If you’ve seen HBO’s Band of Brothers, you know a lot of what made Major Dick Winters famous. I’ve been on a bit of a WWII kick lately and have been watching old movies, checking out interviews with soldiers, and reading books about the war.
Currently I’m reading Winters’ own Beyond Band of Brothers. It’s a tremendous look inside the man’s mind. If America could canonize saints, surely this man would be counted among them.
He never drank or swore. When he was able, he regularly attended church and by all accounts was as dependable as the day is long.
One of the strange side effect of doing all this reading about real heroes is that it makes TV heroes, especially the caped and spandexed, seem awfully stupid. Every story I read about an enemy machine gun outpost taken or a friend killed by a cruel sniper illuminates just how childish the adoration of cartoon wars can be.
Yet I still got a bit of a thrill out of seeing Sturgill Simpson’s Telecaster marked with the Rebel Alliance symbol from Star Wars. George Lucas was deeply inspired by old war movies, and echoed much of that imagery in his own story.
The Empire are essentially space Nazis and the Rebel Alliance in all its rag-tag glory is the Allies. Today protesters from the right and left try to paint themselves as the Rebels, but very few of any of them, regardless of how well meaning they are, hold a candle to Easy Company.
I have to wonder how disappointed some of the men that fought on D-Day would be if they could see how much attention the keyboard fascists with their stupid barbershop Hitler youth haircuts and slovenly collegiate communists have gotten lately. Every right thinking person should reject these soft headed nerds and all their retrograde ideologies.
Anyway, I’ve found a lot of inspiration in Winters’ book and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in true heroism.
If your hero is Batman, you need to get your shit together.