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1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance, 2020 Santa Fe, 2003 Honda Reflex scooter
7,973 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I received this email today and felt compelled to share it. I hope you don't mind.

Think of the media circus, flags at half staff, and all the things

that were said of Whitney Houston when she died and Michael Jackson when he
died. . This hero died with barely anyone's notice.

"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,
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
gate, and noticed the "Screaming Eagle," the symbol of the 101st
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
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 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

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, online, in our own quiet way.

Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the

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.

"SHIFTY" - an incredible American hero.

Please do me a favor and pass this on so that untold thousands can read

We owe no less to our REAL Heroes.:nuffsaid:
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Alexandra - 96 SDV Clyde - 15 Silvy
6,447 Posts
:helpless: We have lost a lot of the quality people like this in society, the ones who are true heroes and are extremely humble about it.

There are still some around.

Rest in Peace Shifty :tearflag:

Super Moderator
2010 DTS
87,859 Posts
Not to detract from Shifty, but I got that same email quite some time ago. He died in 2009.

1999 STS - diamond white
5,229 Posts

Premium Member
2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
29,182 Posts
I have been lucky enough in my lifetime to have met dozens of these WWII veterans and I seem to have a knack at drawing their stories out of them. I've heard everything from them killing Japs with their bare hands, to surviving months floating around in the Pacific ocean in a rubber raft, a Ball turret gunner in B-17s over Europe, a couple of guys that parachuted into Normandy on D-Day, fighting Japs in the jungles of Burma, flying the Burma Hump; and the list goes on. Our current group of troops do great things but they didn't get sent to hell holes on earth and told they weren't coming back until it was over if it took ten years. There was none of this tour and R&R BS. The only way you were coming back is with a ruined bodly or in a box and all for $65/month. I never heard a one of them complain because they were one of he lucky ones that came home alive and most felt guilt about that.

1975 Fleetwood 'd Elegance, 2020 Santa Fe, 2003 Honda Reflex scooter
7,973 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Apart from the question of who actually wrote this piece, there's little to take issue with in the message.
If you have never seen the HBO presentation of Band of Brothers, you should. It's an excellent account of young men under tremendous pressure. We should all have the fortitude Shifty and the rest showed.
My apologies to all. Being relatively new to owning a computer in the internet days I guess I fell victim not only to a hoax, but an old one at that.

1998 Deville
369 Posts
about 1000 WW2 Vets died every day now, a few years ago it was 1200 a day. My dad was in WW2 and was on a LST that was bombed. He had PTSD but brushed it off. He is now in a nursing home doing better than ay home. It takes a 24 hour staff to take care of him. He is 91 and broke his hip falling out of bed at the nursong home. That generation lived through the depression and thought about saving money better. God bless them all.
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