Darrell "Shifty" Powers DIED AT 86 - Texas 4x4 Forum

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Darrell "Shifty" Powers DIED AT 86



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Old 07-14-2009, 11:30 AM   #1
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Darrell "Shifty" Powers DIED AT 86

http://www.tricities.com/tri/news/lo...rs_dies/25556/



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 hea rt 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.

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
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:24 PM   #2
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WOW.


RIP..


my granddad is ww2 vet.
he proudly wears his hat w/ wwII on it.
its fun being w/ him at spurs games. i could say more then several dozen hot looking chicks & more then that not so hot looking chicks come up to him & give him a hug & kiss on the cheek. they tell him, thank you.

he laughs & tells me playing around, son, your grandma is turning in her grave.
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:37 PM   #3
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he laughs & tells me playing around, son, your grandma is turning in her grave.

SOUND LIKE SOMETHING MY GRANPA WOULD SAY TOO
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Originally Posted by mnmstoy View Post
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82 BJ42 3b and a dream...

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Old 07-14-2009, 04:20 PM   #4
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he most likely jumped with my father , an original mmber of the 101st who jumped behind the lines at normandy and ended up in bastogne later that year
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:04 PM   #5
 
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He had to have been a great man, it takes more nerve than I could imagine to do what he had to have done, I am Airborne Infantry and i dont think i could ever put myself through what they did... and all of them knew what they were doing... They are a million times more a man than I am... my hats off to them, and my prayers are with them... RIP Shifty
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