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From The


Dear 508 Veterans,
            Family Members,
                         or Friends of the 508th

The 508 Family

I recently received a copy of a letter sent by Chet Graham to his friends in HQ2, in which he expressed his sentiments about what it means to be a member of the 508 family, and it is worth sharing with all:

“To the Second Battalion Headquarters Company, 508 PIR:

“We are a family—the troopers, the wives, and the children of many ages!

“What we gave in our youth can never be taken away from us, and will never be duplicated. We served for freedom at the outset of our young lives. We were taught lessons that can only be learned from experience. We have seen the true value of human life freely given to save others. We know the true worth of honor upheld on the battlefield and in Prisoner of War camps. We learned to lead, to serve, to survive, and, yes, often at a price too great to bear…but we did!

“One cannot survive the experience of war without learning the true value of human life. We know the beauty of a land untouched by combat, of taking a walk for no reason other than that you want to; and of the magic of a child’s kiss; and knowing you protected that—the life of a child.

“We cannot share our lessons with those we love, except by example.

“This family is a brotherhood, that, for many reasons, is denied to others. They cannot join it because of the utter uniqueness of our mission. We won the ‘tally sheet’ of Duty, Honor, and Country.

“We gained our private peace in sweat, stink, and bitter cold…and in fear, pain, anger, and courage. But we believed!

“Our common experiences have molded a common bond.

“We came home to loved ones. We raised our families, and we have grown old. But never have we forgotten the many sounds, sights, and friends of battle.

“We have faith. We saw great pain and suffering, and we saw death! We survived, and for that and many reasons, we are grateful. Faith is foremost, which we had and have forever.

“We salute our friends who have gone. And now we march on our journey with the prayer that we do it as well as they.

“And now we listen for the shuffle of feet and wait for the chute opening…and we are ready for one more jump.

“We hear the silence and wait for the trumpet.

“To God, our country, our families, and our loved ones, we say, “All the Way!!!”

Seeking Information Concerning William Ekman

Col. Michael Ekman (Ret.) is seeking information about his father, William Ekman, who served as 508 Executive Officer from Camp Blanding days until his promotion to Commanding Officer of the 505 before Normandy. Michael requests anyone who can help him learn about his father’s 508 experiences to contact him via email at: mnaekman@earthlink.net.

Realistic Portrayals of War in Film

I was recently in contact with 508er William Wyndom, who many of you know from his career as an actor (“To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Murder She Wrote”), and we got into a discussion about which war movies were the most realistic. According to William, the only Hollywood films that accurately reflect the realities of combat are “Red Badge of Courage” and the relatively recent series “Band of Brothers.”

What do other 508ers think are the most realistic depictions of war on film? Drop me a line with your comments.

“508 Connections” by Ralph Boroughs

Ralph “Zig” Boroughs still has copies of his latest book about the 508 available. If you are interested in purchasing “508 Connections,” contact Zig at: ralph.boroughs@att.net.

Zig’s motto for the coming year is: “Stay alive in 2005, and we’ll get together somehow!


Bill C. Nation

billnation508@mac.com   (new address)

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