Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CATO, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++


    "Shifty" By Chuck Yeager

    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


    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 is, 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


    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 who 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 Jan. l7 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, on line, in our own quiet way.

    Please repost to everyone you know. Especially to the veterans.

    Rest in peace, Shifty.

    Chuck Yeager, Maj. General [ret.]

    P.S. I think that it is amazing how the "media" chooses our "heroes" these days...

    Elvis, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston & the like.
  2. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Launched on another site, as per request. Lots of Vets there too.
    William Antrum likes this.
  3. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

    RIP Shifty,thank you and God bless you!
  4. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Something's wrong with my eyes.

    I'll be passing this along when they clear up.

    Thanks for sharing this.
  5. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Incorrect......the "media" chooses our celebrities. Only heroes create heroes by their conduct and by their demonstrated courage under adverse circumstances in time of conflict or during life threatening disaster or emrgency. Sometimes the "media" recognise people for their heroism. More frequently than not, ordinary men, women and young people acting with extraordinary courage and gallantry do what they do with little or no recognition....and often, heroes are less concerned about not being in the headlines than the self satisfaction that they did some good for someone who desperately needed their help.

    Elvis, Jackson, Houston & the like are celebrities...they not heroes.
    oldawg and kellory like this.
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Heroes sometimes can become celebrities, but seldom are celebrities gaining hero status.
    Sapper John and chelloveck like this.
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