Tributes

This page is dedicated to the combat infantrymen that are ill, that are wounded, and the ones that have passed away; never to be forgotten. Send yor dedications via e-mail to the Web Master.

To all of the Combat Infantrymen who paved the way and sacrificed with such glory and honor for our nation.To all of our Veterans and their families who continue to stand up for our freedoms and safety. I sincerely thank you on behalf of our Combat Infantrymen’s Association.-Earl Kennedy-National Commander

Lou Orlando was always front and center to help our A11FL unit. Lou was a retired cop and after I got to know him I soon realized that he had put lots of bad guys away.Lou was a Korean War Combat Infantryman. I met him when I became a member and attended my first meeting. Right away he checked me out as if I was under investigation. It was only a short time later that he had me on the Executive Committee. He talked a lot and presented his views and opinions without reservation but what impressed me was that he was basically right all of the time. I really liked this old retired cop and investigator. He was still doing cold cases well into his retirement.We hit it off because of my investigative experience and volunteer work for the Sheriffs Dept. Lou was our cameraman and he videoed us about our war experiences. He knew how to ask questions and he made you remember things suppressed on purpose or simply forgotten. What a politician he was also.He once ran for Sheriff just to alter the outcome of the election. We attended his memorial service recently and his Police Officer Buddies euologized him well.The Charlotte Co Sheriff was his good friend and he told a lot of good stories about Lou- We laughed. Lou -We salute you and thank you for being in our life as a Brother Combat Infantryman and good friend. God Bless Lou Orlando and his family. Earl Kennedy/Chaplain-A11FL

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ShiftyWe’re hearing a lot today about big splashy memorial services.

I want a nationwide memorial service for Darrell “Shifty” Powers.
Shifty 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. 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, and 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 June 17, 2009 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, online, in our own quiet way. Rest in peace, Shifty.

Chuck Yeager, MajGen. [ret.]

P.S. I think that it is amazing how the “media” chooses our “heros” these days… Michael Jackson & the like!

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Winters-300x300The Greatest Generation has lost one of its greatest. Richard “Dick” Winters, whose WWII exploits as commander of the fabled Easy Company were celebrated in the book and TV mini-series “Band of Brothers,” died Jan. 2 at age 92. He took charge of Company E, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division on D-Day, after its commander was killed on Omaha Beach during the invasion at Normandy. The same day, Winters led 13 of his men in destroying an enemy battery — devising a tactical doctrine still taught at West Point. Winters and Easy Company moved across Europe: They defended the besieged city of Bastogne in the Battle of Bulge against a relentless, week-long enemy barrage in bitter cold — then went on to capture Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest redoubt some four months later. AP Dick Winters He was awarded nearly every medal imaginable, yet insisted he was no hero: “I served in a company of heroes.” More than six decades later, the survivors of Easy Company called him “a leader personified” and insisted they all would “follow him to hell and back.” Thanks to “Band of Brothers,” Dick Winters’ heroism will live on. And a proud nation will always be thankful for his service. RIP.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/dick_winters_mCwCrGqNpS6AKJinK2CLFI#ixzz1B6lAJ3Uz

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I Fought For You (Please watch this video and share it)

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Thomas B. Gorse, Past Commander of H-1-1-New Jersey

Posted: Burlington County Times, Sunday, April 10, 2011 4:00 am | Updated: 9:36 am, Sun Apr 10, 2011.

Thomas B. Gorse of Roebling passed away into God’s loving and eternal care Wednesday, April 6, 2011, at Samaritan Hospice Inpatient Unit in Mount Holly, NJ. He was 84.

Born and raised in Trenton, Mr. Gorse had been a Roebling, NJ resident for the last 51 years. Mr. Gorse was the former owner and operator of a service station on Route 130 in Florence for many years. He was a member of the Roebling American Legion Post 39 and a member and past commander of the Roebling VFW Post 8838.

A World War II Army veteran, he participated in the Rhineland and Central European campaigns. He also was active in helping to establish veteran’s memorials in Florence Township. A very patriotic man, he loved art painting and reading and working on diesel engines. He was the husband of the late Jean Bitler Gorse for 52 years. He is survived by a brother, George A. Gorse of Las Vegas; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins Thomas was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Elizabeth Verro, and his brother, John J. Gorse.

The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the Dennison Funeral Home, 214 W. Front St., Florence. Interment will be in Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Arneytown. Relatives and friends may call from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. (Please note the corrected time. The prior notice had stated 6 to 8 p.m.).

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name may be sent to Samaritan Hospice, 5 Eves Dr. Suite 300, Marlton, NJ 08053, or to the Roebling VFW Post 8838, 10th Ave., Roebling, NJ 08554.

Dennison Funeral Home, 214 W. Front St., Florence

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Columbia, SC (WECT) – Charles Murray, World War II veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, has passed away at the age of 89. Murray Middle School in New Hanover County is named in his honor.

Murray was a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Brian Murray, Charles’ son and himself a Vietnam War veteran, told WECT his father had suffered recently from congestive heart failure and had a pacemaker put in a month ago. The elder Murray passed away in his sleep this afternoon at his home in Columbia, SC.

“He was a great American, one of the greatest I have ever known,” said Wilbur Jones, World War II historian and head of the World War II Wilmington Home Front Heritage Coalition. The group honored Murray and William Halyburton in 2003 with a masonry memorial outside of New Hanover High School. Both men graduated from the school and received the Medal of Honor.

Jones said Murray would visit the school that bears his name every time he returned to Wilmington. “He was a magnificent soldier, a wonderful friend, and true supporter of preserving World War II history in Wilmington.”

Jones said Murray was a shy man, but very proud of the honor he received from his country.

“We have lost a patriot and a wonderful man,” said Brian Williams, anchor of NBC’s “Nightly News”. He called Murray a friend who helped raise money for poverty at a recent dinner in New York.

Murray’s family said the visitation will take place from 5-8 pm, Tuesday, August 16 at Dunbar Funeral Home on Divine Street in Columbia, SC. The funeral will happen at 3 pm, Wednesday, August 17 at the First Presbyterian Church on Lady Street in Columbia.

Brian Murray said his father will most likely be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, but the details have not been determined yet.

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This week, I have the honor of telling you the story of former Captain, Gordon A. Smith. Mrs. Kathy Smith gave me permission to tell you the following story about her late husband who was a resident in our nursing home. He was born in Dodge City on July 27, 1945 at what used to be called Saint Anthony’s hospital which is now the Heartland Food Store. Most of us at the Fort called Mr. Smith, Gordon because that is what he liked to be called. Gordon quickly became a friend to many of us. He was a tall, strong and kind man who greeted you with a smile.

Like many Americans in the 1960’s, Gordon had to make a decision about whether to wait to see if he would be drafted or whether he should volunteer to go to Vietnam. He made the decision to volunteer. Gordon applied and was accepted into the Officer Candidate Program (OCS) at Ft. Benning, GA. He spent 23 weeks in OCS, 3 weeks in Airborne School at Ft. Benning, GA and then 2 weeks in Panama for Jungle Warfare Training. Gordon chose to go into the “Combat Arms” field in the Army — Infantry to be exact.

Gordon arrived in Vietnam in 1967 and spent 12 months fighting the Viet Cong and the regular North Vietnamese soldiers. As an infantry officer, he was trained to lead from the front and to be brave under fire. He led from the front and he was very brave. His military records show that among the many medals he was awarded were the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross.

Upon his death last month, we set up a memorial service to honor his memory. We try to match the memorial services to the veteran’s personal and military history. Therefore, I went on the internet to find a video that we could play during the memorial about the full history of the CIB, so that his friends and family would know what he had to do to earn his CIB in Vietnam. To my amazement, there is no such video yet.

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Gentlemen,

It is my sad task to inform you of the death of a friend and comrade in arms, Fred Fiedler. After many recent hospitalizations, Fred passed away on May 13, 2012 at the University of Washington Hospital. Fred Fiedler was a Past National Quartermaster.

David AC Shephard
H-1-1-WA, Division 1
Adjutant

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Ready To Become A Regular, Individual or Business Support Member ?

In addition to regular membership we welcome Individual and Business Support members. Support members can help with the overall operations of our individual units and promotion of our Association. Although they cannot vote or be elected to office they offer great support to our local units. Many members sign up their family and close friends as Support members.