RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you.....

Posted by: SirQuack

RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/16/09 07:52 AM

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!!
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/16/09 09:07 AM

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.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/16/09 09:46 AM

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.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/16/09 11:55 AM

The "Shifty" Powers story made the NBC network news last night, and deservedly so. About time!!!!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/16/09 12:13 PM

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.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/16/09 01:10 PM

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.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/16/09 02:20 PM

 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.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/16/09 04:12 PM

If it results in that kind of wisdom, I think ALL babies should be encouraged to smoke.
Posted by: Ray3

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/17/09 08:44 PM

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.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/18/09 08:48 AM

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
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/18/09 01:41 PM

I can't wait for that series to come out on Blu-ray!!
Posted by: Ajax

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/18/09 03:35 PM

Metoometoometoometoometoo!!!!!!!

Just starting episode 7 of BoB, on Blu-ray, right now. \:\)
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/18/09 10:09 PM

I've got a hankerin' to watch BoB now, too!
Posted by: RickF

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/19/09 07:56 AM

I read that about Shifty Powers the other day, unfortunately these true American heroes are becoming fewer and fewer by the day ... RIP Shifty and Thank You Sir for your service and sacrifices.



Band of Brothers is a series that I *never* tire of watching, due to my busy work schedule at the moment there hasn't been much time for watching movies but I've been trying to get some of these episodes in whenever I can, right now it's Part 5 'Crossroads' on BluRay.

Can't wait for the next series about the Pacific to come out, hope it's as good as the original.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/19/09 08:09 AM

WWI verteran and Worlds oldest person dies.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31979722/?GT1=43001


"I want everyone to know," he told The Associated Press during an interview in November. "They died for us."....9 million soldiers...

I wish these young "know it all" in the world would get a clue.
Posted by: CV

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/19/09 09:51 AM

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
I wish these young "know it all" in the world would get a clue.


Don't deny older know-it-alls the benefit of your wish. Ageism works both ways.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/19/09 10:33 AM

 Originally Posted By: RickF

Band of Brothers is a series that I *never* tire of watching

I got my set on a Black Friday deal in November, but haven't watched it yet. \:\(
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/19/09 12:03 PM

I've always respected my elders, when I get their age, then I will know it all over snot nosed kids. Oh crap, I'm in my 40's now, damn know it all 20 yr olds.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/19/09 01:35 PM

 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
 Originally Posted By: RickF

Band of Brothers is a series that I *never* tire of watching

I got my set on a Black Friday deal in November, but haven't watched it yet. \:\(
WELL! We are officially revoking your red, white, and blue "man" card.

Seriously, please don't watch it until you're in a situation where you can open up the Axioms without stepping on anyone else's toes. The audio special effects (visual ones too - the tracers are remarkable) are among the best I've ever heard, I don't think I actually flinch as the rounds zing over my head and past my ears, but my adrenaline rush is telling me I should.

P.S. I found episode one to be a little slow (YMMV). If, after watching it, you find yourself saying "Gee? What's all the fuss about," just wait until the series gets down and dirty.
Posted by: CV

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/19/09 01:36 PM

I definitely agree about the audio. HBO did an excellent job.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/19/09 02:36 PM

Yeah, that's the thing. I'm waiting until I can give it the attention I know it deserves!
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/19/09 02:40 PM

Mark, once you start watching it and get past the first episode, which really isn't bad, but compared to the others it is a bit slow, you'll find time to give it attention. It really pulls you along.

Sit down now!!! and start watching.

*Darth Vader voice*

It is your destiny!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/19/09 04:11 PM

Luuuuuuke: Watch the Broooothers.....
Posted by: CV

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/19/09 04:41 PM

I'd rather watch Luke's twin sister.
Posted by: RickF

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/19/09 05:31 PM

 Originally Posted By: Ajax
P.S. I found episode one to be a little slow (YMMV). If, after watching it, you find yourself saying "Gee? What's all the fuss about," just wait until the series gets down and dirty.


Round one may have been off to a slow start but it really was an integral part of the series to give a good insight of Capt. Sobel, which ultimately leads to the following scene ...

"Capt. Sobel, Capt. Sobel..."

Just one of my many favorite scenes of the movie. \:\)
Posted by: Ajax

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you..... - 07/19/09 07:24 PM

I agree completely, Rick. Heh! I just finished episode 10 which contained that scene.

By the way, the Blu-ray version has some interesting special features. Be sure to watch the whole thing at least once without activating any special features. Then, on the second or third time through, try turning on the "Interactive Field Guide - In the Field with the Men of Easy Company." It's a very interesting graphic time line that rests at the bottom of the screen. It contains tidbits of knowledge, photos, and even videos of the real men and events.

If you don't want to watch the entire thing again, using your remote's cursor you can jump from benchmark to benchmark and just look at the additional material. I haven't tried the other interactive feature, "Picture-in-Picture Commentary - In the Words of Easy Company." I don't believe these features are available on the standard definition version.
Posted by: a401classic

Re: RIP Darrell "Shifty" Powers, and thank you.... - 07/21/09 06:43 PM

...well it's about time the media kicked this up a notch... Shifty hits the internet

Scott