Shifty” By Chuck Yeager REMEMBERING

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To think of the media circus, flags at       half staff, and all the thingsthat were said of Whitney Houston when she died. This hero       died with barely anyone’s notice.

“Shifty” By Chuck YeagerShifty 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.
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 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 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 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, 2012 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, on line, in our own             quiet way.

Please forward this email 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.

“SHIFTY” – an             incredible American hero.

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

We owe no less to our REAL             heroes.

 

 

 

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