Just flew home from Europe with one of the "Band of Brothers"


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iamkris
September 20, 2009, 06:53 PM
I just got home from a business trip in Poland this weekend. I connected through Munich and while walking back to my seat, I passed an older gentleman with a 101st Airborne hat on and a green flight jacket draped over his seatback. The nameplate had his name, unit designation and underneath said "Band of Brothers".

I was two rows behind him and once he settled in, I went forward and asked him if he was in Easy Company. He said "Yes" and we began talking.

It was Ed Mauser, who at 92, is believed to be the oldest surviving member of Easy Company. Ed said that he had just completed a 2 week tour where he found his jump zone from D-Day and traced his route of all the major engagements they were involved in...all the way to the Eagle's Nest. Ed was wounded at Bastogne. He received the Silver Star as part of the nighttime rescue of the Arnheim survivors.

I told him how honored I was to have met him and thanked him for his time.

Later, I mentioned him to a flight attendant. She immediately went over to talk to him. She went up front and soon, each pilot came back in turn to shake his hand. The crew wrote out a letter saying what an honor it was to have him on the flight.

When the crew finished their post-takeoff announcements, they mentioned the "very important passenger". The entire aircraft broke out into applause. The crew refused to let him pay for his wine during dinner. There were several military people on the flight returning for leave and many of them stopped by, shook his hand and asked to have their picture taken with him.

Heavens...stuff like this almost restores my faith in people. For me, this was like meeting Elvis...

Mr. Mauser was kind enough to sign this autograph for me...I'll put this in my "Band of Brothers" book or DVD set.

http://i36.tinypic.com/2jeek2a.jpg


Here's my "commemorative" picture...my favorite M1 Garand with his little brother carbine backing him up

http://i18.tinypic.com/2wquy4j.jpg


Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me for a picture. Here's a few links I found on him.

http://www.omaha.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=OW&Date=20090906&Category=NEWS01&ArtNo=709069862&Ref=AR&maxw=490&maxh=275

http://www.omaha.com/article/20090906/NEWS01/709069862

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jacques_wood/3899920876/

http://www.majordickwinters.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3031&sid=6c393c700d331fcb93cc3af71d80d6e4

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leadcounsel
September 20, 2009, 06:59 PM
As a recent member of the 101st, and heavily influenced in my decision to come to the 101st by the series Band of Brothers, I think that is a really cool story. Truly a great man who also is an American hero.

21bubba
September 20, 2009, 07:11 PM
Hope you thanked him for everyone on here.

wrs840
September 20, 2009, 07:14 PM
Thanks for posting that, iamkris. What an outstanding experience for you! Thanks for giving this true hero the kudos he deserves. You made my day!

Les

Larry Ashcraft
September 20, 2009, 07:23 PM
Very cool!

One of my neighbors is Don DeVore, who was a tank driver for General George Patton. He's about 86 and still in good health.

We are very fortunate to live among legends like these.

pbearperry
September 20, 2009, 07:35 PM
What a great thing to be able to meet a man like him.This story made my day.Thanx a million.

Wishoot
September 20, 2009, 07:40 PM
Awesome story. I could spend hour after hour listening to WWII vets recounting their experiences.

I had the honor and privilege to meet a vet who survived the Batan Death March. I spent an hour talking to him and I was absolutely captivated.

These guys are national treasures for sure.

Edmond
September 20, 2009, 07:50 PM
The 101st is one of the greatest in any branch of the armed forces. To wear that Screaming Eagle patch has to be one of the greatest honors.

effengee
September 20, 2009, 07:50 PM
Brrrr! gives me shivers up my spine...

I've often met veterans with one of those type of hats and shook their hand.
Met a guy yesterday from the WW2 82nd who had 56 combat jumps!

A while back I met a guy who had the look of a vietnam era vet.
As we got to talking about age I stated mine and he said:
"Oh, I got 20 years on you."
I looked at him and said:
"I guess that makes you Vietnam issue, huh?'
He smiled and said:
"Yeah, 2nd of the 9th. What about you?"
I said:
"No, I never served, but I've always had the deepest respect for those that did. May I shake your hand, sir?"
As we pumped paws I simply and sincerely thanked him for his service to this country. He started to tear up a little and said:
"Man, I've waited forty years to hear somebody say that."
I told him I meant it and I did.

ConstitutionCowboy
September 20, 2009, 08:20 PM
It does bring a tear to the eyes.

And it certainly is fitting that I just bought "Band of Brothers" and I just finished the second disk.

Woody

iamkris
September 20, 2009, 08:36 PM
Thanks guys for the replies. I do consider it a real honor to have met him.

For what it is worth, I asked him if the book and the DVDs are accurate. Ed said that the Stephen Ambrose got the facts in the book very true to life. When I asked about the DVDs, he smiled and said "those actors added a few things". :)

duck911
September 20, 2009, 08:40 PM
Great thread - thanks for sharing! And a special thanks to any servicemen and women who happen to be checking in.

--Duck911

cleardiddion
September 20, 2009, 08:50 PM
Awesome.
It's stories like this that warm my heart!

slabuda
September 20, 2009, 09:28 PM
Nice one!! Not too may of these guys left from WWII and its always a pleasure to meet or listen to their war stories. Im quite sure he appreciated the respect/admiration given by the entire flight!

Not to hijack but not long ago while assigned to Osan AB in Korea I met Col (Ret) Bernie Fisher MOH recipient. His son was over in Korea and wanted us to give him a tour of the U-2's so we obliged him greatly. I was asked to photo the tour so spent some time with him and enjoyed the story of his mission where he was awarded the MOH while eating lunch. While he was touring the life support section (where the pilots dress out in the "space suit") the entire squadron formed up and as he walked out of the hangar after looking the Dragon Lady over all of us came to and saluted sharply. What a sight!!

Here is a link about him.
http://skyraider.org/skyassn/fisher/fishermoh.htm

I really wish they would bring some of the old vets to schools and let the kids hear in assembly what honor, integrity and respect really mean.

Nate1778
September 20, 2009, 09:29 PM
Outstanding, but This is the same respect we ought give all our armed forces. They're all hero's in my book........

psyopspec
September 20, 2009, 09:36 PM
I'd so much rather meet a guy like that than almost any of the "celebrities" in America today.

Iam2taz
September 20, 2009, 09:40 PM
This is a wonderful thread.
Brings back some thougths of my grandfather who was a WW2 vet.

sharkman
September 20, 2009, 09:40 PM
I'm pilot and had the pleasure of meeting this gentleman today and flying him from Chicago to Boston:

http://mrfa.org/mohkelley.htm

An honor for this old H-53 pilot to shake his hand and thank him for his service, and be thanked in return.

Never know who you're going to meet

paintballdude902
September 20, 2009, 09:48 PM
that is awsome


btw where did you venture to in poland

Tim the student
September 20, 2009, 09:55 PM
Very cool story. Thanks for sharing.

223lover
September 20, 2009, 10:01 PM
In the scene in the movie where the soldier is taking out the tank with the bazooka, he is Jack McGrath. Fire Official Elmwood Park New Jersey. Quite a fellow.

portion of Bergen Record article

Jack McGrath shows a visitor a dog-eared photocopy of a long-ago
newspaper article. It's about a young Army sergeant from North Jersey
who took a spin through Berchtesgaden in a shiny black Mercedes Benz --
"Hitler's special car," as the story put it -- which GIs had recently
found in the Gestapo headquarters garage.

That driver was McGrath, who still vividly remembers the experience.

cchris
September 21, 2009, 01:57 AM
Great story, must have been such an incredible honor.

jw johnson
September 21, 2009, 04:28 AM
I have met Don Malarkey who is one of the active Band of Brothers. I you guys are intersted, most of the men wrote personal books about their involvment before, during and after the war.

Each book is great! I was fortunate enought to have Sgt. Malarkey sign mine. I have read each book, some twice. They capture your attention and leave you awe struck. That was a time when men were men and iron was iron, a vice versa.

herkyguy
September 21, 2009, 08:37 AM
I am reading Buck Comptons Autobiography now and have watched BoB through and through a half dozen times. I continue to learn from that series. An amazing group of individuals and an honor to meet any of them in person.

Just One Shot
September 21, 2009, 08:54 AM
A big hearty thank you goes out to "ALL" veterans past, present and future!

GodGuns&Guitars
September 21, 2009, 10:06 AM
On a recent trip to the VA Hospital in Dallas my brother and I ran into an elderly gentleman wearing a Coast Guard hat. As both of us had served in the Coast Guard we struck up a conversation with him. Come to find out he had been stationed at Pearl Harbor during the bombing. Did he have some stories to tell. We talked with him for a couple of hours. The "sea stories" he told were great.

scurtis_34471
September 21, 2009, 10:44 AM
I'd so much rather meet a guy like that than almost any of the "celebrities" in America today.

X1000

I consider myself fortunate to still have a living grandfather who served in WWII, although his health is failing. I grew up on his stories of flying supplies from India into China over the Himalayas. He was a flight engineer in the Army Air Corp and saw some pretty hair raising stuff.

I was on another forum discussing politics and some 19 year-old punk had the audacity to say that nobody died for his freedom and it was all a bunch of right-wing propaganda. I wanted to reach through the screen and feed him his teeth.

Harve Curry
September 21, 2009, 10:58 AM
Jamkris,
How fortunate you recognized and got to meet Ed Mauser. Sounds like it made every ones day on that flight, including ours.
There should be a program for war veterans to come to schools and speak.

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