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I met my biggest Hero today.

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by doogiebarnes, Oct 29, 2008.

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  1. doogiebarnes

    doogiebarnes TS Member

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    I was sitting in the Denver airport waiting to catch a flight to Chicago. As I was sitting there reading the USA Today, this old man walked up and asked me if I was a pilot. (I was in my airline pilot uniform.) I replied yes. While I didn't know him, he seemed familiar. He asked me about the Airbus and how it was to fly it. I told him about the differences in the Boeing and Airbus frames. After about 5 minutes of chatting, his wife walked up and we chatted for another few minutes about where they had been and where they were going. The old man said he was 90 and his wife was about the same I guessed. They were bright, sharp and very alert for being 90 I thought.

    The man mentioned that while he never flew as a pilot, he rode in several aircraft in WWII. I asked which one was his favorite. He said the B17. I asked where he served and he said Europe. He was in Normandy and Belgium, then later Germany. He said he retired from the Army as a Major.

    He then asked if I had the internet on my iphone and asked about the stock market, and commented about how great technology was and how amazing the internet is.

    As he was just about to board his flight he grabbed my hand and asked for my first name. I told him and he said, "My name's Dick. Thanks for the Airbus lesson." It finally clicked! I replied, "Major Winters, it was an Honor to meet you and spend a few minutes with a living hero. I have ultimate respect for you and your men. I wish you the very best. And thank you for your courage and service to our country."

    He looked at me with a surprised look and asked, "How on earth would a 34 your old kid know who I am?" I smiled and said how sad I was that more people didn't know what he did to bring peace and freedom to millions of people worldwide. He said, "I'm not to sure about all that, but you are very kind. Thank you."

    He smiled and then he and his wife walked down the jetway.

    I sat back down and called my dad and retold the story. I don't know else to tell this story to. Everyone one else I have told asked, "Who is Dick Winters?"

    This is my favorite day in recent memory. I haven't felt this much joy in years.
     
  2. Dahaub

    Dahaub Active Member

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    His guys actually changed the tide on the battle of the bulge didn't they? Dan
     
  3. otnot

    otnot Active Member

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    Wow what an honor to meet such a man! 101st Airborne!
     
  4. chuckles

    chuckles Member

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    At the club where I shoot as a regular we have an 83 year old guy that comes in twice a week, usually Sat/Sun, to shoot a few lines of skeet, always shoots 2 lines each day always 23, 24 or straight, Winchester Citori 20ga...

    Vince was a nosegunner in a B24 Liberator, 15th AF flying out of Italy in WWII, he racked up 50 missions...did his 25 then signed up for 25 more, he did all the big ones, Poesti twice....he says the scariest thing was always the Flak, he was also probably an Ace 3 or 4 confirmed and many others that they lost thru the clouds diving away...

    It is mind boggling to me when I think of getting up every day and climbing into that B24 and then up into the nose turret knowing I would probably be killed that day but doing my job...at least 50 times.

    Meeting this guy you would never in a million years think of him in this role but there it is, a true hero of the extroardinary type.

    Yes these men are true hero's of our lifetime...

    It is truly an honor to know men like this...

    I believe several posters on this site are WWII vets as well as many Vietnam vets that are also true heros for their service, as well as Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan...

    regards
     
  5. trapdaddy

    trapdaddy TS Member

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    Indeed what an honor and a privilege! Thank you for conveying your gratitude to a very deserving member of the Armed Forces.
    Dick Winters was respected by men in his command and by his commanders.
    In other words, the real deal.
    For those not familiar, watch the Band of Brothers series.
     
  6. birdtracker

    birdtracker Active Member

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    Chuckles: do me a big favor, buy that guy a couple rounds of skeet for me. Just pay the guy at the counter. Tell him some other ex military wanted to say thanks. Email me or p.M your address and I will send you a check. Don
     
  7. ShawnaTX

    ShawnaTX TS Member

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    Thanks doogiebarnes....your story made my day.
     
  8. AJ100

    AJ100 TS Member

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    Doogie, I didn't know where you were going with that one until you said he told you he "rode" in several aircraft. I thought to myself, NO WAY, not one of them. When you said he was a Major, I thought, maybe?

    When you said his first name, the hair on the back of my neck went up. You sir, are one lucky SOB.

    Didn't you recognize him? I know his health was not the best. I think I could pick out a lot of them. Of course that might be because I watched every second of every disc more than I like to admit.

    Wish I could have been there.

    Hang Tough

    Tom(AJ100)
     
  9. Texas Crew'd

    Texas Crew'd Member

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    Doogie,

    That is by far the best "story" I've read on this site ever.

    If someone is looking for an example of characture, honor, and citenship they need to do a google on Richard "Dick" Winters.

    Garry
     
  10. Chango2

    Chango2 Active Member

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    Reminds me of a story a close friend of mine related. Seems he has an award winning and restored '36 Chevy Pickup Truck. At a show one time, and he rarely goes for those things, a slight man came up and asked about his truck. The man appreciated the old truck and had many insightful questions. My friend asked the man his name. His name was "Jimmy", and, as my friend later learned from the man, his name was Jimmy Doolittle. Gave my friend chills.

    Jimmy Doolittle, BTW, is the most famous alumnus of Berendo Middle School (ne' Junior High) in Los Angeles. When I worked at Berendo during my last three years before retirement, (I did testing and evaluation) I never ceased to wonder at the difference between Doolittle and his generation and the generation to whom I delivered services. Must have been very different days way back then...
     
  11. bigdogtx

    bigdogtx Well-Known Member

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    For those who want to know more about Major Winters, USAF, Retired
     
  12. Loyac

    Loyac Member

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    Everyone should be lucky enough to meet at least one person of the caliber of Major Dick Winters in his or her lifetime. Talk about a real American! John
     
  13. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Well done doogie.

    The thing that always amazes me is the sincere humility they display. To them, it was doing what they must do. They never think of themselves as heroes.

    But they were.

    Not many of them left.

    My dad passed in 1992.

    Here's a photo of him, standing, third in from the left. Flew 24 missions before he got shot down. Spent his 22nd birthday in a POW cam in Barth, Germany.

    Lets remember them all on Veterans day, coming up soon.
     
  14. poorshooter

    poorshooter TS Member

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    About a year ago I was reading some information on the internet regarding Major Winters. The blog indicated that Major Winters has never been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. This is a grievous oversight. The article mentioned Major Winters advancing age, and declining health as reasons for readers to immediately contact their legislators demanding that this oversight be promptly corrected, and corrected while Major Winters is still among us. My own feelings were (and still are) that this has been an obvious injustice for a man who's countless acts of valor, courage, and leadership under fire contributed so much to the Allied victory from D-Day until the end of WW2. An injustice that really demands immediate action. Congress and all the citizens of this nation owe much larger debts, to Major Winters and many other true American heros of his kind, than can possiblly be repaid with a piece of hardware, but every day we are losing more and more members of our "greatest generation", and it is absolutely essential that we afford them the recognition they truely deserve while we still have the opportunity to do so.


    Joe
     
  15. ec90t

    ec90t Guest

    What a great read while drinking my coffee on this cool mornin'. Thanks for the great thread doogie'!

    ec90t
     
  16. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    excellent thread

    Don
     
  17. ESMDHokie

    ESMDHokie TS Member

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    Now that is a good way to start my day. That is an awesome story.

    Phil
     
  18. fletcher

    fletcher TS Member

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    Great story Thanks for that. My Grandfathers brothers were pilots in WW2 and one is still with us and can tell many good stories, think I will call the cafe where he has breakfast everymorning and buy it for the week we owe them a everything.
     
  19. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    My Father in law was a fueler for both aircraft and motor vehicles and oft times would get lost and get ahead of the line due to the continuous movement forward and would go on night convoys to recover aircraft crews. He tells some funny stories but you can see the tears well up in the corner of his eyes as he remembers the buddies he lost. He turned 91 last week, His name is Jackson Thomas Bowen, and if there has ever been a finer man I don't know it. Jackie B.
     
  20. k1200ltc509

    k1200ltc509 Member

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    Several years ago I was at the Veterans Day Ceremonies at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetary. I had noticed an older gentleman sitting a row behind and several chairs over wearing a Screaming Eagles hat and WW-2 jump smock. Service members were asked to stand during their branch song and when The Cassions came on we both stood. He looked at me and smiled and I then saw the name Perconte on the name tag of the smock. I cannot to this day explain my reaction when I saw the name. I had travelled with these guys thru Europe on every page of the book BOB and then later in the mini-series.

    Afterwards we talked @ legnth and I thanked him for his service to our country, and he thanked me also for my service. I never endured anything this hero did nor could I imagine myself going thru what they did. We will never have a generation as great as that one! Rick Gibbs
     
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