Monday, November 2, 2009

Meeting Real Heroes - Members of Easy Company

Every now and then I need a reminder of who are heroes in this world and who are guys that play a game.

On Saturday, 10/31, I met eight members of Easy Company. A Barnes & Noble store not too far from where I live hosted a Marcus Brotherton book event. Brotherton recently came out with "We Who Are Alive And Remain: Untold Stories From the Band of Brothers." His book provides more background and stories on some of the Easy Company members who may not have been portrayed in the HBO Special: Band of Brothers.

The event started to thunderous applause - well, as much as possible in a book store. As members of Easy Company entered the store and into the event area everyone around them stood up, stopped what they were doing, and began to clap. Some even started to cry.

Marcus Brotherton spoke first by thanking everyone and read a small, chilling section from his book. He spoke about a hero who overcame injury, adversity, and 18 months of therapy from his battlefield wounds. He then introduced the person he was speaking about and handed the microphone to Veteran Herb Suerth Jr. who proceeded to introduce the other seven members with a great story about each one.

A quick Q&A session followed the introductions and then everyone in attendance signed the book.

I though the line to get my book signed would move slow because it may take the veterans a little longer with the pen. I couldn't have been more wrong. The line went slow because each one of them wanted to talk, thank you for coming out, and genuinely wanted to get to know you. It was the highlight of my Halloween and easily the best autograph I have ever received.

I brought my two boys with me so they could see who real heroes are. You can see the top of their heads in the picture. They didn't get a chance to meet my Grandfather - a proud WWII veteran. This event is probably the closest they will ever have.


Brian said...

I'm not usually jealous of other's autograph success, but I am this time. That is something I would love to have. I have to check and see if they are doing any signings in my area.

Rod said...

I got to meet Sgt. Malarkey of Easy Co. last year at a book festival here in Portland, OR. The reception he got was awesome also.

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

Very well said. The state of our education system is such that when I was a kid in elementary school and Jr. High, WWII coming close to the end of American History books was usually packed into about 3 days before school got out. It is a shame that the greatest event to impact world civilization is so trivialized through movies and video games, leaving our children no real sense of understanding that our grand parents endured not only abroad while serving but the sacrfices for the war effort here at home.

I am so glad you brought your boys becuase the voices of that generation, we collectively, as a nation are losing quickly.

I heard or read recently a statistic that something like 1000 WWII veterans are dying a week. (Or something staggering)

I am so glad you and your sons got to experience this opportunity together.

James said...

Brian & Rod: Thank you. I was lucky to find the event - I just noticed a sign for it while I was in their store a couple of weeks ago. They usually do a good job with their book events.

Rob: Totally agree. Teaching your kids about this stuff really is one of the joys of parenting.

To All: I should also note, "The Hamiltonian" was telling Rob and I via Twitter that he's been doing some TTM autographs with members of Easy Company. Now that's a cool collection!

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