Friday, January 25, 2013


EDITORIAL NOTE: Maj. Gen. Chuck Yeager sent this out and asked that it be passed along. We ask each of our readers to pass it on as well. If you don't see the maritime connection then you haven't studied amphibious warfare and the concept of "vertical envelopment". The subject of the general's admiration was a paratrooper on D-Day in WWII. In "vertical envelopment" some troops fly over the enemy's beach defenses and attack their rear while the "amphibious assault force" rides the landing craft in and attacks the front from over the beach. When both parts of the team meet, the enemy is history. As sailors we get it. The contribution of the man described below to our national life and character far exceeds the combined efforts of the many performing artists who have drawn so much more public lamentation on their passing, sometimes by their own hands directly and indirectly. We can certainly yield some of our cyber space and audience in remembrance.

This says a lot . . .
A must read

And 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.
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"Shifty" By 

Shifty volunteered for the airborne in 
WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry
, 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, online, in our own quiet way.

Please forward this email. 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 Heroe’s.

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