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Archive for the ‘Heroes’ Category

Veterans Day 2009

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And, on their first Veterans Day back home, I’d especially like to thank all the members of 4/3 203rd CORPS ETT.

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12:01 AM ET
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POW/MIA Recognition Day

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Remember them by wearing a POW/MIA pin, bracelet, hat or shirt, or fly the POW/MIA flag.  If you don’t have any of those, today might be a good day to purchase one so you have it.  Just click on the above poster  to go to the site for the POW/MIA National League of Families.

12:01 AM EDT

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Easy Company, 2-506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division
Band of Brothers
March 13, 1923 – June 17, 2009

It’s a disgrace the media in this country did not think the passing of an American hero was worth noting.  Blackfive posted the below viral email as well as a video and other links.

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 24×7 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

DrewM at AoSHQ found a home video interview of Mr. Powers.  Other video tributes are on YouTube.

Monday, July 20th has been designated as Shirty Powers Memorial Day on Twitter (#BOBMemDay), Facebook, and via email.

He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won’t note his passing, though a soldier died today.

From Just A Common Soldier (A Soldier Died Today)
by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

12:44 am EDT

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Memorial Day

Memorial Day Military Motivator

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Remember their sacrifice, today and always.

SGT BRIAN CONNER

CPL SAM BOSWELL

CPL BERNARD CEO

SSG MICHAEL McMULLEN

12:01 am EDT

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We’re the little box on the wall that says break in case of emergency. When the American people break that glass, they say, “Okay Army, we need you to do this mission.”

Kenneth O. Preston
Sergeant Major of the Army

America’s Army:  The Strength of the Nation (2008)

via soldiersmediacenter’s Channel

8:58 pm EST

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There have been many policies with which I strongly and vehemently disagreed with President Bush.  Still, it is hard not to admire him when he has repeatedly displayed an understanding of and commitment to his responsibilities and duties as Commander in Chief of the men and women serving in the Armed Forces and their families during a time of war.  I have repeatedly read stories similar to this one over these past six years and been amazed.  It is hard not to like such a leader.

1:15 am EST

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Edward W. “Too Tall” Freeman, born November, 1927, died on Wednesday, August 20, 2008 in Boise, Idaho.  He was laid to rest yesterday at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.

Major Freeman was presented with the Medal of Honor by President Bush on July 16, 2001 for his actions on November 14, 1965 as a Captain with Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).  On that day, Captain Freeman repeatedly flew his unarmed Huey helicopter into LZ Xray in la Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam to deliver desperately needed supplies to a U.S. infantry battalion engaged in heated battle with the enemy.  Captain Freeman also evacuated wounded after medical evacuation helicopters refused to fly into the battle zone. Captain Freeman was Major Bruce Crandall‘s wingman.

Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and war correspondent Joseph Galloway co-wrote the book “Were Were Soldiers Once… and Young: la Drang– The Battle That Chagned The War in Vietnam” which was made into the movie “We Were Soldiers” in 2002.

Joseph Galloway wrote “Farewell to an American hero” as a tribute to his friend, Ed Freeman (via Michael Yon).  Below is a video profile titled, “By the Orders of Their Own Heart“,  featuring Freeman, Crandall, and Galloway talking about that day in November, 1965.

More videos here.

12:25 pm EST

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