Sunday, January 16, 2011

Major Dick Winters 1918 - 2011

A true American hero, one of the greatest of America's greatest generation.

I don't know how I missed this, but Maj. Winters passed away on January 2nd. Major Winters was a regular guy who was presented with the challenges of command during World War Two and rose to exemplify exceptional combat leadership. I had heard he was in poor health, but just learned of his passing today.

Although Major Winters abilities were recognized in military circles for years, he received broad recognition in the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers, which was based on the book by Steven Ambrose.  Major Winters was the commander of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment from D-Day until being promoted out of Easy company. Some of Winter's exploits are still taught in infantry school.

I never had the honor of meeting Major Winters, my knowledge of him comes from Ambros's book and another one written by Major Winters himself. Great leaders posses certain qualities that cannot be taught or trained for. By all accounts, Major Winters was born with these traits. If not for men like him, ordinary Schmoes who rose to defeat fascism, you would likely be reading this in German, if at all.

To the Winters family, my deepest condolences. To you he was dad, uncle or grandpa. To us he was a hero, we owe him our gratitude.

Rest in peace, Maj. Winters.

Thanks for reading,

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