Geroge Orwell

We sleep safe in our beds at because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Darrell "Shifty " Powers RIP

This email message was sent to me by a soldier who is currently protecting and serving us in Afghanistan. If he has time to send this to me we certainly have time to pass it on

Memorial Service: you're invited.
> >> We're hearing a lot today about big
> >> splashy memorial services.
> >> I would like 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 24 x 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.

"A nation without heroes is nothing.
Roberto Clemente

Sunday, July 12, 2009

How Did I Let This Happen!!!

That is the question I keep asking myself. Now and all the way back from Fayville. What was I thinking? Well, the answer to that was........I wasn't! At least not conscience anyway. Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot to tell you what I am whining about. Well not really whining about. Let's be kind and say questioning my mental makeup, my intelligence level, my......my......sanity (?)! Oops, off track again. I allowed my son and his wife to talk me into bringing my 15 year old grandson home with me. FOR THE SUMMER!! What was I thinking? Me and a 15 year old. I can't even take care of myself!

I guess that proves grandpa can't "just say no". What in the world will a 61 year seasoned citizen do and talk about with a 15 year old kid. When I was 15 I knew everything, much more than my mom and dad. I am certain I knew more than my grandfather. At least I thought I did! OK, so here goes.

First let me say this. Michael, my grandson, son of Jacob and Ally came to stay with us two summers ago after Jacob was deployed to Iraq. He then came back last summer. Now he is here this summer. What started out as grandma and grandpa trying to calm his fears about Jacob being deployed and him being the oldest has turned into a tradition. One, I do not think I will regret. At this time of my life I could use a little company. Let me give you a quick rundown of the first couple days.

Monday got home around 2000 hours. I unpacked, Michael played on the computer.
Tuesday 0400 hours, I got up to go to work. Michael was playing on the computer.
Wednesday 0400 hours, I got up o go to work, Michael was playing on the computer.
Thursday 0400 hours, I got up to go to work. Michael was playing on the computer.
Ditto
Ditto
Sunday 0800 hours, I got up to go to church, Michael sleeping on the couch by the computer.
Sunday 0900 hours, I got Michael up to go to church.
Sunday 1200 hours, I took us out to lunch. Just like 4 of the previous 6 days. Michael never buys!

I took him to the mall. Gave him $20.00 to get something to eat. Did I get my change back. No. He's just like his father. We went to the mall again. I had to buy diner with him having money (mine) in his pocket. He forgot his Sunday go to Meetin' shoes. I had to buy him some new ones. Can't go to church in Nikes, can you? I am done eating he is poky butting along. AHHAH! Now I know what's taking so long. Long brown hair, cute face in shorts and a Ohio University T-shirt. Well, good news, he appears to be normal!

On the serious side. Michael is a prince of a grandchild. He is always there to help me and her when necessary. He doesn't complain about mowing the yard or helping wash the windows. His pants don't hang down to his knees and he quite a smart guy. He would eat anything ABNMOMMA put on his plate and do anything she asked of him. I hope he can eat my cooking. We all know it's not even close to hers, edible but that's about it.

Today we were talking about grandma and her type of cancer. He goes into a dissertation on dominate and recessive genes and how they may have been involved in her illness. Later he asked if I thought Jacob was going to be deployed again. Secretly I think he worries about this more than he lets on. I told him I honestly didn't know however, the likelihood was great that he would. He then asks if Iraq or Afghanistan is going to be another Vietnam. He said he doesn't understand why we were in Vietnam. I did my best to explain it to him. Did we lose the Vietnam War he asks? No, the military did not lose the Vietnam War, the politicians may have but not our soldiers.

You want to know what a 61 year seasoned citizens and a 15 year old young man talk about for two and a half hours? Try, I didn't quite understand the sermon today. Can you be religious and NOT go to church. Hmmm. Had to think on that. Why didn't he ask the Pastor that one? Well I believe it does say somewhere, "wherever two or more are gathered in His name"

Needless to say folks this is going to be a very good summer for me and I hope for Michael.

God Bless All,
Pops
Deo Volente

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fay'ville

Folks it was a quick but wonderful trip to the Home of the 82nd AIRBORNE. Nothing compares to Fort Bragg and the men and women stationed there. My apologies this is late but I was doing something nearly every minute. Really I didn't have that many minutes to start with. I got in about 2000 hours Friday night. Visited with Jacob and family for a couple hours then headed for the motel. Arrived there about 2200 hours. Showered, shaved and turned on the tube and, and, AND I COULDN'T GET TO SLEEP!!! Keep in mind I get up at 0400 hours to go to the Big W by 0500 hours. I should have crashed like North Korean missile launch! About 0230 hours I finally got sleepy and turned the tube off and dropped off to Never, Never, Land. Not Neverland Ranch!

Do I sleep until noon. Heck no! The ol' bod is use to getting up at 0400 hours and that's what it did. Do you have any idea what there is to do in Fay'ville at 0500 hours on a Saturday morning? Not a whole lot, that's for sure. After waking the rest of the clan up Jacob and I went to breakfast/lunch by the time he got moving. Some nice conversation and then back to the hotel. Fort Bragg had a concert with a country and western fellow, I don't remember his name and the Golden Knights descended. Oohs and Awes coming from everyone. They signed autographed pictures for what seemed like hours.

Then came the salute. About 8 howitzers lined up and as every state in the Unions name and nickname was called the state flag was marched out and a cannon fired off. The crowd cheered as their states name was called. That was the good part. Every state received a huge round of applause that was only drowned out by the roar of the cannon. America Proud.

On to the fireworks which were pretty darn good if you ask me. Although having seen more than a couple of displays I was not hanging on each thump, whoosh, and bang like the little kids. It was a very good evening. Home for Jacob and family and back to the hotel for yours truly. A little better sleep this night as everything seemed to be catching up.

THEN;

Sunday and the party. Sgt. Anderson, who will be referred to by his Christian name, Kody, was kind enough to have a little 5th of July get together and I was cordially invited. There is nothing quite like a party where the main game is "beer pong" If you know what that is, OK. If you don't your are probably better off. Kody did the grilling and the section guys and their wives did the chillin'. His bacon wraps were fantastic. I know because I ate more than I should have. His wife Nicole, made Sgt. Taggart and me her Asian Salad. We both like it......A LOT! Sgt. Taggart was kind enough to respect my senior years and allowed me to get my second helping first. Good thing too. After he got his there just wasn't much left.

The evening broke up about 2300 hours with most people leaving and going home. Of course there are always the selected few who wish to continue their partying ways. With the help of two other designated drivers this group was taken to a nice small neighborhood tavern. Which I understand they helped close up at quittin' time. I was a little out of place and made a diplomatic exit after depositing Specialist Jacob there. That was quite a reversal of previous times when I would pick him up at a watering hole, not drop him off. We both got a good laugh from that one.
I do believe I felt better on Sunday morning than he did.

Bottom line it was a wonderful time and we got to spend some time together talking about ABNMOMMA which I think was good for him. I was lucky enough to have my grandson Michael come home with me just like in the past. He was very diplomatic saying he didn't care if I couldn't cook as well as grandma, we could just eat out more often. From the mouths of babes, go figure.

Well, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

God Bless America and our wonderful brave warriors!

Pops

Friday, July 3, 2009

BLOGIN' FROM FAY'VILLE

Hey! What more could the father of an 82nd AIRBORNE Paratrooper ask for on Independence Day than to celebrate it with a bunch of battle hardened warriors! As the title indicates I am at the home of the 82nd AIRBORNE and Special Ops Units, Fayetteville, North Carolina. There's more Red, White and Blue here than any place in the world, IMHO, of course. I mean this town just ozzes Patriotism. You can almost smell it in the air. Perhaps that's gun powder.

I had an easy drive down from Ohio, home of Pops and of course my beloved ABNMOMMA. It was a little lonely as she always had the directions but somehow I made it. I am sure I saw her riding shotgun a couple of times just before each critical turn. That's where I need help the most.


Along with some goodies for the grandkids I brought Jacob 2 of his favorite pizzas from Ohio. I kept them warm by placing them on the floor of the car near the transmission. I don't really think he cared if they were warm. Not the way he and Mike, my grandson, were wolfing them down. Of course he greeted me with a cold tall frosty beer, of the A&W variety. It's one of those silly parent/son things I was talking about earlier.

His wife is planning our day tomorrow and of course fireworks at the end of it. Sometime during the day I have to get up the nerve to find out if there is a place we can go and jump out of a real live airplane. I don't think the ARMY will let me use their equipment like they may have done for President Bush. This may come to a shock to him 'cause I always said I don't think it's going to happen. I will keep you all posted and will tell the truth if I chicken out!

At some time we are going to try and get an update on Specialist Lesh. I will post it immediately if we are successful.

For those of you who read this have a Happy and Safe 4th of July! Remember those who keep us safe and free and those who have gone on to their just reward.

God Bless,
Pops, Deo Volente

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Update

Although the news on Specialist Lesh is slow and sparse a Sargent in Jacob's section was able to make direct contract with him. He said "I'm ok but coming home" Of course coming home means his wounds are serious but we rejoice in him actually speaking on the phone. I will be heading to Fayville in the morning and hope to actually talk with the Sargent who spoke with him. Until then please keep Specialist Lesh in your prayers for a quick and speedy recovery.

Bless all of you who have given up prayers and passed this along. I know many of you have as I have had comments from several new bloggers.

Have a wonderful 4th of July and remember our warriors who keep us free.

Pops

Deo Volente