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Posted July 18, 2003 at 2:01pm

Darrell “Shifty” Powers, one of the World War II soldiers who inspired the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers,” signs a poster Thursday during a luncheon with Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.

Powers and his fellow surviving members of the 506th Regiment of the Army’s 101st Airborne division were in Washington to seek the Medal of Honor for their commander, Richard Winters, who is 85 and lives in Hershey, Pa. Winters was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross — the nation’s second-highest military award — for leading E Company on D-Day in 1944, but his soldiers want him to receive the highest honor.

With Weldon’s assistance, they met Thursday with Les Brownlee, acting secretary of the Army.

E Company, which parachuted ahead of the rest of the Allied amphibious forces during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, was featured in the 10-part HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.”