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To:Undisclosed-Recipient:;>@NONEAccording to Snopes.com , this is a true account with the exception of the author, who was Mark Pfiefer, not , MajGen. [Ret.].
Truly, "THE GREATEST GENERATION"...........
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 EasyCompany of the , part of the 101stAirborne Infantry. If you've seen on HBO or theHistory Channel , you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.
I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn'tknow who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman havingtrouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he wasat the right gate, and noticed the "Screaming Eagle," the symbol ofthe 101st Airborne, on his hat.
Making conversation, I asked him if he'd been in the 101st Airborneor if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the101st. 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 heartskipped.
At that point, again, very humbly, he said "I made the 5 trainingjumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you knowwhere Normandy is?" At this point my heart stopped.
I told him "yes, I know exactly where Normandy is, and I know whatD-Day was." At that point he said "I also made a second jump intoHolland , into Arnhem ." I was standing with a genuine war hero . . . .and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary ofD-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 areleft, and those that are, lots of them can't make the trip." My heartwas in my throat and I didn't know what to say.
I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back inCoach while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back toget him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty cameforward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to haveit, that I'd take his in coach.
He said "No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there arestill some who remember what we did and who still care is enough tomake 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, 2009 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 quietway. Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to theveterans.
Rest in peace, Shifty.
Chuck Yeager, MajGen. [ret.]
MAY GOD BLESS SHIFTY AND MAY HE REST IN PEACE. NO WONDER THEY CALL IT THEGRETEST GENERATION.