Another Hero Passes On

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by BC, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. BC

    BC New Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Decatur, IL
    I'm not sure how many of you have seen Band of Brothers, but if you have, you'll probably remember Shifty Powers. He recently passed away and I received this email about it. I thought it was worth sharing:

    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.

    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."
  2. SteveM19

    SteveM19 New Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    Cleveland OH
    Thank you from the bottom of my military heart.

    I just started a thread with this email at
  3. MisfitKid

    MisfitKid New Member

    Jan 16, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Thanks BC for sharing this with us.

    God Bless you and Rest in Peace, Shifty.
    You were a true American Hero!
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