"Band of Brothers" hero's passing...

Discussion in 'WWII' started by chanteuseCarey, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. chanteuseCarey

    chanteuseCarey Call Me a Cab

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    2,962
    Location:
    Northern California
    I just had this forwarded to me from the BAWMHRS (Bay Area Historical Women's and Men's Historical Representation Society) list, our family are all members of this group. I thought it was such a good story and message that I wanted to share it here with the FL folks.

    "Band of Brothers Hero

    "One of the "Band of Brothers" soldiers died on June 17, 2009.

    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."
     
    Michaelp likes this.
  2. Cherry_Bombb

    Cherry_Bombb A-List Customer

    Messages:
    374
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I'm all choked up now.

    Every soldier who served so bravely and honorably deserves to be remembered in much more than a small story. It's a shame that the media sensationalizes passings of celebrities with such a bang and yet barely remember those who truly gave a great deal of themselves for so many.

    He and all of his brothers in arms are not forgotten.
     
  3. DutchIndo

    DutchIndo A-List Customer

    Messages:
    484
    Location:
    Little Saigon formerly GG Ca
    I've met many a "Shifty" in my life. Always the humble Warrior type no bragging. They always seem suprised when you show interest in what they have done.
     
  4. rmrdaddy

    rmrdaddy One Too Many

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    South Jersey
  5. LouieGee

    LouieGee New in Town

    Messages:
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    Location:
    UK
    So, so sad to hear of his passing. A great man.
     
  6. Doublegun

    Doublegun Practically Family

    Messages:
    773
    Location:
    Michigan
    To be so brave and so modest. That's a combination virtually impossible to find today. Godspeed to Mr. Powers and peace to his family.
     
  7. Spitfire

    Spitfire I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,078
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Amen.
     
  8. kampkatz

    kampkatz Practically Family

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    As a minister I have conducted funerals for many WW2 vets over the years.
    All of them were modest about their contributions as soldiers/sailors. None bragged about their accomplishments. Some of them shared their experiences with me before they died, and I am truly grateful. They were truly the "greatest generation." It is sad to think that by the time I retire
    (in about 10 years) they will all be gone.
     
  9. Blackthorn

    Blackthorn I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,328
    Location:
    Oroville
    I just now saw this...

    Thank you for letting us know, Carey. He was one of the heroes who have kept us safe over the years. God be with him.
     
  10. tempestbella42

    tempestbella42 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    207
    Location:
    united kingdom
    Thanx for letting us know Carey, and thank you for your story as well as letting this lovely Vetran Know there are still people who will always be thankful to his generation.......im just gonna find some tissues xx
     
  11. tammylynn70

    tammylynn70 New in Town

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    FL
    Unfortunately those men are getting fewer and fewer, I made the trip to Toccoa for the Military Weekend this year after listening to my roommate's stories about the guys he'd met when he'd been up there as an Airborne re-enactor. A lot of the Toccoa vets are still around. I was able to meet a few, Jake McNeese being one. He and a medic were among the speakers on Saturday, and it was very moving to hear them speak. A lot of the WWII vets retired down here to FL so when I am at events here I will meet them. It's always super-interesting to me, since my grandfather was a vet but passed away about 20 years ago.
     
  12. Ronald

    Ronald New in Town

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Geel - Belgium
    Indeed, they are getting less and less. Last year one of my dear friends of the same company passed away. Jack Foley was platoonleader of 1st platoon near the end of the war. What a great man he was.
    I met many of the Band of Brothers and I was lucky enough to befriend a couple of them. Never really thought that would ever happen. I'm proud to call them my friends. Every year I try to go to the States to visit them.
     
  13. HepKitty

    HepKitty One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Idaho
    Thank you for sharing this, just noticed this thread today
     
  14. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

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  15. DanielJones

    DanielJones I'll Lock Up

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    On the move again...
    Quite sad indeed. He did live a long productive life and his spirit will rest well. Currahee!

    Cheers.

    Dan
     
  16. Flynn

    Flynn New in Town

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Colorado
    Thanks again for posting this. It's sad to think of how often our WWII vets are passing on.
     
  17. Taz-man

    Taz-man Familiar Face

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    NOVA
    Shifty was a really nice man. I had the lucky chance to meet him at a local tank/ armored vehicle show. He grew up and lived near where my mother is from. I recently lost my favorite great uncle who was in Easy Company, 502nd P.I.R. of the 101st Airborne Division. He survived Normandy, Holland, Bastogne, and went on to Hitler's House in Berchtesgaden. My great uncle was a great BS but I learned a lot about the war from him. Both men will sorely be missed.
     
  18. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Call Me a Cab

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