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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 25, 2013/ 14 Nissan, 5773

Vietnam veteran deserved an honorable farewell

By Mitch Albom








http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you knew Sanderious Crocker, please read this.

He died.

He was 67. Folks called him Sam. He was living in poverty in downtown Detroit. A Vietnam veteran who was seriously wounded, he'd been homeless for a while. He struggled with alcohol. Maybe you know this. Maybe you don't. Maybe you lost touch. Maybe you wanted to.

Whatever the case, you should know that Sam's body had been sitting at a Detroit morgue for a week before a friend called me and asked whether there was a way to find his family -- any family -- because a soldier shouldn't die alone and neglected.

He left behind his papers. I am looking at his discharge form now. It says he served four years in the Marine Corps, from 1964-68. It says he earned badges for pistol and rifle marksmanship. It says he won several medals.

Under "Character of Service" is one word:

"Honorable."

It's possible I met Sam Crocker, and maybe some of you did, too, because he used to hang around the I Am My Brother's Keeper Ministries on Brainard and Trumbull. The earliest anyone remembers him there is 1998, when he was sitting on a low wall across the street from the church.

"It was summertime, and we were talking, and he was telling us he used to sing background with the Contours before he went to Vietnam," remembers Anthony Castelow, an elder of the church. "Finally about 7:30 we said, 'OK, we're gonna go.' But the next morning we came back, and we saw him sleeping on the ground on the other side of the wall.

"I said, 'Sam, what are you sleeping on the ground for? You're a veteran! You gottta have a check coming and a place to live, right?'

"Well, he cussed me out with both barrels. He said, 'Don't tell me what I gotta have.' I said, 'OK, OK, I apologize.' That night, Pastor Henry Covington took him in, let him stay with some of the homeless guys in the church."

By that point, Sam was already over 50 years old. As near as I can cobble together, he'd been part of a family that was split apart due to domestic issues. He graduated from high school in 1964 and shortly thereafter went into the Marines.

He did four years. Fought "guerrilla forces" in Vietnam. According to his paperwork, he received the Presidential Unit Citation, which is given for extraordinary heroism in action.

What Sam did over there, I cannot tell you, because he apparently did not like to talk about it.

"He was shot up pretty badly," as Castelow recalls. "He lost half his stomach. He lost use of his legs for a long time. He was angry about it."

Over time, it caused Sam to withdraw from much of life, and take up with alcohol.

Does this sound like a familiar story?

No man should die alone. No man should be buried without a farewell. Sam Crocker, who used a motorized wheelchair at the end, had no family around when he passed, left no information, no phone numbers. I put the word out through calls and the Internet, and some 200,000 people shared it around the world through Facebook. Eventually, a younger sister was located.

She was stunned. She hadn't had contact with her brother in 40 years. All the other siblings, she said, were dead. When I told her that Sam, as a veteran, was entitled to a military funeral, she was extremely grateful, and said she would attend.

Annette Covington of My Brother's Keeper was instrumental in connecting people. Deacon Norris, who owns Gates of Heaven Funeral Home in Detroit, has rescued the remains and "got him a nice suit and tie."

Sam spoke of a daughter. No one has been able to find her. If she is reading this, perhaps she wants to get in touch.

The rest of us can pay our respects 3 p.m. this Friday at the I Am My Brother's Keeper church. Sam will later be interred, with a military funeral at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly.

Maybe you knew Sam. Maybe you didn't. Maybe you feel bad for his ending. Maybe you don't. I can't sit here and tell you Sam was a great man or even a good one. But I do know he served when his country called, and he paid a price, and the military sent him off with the word "honorable."

Maybe we should do the same.



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