This blog was created for Niles Animal Hospital & Bird Medical Center by Peter S. Sakas DVM in an effort to provide information & discussion about animal related issues. It may move into some eccentric directions on occasion if the mood strikes me as I get more comfortable in this form of communication. I am open to suggestions & comments about the blog. Also view our hospital website www.nilesanimalhospital.com or Facebook page Niles Animal Hospital and Bird Medical Center.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Shifty - An American Hero of the Greatest Generation
Think of the media circus 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
These members of the "Greatest Generation" are dying with hardly a notice. Their sacrifices helped keep us safe and made this the great nation that it is...in a way it is ironic that in their declining years they have seen what has happened to our country that they worked so hard to protect and preserve.
May God Bless them and their families.....we owe them a debt of gratitude.
"Shifty" By Chuck Yeager
Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy
Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry
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
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
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
I told him "yes, I know exactly where Normandy is, and I know
D-Day was." At that point he said "I also made a second jump
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
left, and those that are, lots of them can't make the trip." My
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 StaplesCenter .
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,
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.