Dammit, Jolls! You posted before me!

Another summer day
Has come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I wanna go home

May be surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just wanna go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

And I’ve been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
“I’m fine baby, how are you?”
Well I would send them but I know that it’s just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that

Another aeroplane
Another sunny place
I’m lucky, I know
But I wanna go home
Mmmm, I’ve got to go home

Let me go home
I’m just too far from where you are
I wanna come home

And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life
It’s like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right
And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
'Cause this was not your dream
But you always believed in me

Another winter day has come
And gone away
In even Paris and Rome
And I wanna go home
Let me go home

And I’m surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
Oh, let me go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

Let me go home
I’ve had my run
Baby, I’m done
I gotta go home
Let me go home
It will all be all right
I’ll be home tonight
I’m coming back home

So... the hardest part of today's blog was picking a title... no joke. I saw the above vid last night and knew exactly what I was thankful for when I woke up this morning.

I'm thankful for Easy Company - 506th Infantry Regiment.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate ALL of E Company, but the 506th is the regiment I know the most about... They're the ones profiled in Band of Brothers, and I don't know a single person that has seen that show and walked away without being PROUD of their history.

I'm already a sucker for anything war related, and WW2 especially, because my dad's dad was a Bombardier... I think he was in B-52's? I don't know for sure... it's been a while.

The 506th PIR was an experimental Airborne Regiment created in 1942. Easy Company missions were to be dropped from a C-47 Transport Airplane over various hostile territories. The units would parachute from the aircraft, and regroup once they had landed. The purpose of an experimental parachute regiment was to gain tactical advantage over the enemy; also as a fast access to wherever the unit needed to be mobilized.

The training for Easy Company was not an easy task. Besides attending the standard Airborne school, the unit had to perform battle drills and excruciating amounts of physical training. One of the more famous exercises performed physical training was the running of Curahee. Curahee was a large, steep hill, in which the men of Easy Company had to run on a regular basis.

Also as part of their physical training, the members of Easy Company performed formation runs. Formation runs are formed into three-four column running groups. The purpose of this training was to first push the soldiers to their limits, and also to teach them how to work together as a team.

The reason I chose to post the above video is because, the two that fascinate and touch me the most are the object of that video - Maj. Richard D. Winters (born January 21, 1918) and Capt. Lewis Nixon (September 30, 1918 - January 11, 1995). Not only were the two men exceptional soldiers and heroes, but they had a friendship that is unparalleled. The video doesn't capture it in it's entirety, but it touches on how amazing these two people were and how close they were - I loved their friendship more so than anything they ever did... (it breaks my heart to see that Nix died 10 days before Winter's birthday)

I am so thankful to have these two great men be a part of the history of my country - as well as the 506th. Even if you don't know a thing about these two men - just know that they truly are the definition of Hero. Keep Maj. Winters in your prayers and Capt. Nixon in your memories. I don't know how - or if - WW2 would have been different if these two men had not existed, but I know I am thankful that they did. Maj. Winters was a GREAT leader - turned the 506th into the amazing regiment it was, and Capt. Nixon kept Winters going... served as a great friend and a great soldier, despite a slight drinking problem and having never fired a shot. ;)

Winters enlisted in the army in 1941 in order to shorten his time in service. Upon graduation from basic training, he was selected to attend the Army Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, Georgia. It was there that he met his friend Lewis Nixon, with whom he would serve throughout the war in the 101st Airborne Division. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant after graduation from OCS.

Winters volunteered for paratrooper training at Camp Toccoa in northeastern Georgia, and was an original member of Company "E", of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment 101st division, initially serving as a platoon leader. During his training at Camp Toccoa, Winters was appointed Company Executive Officer (XO) and received a promotion to first lieutenant, under the company's original commander, Captain Herbert Sobel.

After the 101st Airborne Division was deployed to England in September 1943, simmering grievances of Easy Company's NCOs erupted into what Winters later called a "mutiny". Captain Sobel was replaced as the commanding officer (CO) of Easy Company by First Lieutenant Thomas Meehan III shortly before the Normandy invasion. However, at approximately 1:15 a.m. on June 6, 1944, the C-47 Skytrain transport carrying Meehan and the headquarters section of Easy Company was shot down by German anti-aircraft fire, killing everyone on board.

Winters jumped that night and landed safely near Sainte-Mère-Église. Having lost his weapon during the drop, he was able to orient himself, collect several paratroopers, including members of the 82nd Airborne, and proceed toward the unit's assigned objective near Sainte-Marie-du-Mont. Without knowing the fate of Lieutenant Meehan, Winters became the de facto commanding officer of Easy Company for the duration of the Normandy campaign.

Later that day, Winters led an attack that destroyed a battery of German 105 mm howitzers which were firing onto the causeways that served as the principal exits from Utah Beach. The guns were defended by approximately one platoon of German troops, while Winters had only thirteen men. This action south of the village of Le Grand-Chemin is often referred to as the Brécourt Manor Assault. The attack is still taught at the military academy at West Point as an example of a text book assault on a fixed position. In addition to destroying the battery, Winters also obtained a map detailing all German defenses in the Utah Beach area.


After graduating from Army Officer Candidate School in 1941 as a second lieutenant, Nixon made the decision to join the paratroops. He was assigned to Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Nixon went through the regimental unit training and pre-airborne training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, eventually training at many locations throughout the United States and England for the invasion of France.

Nixon was appointed as the 2nd Battalion intelligence officer, and showed enough skill at his job to be moved up to the regimental level as 506th Infantry S2, shortly after Easy Company took Carentan on June 12, 1944. He served in Normandy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany, though he never fired a shot. However, in Holland he was hit by a stray bullet from a German MG-42 machine gun. The bullet went through Nixon's helmet but did not kill him. It only grazed his forehead and left a small burn mark. He developed a drinking problem, and was eventually removed and assigned back down to the 2nd Battalion as the operations officer (S3), where he continued to display his skill at planning and operations, but did not have to deal with the politics and high visibility at the regimental level. In Berchtesgaden, he had first choice of a captured, extensive wine collection originally assembled at Hermann Goering's expense.

Nixon was one of the few men of the 101st Airborne to jump with another division or regiment. On March 24, 1945, Nixon was assigned by General Maxwell Taylor as an observer with the 17th Airborne Division on Operation Varsity. Nixon's plane took a direct hit after he and three others got out. He is also one of a very few men in the 101st to earn three Combat Jump Stars on his Jump Wings.

He ended the war with the rank of captain. He saw the defeat of Germany, and returned home in September 1945.

He is known and remembered for his love of the blended whisky VAT 69. This is commemorated several times in the book and miniseries Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose. Lewis Nixon was also remembered as always having a source of whisky no matter where the company was.

I cannot express enough how thankful I am to have such amazing people be a part of the history of this nation. :)

(Richard Winters Left and Lewis Nixon Right)

(Damian Lewis as Richard Winters and Ron Livingston as Lewis Nixon)

I also can't resist throwing out some love to my boys 2nd Lt. Clifford Carwood Lipton and Tsgt. Donald Malarkey. :)

Scott Grimes (right), who portrayed Tsgt. Donald Malarkey in the HBO mini series Band of Brothers, seen here with the REAL Tsgt. Donald Malarkey (left), born in 1921.

Donnie Wahlberg (left), who portrayed 2nd Lt. Clifford Carwood "Lip" Lipton in the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers, seen here with the real Carwood Lipton (right), 1920 - 2001

Guess it's smart to end this now, huh?? Since the theme of December is THANKS - I figured it'd be the best time to post this. :) And like I said, it was at the front of my mind this morning... Thank you to all the boys of E Company - living and non - for everything you did for this nation, and thank you Maj. Winters for your extreme dedication to this nation. :)

Nixon: If I told you, I'd have to kill you.
Winters: So tell me...

Get ya mind right!


P.S. Yet one more thing to be grateful for... I know this is going to seem like, oh blah blah yeah whatevs but honestly... I really am grateful for Donnie Wahlberg... The man CRACKS. ME. UP. No joke... I just read his most recent blog post and I almost peed myself... very recently a rumor was going around that Donnie had been in a car accident - he almost died because he fell asleep at the wheel. It was never proven - but it was never really publicly disproven, though the mods posted it wasn't true on the boards. It was a hell of a thing to come home to - log in and read "Donnie Wahlberg in car accident - fell asleep at wheel." I was like, WTF?? How the hell does that happen? Then re-reading that it said he WASN'T in a car accident... but it still made my heart jump into my chest and I wasn't able to calm down for a good couple of hours (the peeps I was talking to on Facebook at the time know what I'm talking about).

I'm not a big fan of rumors - and having had some recently spread about me on a site I'm a part of, I can understand how retarded it is to log onto a site and see stuff being said about you that completely isn't true. AND - I can understand how angry it would make someone - how irritating it is to know that there are some people out there that have nothing better to do but spread lies about you. I know how depressing it can be to know that people saw what was said before you caught it, and I know how helpless one can feel even when it's over, knowing others have seen what was said and knowing that it's impossible to squash it all out... what I don't understand is how an individual can have so much stuff said about them, and still be able to respond with insanely tactful wit... not get angry, not lash out and make themselves look bad, but sit back and calmly, subliminaly, tell people they're being ridiculous.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Donnie Wahlberg's response to the Car Accident rumors:'

Hey All….

It’s your man here- Donnie.

I know some of you are worried…

I know some of you are confused…

I know some of you have heard a lot of stories that I almost died…

I can tell you they are not true.

I did not almost die.

The truth is…

I actually did die.

Yes its true… I am dead.

I am no longer alive.

In fact I’m writing this from heaven (or is it hell? Hard to tell with all the clouds around…..)

Anyway- I am sorry that I died behind the wheel of a car that never crashed… Never wobbled… Never even drifted into a stray lane. I’m really sorry that I let so many people down by dying. Please know that I wish I was still alive too but this dying this is kind of fun.

I left in my will that I want to be cryogenically frozen so I can be brought back to life one day if medicine finds a way to revive me…. So maybe they will find a way to bring back my uninjured, unscathed, unscratched, yet somehow dead body before for our next tour.

And whatever you do… Please don’t look at the car that I was driving on that fateful night- the lack of dents and scratches mean nothing. I did die. I didn’t crash. I didn’t almost crash. But I did die in the non accident.

Pray for my family….

As Always Your Man-

Donnie W

Ha... hahahahaha.... no joke, I'm still laughing. Props to ya, D man - THANKS FOR MAKING MY DAY! :)

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