Loc: Central NH
If it results in that kind of wisdom, I think ALL babies should be encouraged to smoke.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#266427 - 07/17/09 08:44 PM Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ray3 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/02/04
Posts: 2840
Loc: Rochester, NY
So sad about Shifty. I watch Band of Brothers, start to finish, every 6-8 weeks.

I'm fine until I get to the last piece where they interview all of guys. Shifty always impressed me as a no pretense, down to earth guy.

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#266449 - 07/18/09 08:48 AM Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... [Re: Ray3]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6246
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
LOL! I just watched the first 6 episodes (again) with my brother in Ft. Myers, FL over the weekend. He has my Axioms (M60s/VP150/QS8s) and I must say, BoB sounded excellent. I'm gonna watch the rest of BoB this weekend.

Can't wait for the follow-up to BoB, due to be shown on HBO in March 2010. It's called The Pacific (Link to trailer), a 10-part mini-series from the creators of "Band of Brothers" telling the intertwined stories of three Marines during America's battle with the Japanese in the Pacific during World War II. It's based primarily on two memoirs of U.S. Marines: With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge and Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie. The series will tell the stories of the two authors and Marine John Basilone, as the war against the Empire of Japan rages

More info, for those interested:

The Pacific, a Fan site

The Pacific (minseries) - Wikipedia
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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