Rest, Easy

Dick Winters, leader of ‘Band of Brothers,’ dies:

Mr. Winters, who separated from the Army at the rank of major, and his men fought together through D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge and later occupied Adolf Hitler’s mountainside retreat, the Eagle’s Nest, near Berchtesgaden.

A charismatic officer who led by example, Mr. Winters received the Distinguished Service Cross, the country’s second highest decoration for valor, while conducting combat operations on D-Day.

Mr. Winters led a small group of men on a raid of German cannon emplacements near Utah beach on Normandy’s coastline.

While taking out the heavily fortified bunker, Mr. Winters and his men killed 15 German soldiers and took 12 more as prisoners, helping to save countless American lives from the withering cannon fire.

Later in the war, one of Mr. Winters’s soldiers, Floyd Talbert, wrote a letter to the officer from a hospital in Indiana expressing gratitude for his loyalty and leadership.

“You are loved and will never be forgotten by any soldier that ever served under you,” Talbert wrote to Mr. Winters in 1945. “I would follow you into hell.”

There’s a part in the miniseries HBO made about Easy Company that never fails to make me cry like a little girl with a skinned knee, and it’s where Winters talks about the war being over. Everybody else is making grand plans for their lives, and he says he’s just gonna find a spot to settle and live in peace for the rest of his life.


7 thoughts on “Rest, Easy

  1. Jude, my Grandma was 91, and all her sisters lived to old age as well. That generation, man, they weren’t going before they were damn well good and ready.
    (I asked her once what led to their longevity. “We ate potatoes,” she said. “Every day we ate a potato.”)

  2. “Are you a hero, Grandpa?”
    “No, but I served in a company of heroes.”
    –from Band of Brothers
    truly an amazing man…

  3. that generation made it past all the stuff we get s
    hots for now. my great aunt made it to 98.9 this fall.
    my grandma was born w/ TB and made it to 84.
    my great uncle was a minor ‘dick’ in the navy in WW2.

  4. The final scene at the baseball diamond was my favorite. It was an amazing, almost unbelievable story. I also liked the deer-hunt scene where the company’s crack shot couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger on the deer. The others understood, and so did I.

  5. Thank you for posting this. Dick Winters, along with General Wainwright and others, were my heroes growing up. I’m sorry to hear he passed. Godspeed Major Winters, and godbless.

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