Dick Winters, of 'Band of Brothers' fame, dies

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Sarge

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http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/01/dick_winters_of_band_of_brothe.html

Dick Winters, the former World War II commander whose war story was told in the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers,” has died.

Dick Winters led a quiet life on his Fredericksburg farm and in his Hershey home until the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers” threw him into the international spotlight.

Since then, the former World War II commander of Easy Company had received hundreds of requests for interviews and appearances all over the world.

He stood at the podium with President George W. Bush in Hershey during the presidential campaign in 2007. He accepted the “Four Freedoms” award from Tom Brokaw on behalf of the Army. He was on familiar terms with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, producers of the HBO mini-series, the most expensive television series ever produced.

Winters was always gracious about his new-found celebrity, but never really comfortable with it. He never claimed to be a hero and said that he had nothing to do with the national effort to get him the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor.

When people asked him if he was a hero, he liked to answer the way his World War II buddy, Mike Ranney, did.

“No,” Ranney said. “But I served in a company of heroes.” That became the tag line for the miniseries.

In an interview shortly before the miniseries debuted, Winters said the war wasn’t about individual heroics. The men were able to do what they did because they became closer than brothers when faced with overwhelming hardships.

They weren’t out to save the world. They hated the blood, carnage, exhaustion and filth of war. But they were horrified at the thought of letting down their buddies.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, Winters and his troops from Easy Company, 506th regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, parachuted behind enemy lines to take on a German artillery nest on Utah Beach. Winters made himself a promise then that if he lived through the war, all he wanted was peace and quiet.

His company fought through the Battle of the Bulge, the liberation of a death camp at Dachau and to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden.

The war described in “Band of Brothers” is ugly, but the young men developed character under fire, Winters said. He was glad the miniseries showed war realistically, not either glorified or demonized as in so many movies.

He wanted people to understand that success in war depends not on heroics but on bonding, character, getting the job done and “hanging tough,” his lifelong motto. In combat, he wrote 50 years after the war, “your reward for a good job done is that you get the next tough mission.”

When the war ended, Winters kept his promise to himself. He married Ethel, bought a bucolic farm in Fredericksburg, raised two children and worked in the agricultural feed business. He didn’t talk about the war until the late historian Stephen Ambrose wanted to put Easy Company’s exploits on paper.

Following the miniseries, Winters turned down most requests for interviews because he said he didn’t want to appear like he was bragging.

But he did feel the story of Easy Company was an important one, especially for young people. He was more likely to accept invitations by local school groups and spent time with students at Cedar Crest High School, among others. A talk he gave at Palmyra Middle School drew hundreds of spectators.

People who knew Winters during and after the war said he is exactly what he appears to be. He could lead without ever raising his voice or swearing. His friend Bob Hoffman, a Lebanon architect, said Winters’ eyes could “burn a hole right through you.”

The men who served under him and people who only met him later in life call him a hero, no matter what he says.

According to the book, one wounded member of Easy Company wrote Winters from a hospital bed in 1945, “I would follow you into hell.”

He received a standing ovation from 500 veterans when he spoke at the dedication of the Army’s Military History Institute in Middlesex Township in September.

When President Bush was in Hershey in April, he called Winters “a fine example ... for those brave souls who now wear our nation’s uniform.”

Ambrose, the author of “Band of Brothers,” said in a 2001 BBC interview that he hopes young people say. “I want to be like Dick Winters.”

“Not necessarily as soldiers, but as that kind of leader, that kind of man, with basic honesty and virtue and an understanding of the difference between right and wrong,” Ambrose said.
 

Elephant

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The world lost a good one.
 

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I knew this day was coming soon. The US lost a little something when he died.
 

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Little bit of useless trivia: For the first few years of ES's existence I used a quote from Winters as my sig.

"Men, there's nothing to get excited about. The situation is normal; we are surrounded."

Sarge, I posted your link in the ES thread about this, though I didn't give you specific credit. I don't want to stir up trouble and your name is like dynamite over there. :)
 

Sarge

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Sarge, I posted your link in the ES thread about this, though I didn't give you specific credit. I don't want to stir up trouble and your name is like dynamite over there. :)
What, you don't want to watch certain people's blood pressure rise and clean up an 8 page thread about how I got the shaft?

C'mon Henry, where's your sense of humor?:laugh:
 

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Seems fitting


Valhalla


In Scandinavian mythology, Valhalla (anglicized from Old Norse Valhǫllr "hall of the slain"[1]) is a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin. Chosen by Odin, half of those that die in combat travel to Valhalla upon death, led by valkyries, while the other half go to the goddess Freyja's field Fólkvangr.

In Valhalla, the dead join the masses of those who have died in combat known as Einherjar, as well as various legendary Germanic heroes and kings, as they prepare to aid Odin during the events of Ragnarök. Before the hall stands the golden tree Glasir, and the hall's ceiling is thatched with golden shields. Various creatures live around Valhalla, such as the stag Eikþyrnir and the goat Heiðrún, both described as standing atop Valhalla and consuming the foliage of the tree Læraðr.

Valhalla is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, in Heimskringla, also written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, and in stanzas of an anonymous 10th century poem commemorating the death of a Eric Bloodaxe known as Eiríksmál as compiled in Fagrskinna. Valhalla has inspired various works of art, publication titles, popular culture references, and has become a term synonymous with a martial (or otherwise) hall of the chosen dead.
 

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What, you don't want to watch certain people's blood pressure rise and clean up an 8 page thread about how I got the shaft?

C'mon Henry, where's your sense of humor?:laugh:
You should have seen the spazz attacks when I made a thread asking why you had been permanently banned lmao, ah well now im in the same boat lol so much for being member #35 lol
 

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Seems fitting


Valhalla


In Scandinavian mythology, Valhalla (anglicized from Old Norse Valhǫllr "hall of the slain"[1]) is a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin. Chosen by Odin, half of those that die in combat travel to Valhalla upon death, led by valkyries, while the other half go to the goddess Freyja's field Fólkvangr.

In Valhalla, the dead join the masses of those who have died in combat known as Einherjar, as well as various legendary Germanic heroes and kings, as they prepare to aid Odin during the events of Ragnarök. Before the hall stands the golden tree Glasir, and the hall's ceiling is thatched with golden shields. Various creatures live around Valhalla, such as the stag Eikþyrnir and the goat Heiðrún, both described as standing atop Valhalla and consuming the foliage of the tree Læraðr.

Valhalla is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, in Heimskringla, also written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, and in stanzas of an anonymous 10th century poem commemorating the death of a Eric Bloodaxe known as Eiríksmál as compiled in Fagrskinna. Valhalla has inspired various works of art, publication titles, popular culture references, and has become a term synonymous with a martial (or otherwise) hall of the chosen dead.

My great Gramma Garstad used to tell us kids stories about the aesir and Valhalla, its funny, she was a tough old lady and not very christian in some respects, she would say that you should always be barve because the Gods hate cowards. I like to think that men like Mr. Winters are in a better place.
 

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