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

6 comments:

AirmanMom said...

pops...outstanding post!!!!!!
~AM

A.J. said...

I agree. I had the privilege of being in Baltimore when several WWII veterans came through to see the WWII Memorial in DC. It was an honor to meet them and to know there were great people before me who made a difference for our country and my future.

Thanks for posting!

MightyMom said...

thanks for that

MightyMom said...

say, have you seen this?
http://airmanmom.blogspot.com/2009/07/lets-go-fly-kite-army-style.html

ABNPOPPA said...

Thank you ladies. Hi to AJ, thanks for stopping by. The colors on your blog are awesome! Good luck ARMY WIFE!

Pops

Love Letters to an American Soldier said...

Thanks for this! I'll pass it along. What a great message.

And I replied back to you. Sorry it took me so long; I haven't logged in for awhile.