General MacArthur's famous quote, "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away," may characterize some veterans' latter lives, but not those of the fabled "Band of Brothers" WWII paratroopers. In 2004, the Valor Studios staff proposed a new and ambitious mission: would the Band of Brothers veterans be willing to travel overseas to meet, greet, and boost the morale of their biggest friends and fans, the men and women of the U.S. military?

Despite being in their early 80s, the Band of Brothers eagerly re-enlisted for the tour, which Valor Studios agreed to fund, from airfares to lodging to meals. Valor Studios named the mission a “military appreciation tour.”

The first tour occurred December 13 - 19, 2004, when veterans Buck Compton, Bill Guarnere, Babe Heffron, Don Malarkey, Earl McClung, and Shifty Powers visited the troops of the Army’s 1st Armored Division in Frankfurt, Germany. There, 1st AD tour host Sergeant First Class William Maloney "re-actived" the veterans for duty as they began their overseas mission. During the ensuing days, the veterans made speeches, attended banquets, and signed autographs for the 1st AD soldiers. On December 16, the veterans gave the 1st Armored troops private battlefield tours of their former fighting positions in the woods north of Bastogne, Belgium, on the 60th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. Accompanying the veterans were Valor Studios staff members, Adam, Bryan, and Bob Makos, along with Irene Malarkey, Don Malarkey’s wife.

For the second tour, Valor Studios teamed with the noted U.S.O. organization to bring the Band of Brothers veterans and actors to Hawaii, Japan, and Korea. There, at bases, outposts, and even a firing range, the veterans and actors visited soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. Participating were veterans Buck Compton, Don Malarkey, Earl McClung, and Shifty Powers, along with actors, Eion Bailey (David Webster), James Madio (Frank Perconte), and Peter Hills (Shifty Powers).

The military’s response to the “military appreciation tours” can be judged on the faces in the photographs below. Where will the Band of Brothers deploy to next? Stay tuned to ValorStudios.com for further announcements. One thing is for certain, with their services in need, rather than fade away, the Band of Brothers veterans plan to continue answering duty’s call and Valor Studios will stand beside them.

GERMANY / BELGIUM 2004
A GUIDE to WHO'S WHO in the PHOTOS BELOW:
BUCK COMPTON
BILL GUARNERE
BABE HEFFRON

DON MALARKEY

   
EARL MCCLUNG
SHIFTY POWERS
Budigen, Germany
Hanau, Germany
Bastogne, Belgium
HAWAII / JAPAN / KOREA 2006
A GUIDE to WHO'S WHO in the PHOTOS BELOW:
BUCK COMPTON
DON MALARKEY
EARL McCLUNG

SHIFTY POWERS

EION BAILEY
(DAVID WEBSTER)
JIMMY MADIO
(FRANK PERCONTE)
PETER HILLS
(SHIFTY POWERS)
ADAM MAKOS
(VALOR STUDIOS)
Days 1-3: Hawaii
Band of Brother Earl McClung
Days 4 - 7: Japan
Days 7 - 10: Korea