While he would constantly argue that he personally wasn't a hero, Major Richard "Dick" D. Winters was just that, whether he liked it or not.
If any of my readers here have not watched "Band Of Brothers" you should go out and buy it immediately. It doesn't matter if you are American or not, it doesn't matter if you happen to be interested in films and series involving World War II or not. Simply stated, "Band Of Brothers" is mini-series perfection from a number of standpoints. It is a character-driven drama, based upon real, documented events, and with the full support of the actual people who had been there. The sound is amazing, the cinematography is stellar, and the actors chosen to portray these young men are downright incredible and believable in their roles. Sounds an awful lot as though I am describing the attributes of a movie, doesn't it? Watch the ten episodes and you'll understand.
If you happen to be a World War II buff, like myself, you'll certainly get a lot more out of watching the set than others will. There is so much depth to this mini-series, and as for realism the only way you could get more accurate is by being there yourself. The series is likened favorably with "Saving Private Ryan," which is not in the least bit surprising since both Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are behind both projects. Unfortunately, their third attempt to do a WWII series, "The Pacific," paled so much in comparison that for me personally it was an enormous let-down. But, I digress.
"Band Of Brothers" follows Company 'E,' Second Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, from it's creation at the Currahee jump training site at Toccoa, Georgia through to it's disbandment after the capitulation of Germany and Japan at the end of the war. The series follows Major Richard Winters as the main character for the majority of the first five episodes, but as his progression through the ranks pulls him further from actually physically participating in battles, the story settles more on the actual soldiers doing the fighting under his command. Portrayed wonderfully by Damian Lewis, Winters parachuted into Normandy on D-Day, and fought through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and ultimately into Germany. During the Korean War, he was called back into service to train officers at Fort Dix. He was to be sent to Korea, but while issued deployment orders he was not sent there. Upon retirement, he created his own company of farming products, and went to live in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
He contributed to the creation of the mini-series, being shown during interviews, and ending the series with the story of a letter he received from Sergeant Mike Ranney, "I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, 'Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?' Grandpa said 'No… but I served in a company of heroes…'"
Major Richard "Dick" D. Winters passed away after suffering from Parkinson's Disease for a number of years, on January 2, 2011.