June 8, 2014, - 8:57 pm
I collect dog tags of Jewish soldiers who served in the U.S. Armed Forces (most have an “H” or “J” and some say “JEWISH” on them–and I know current and recent U.S. vets who put no religion or Protestant on their tags in case they were caught by Muslims). I assume that all of the names on the tags I own are men (and in one case, a woman) who are deceased. The tags I really wish I had more than any others are those of my late father, who served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam, but he lost his. And I guess that’s part of why I love this fascinating story of the lost dog tags of a Detroit man who served in D-Day and lived to tell about it. He’s no longer here, but his dog tags will soon finally make it back to his family. It’s a cool story. The kind you see in the movies.
Thurmond Carethers: US Soldier Who Served in D-Day, Dog Tags Finally Found
Her father said if he ever found his lost dog tag, it would go to his daughter. But Maurine Carethers-Tate, 57, of River Rouge never received it because her dad, Thurmond Carethers, who served in the Army during World War II, didn’t locate it before he died in 1983. “I asked him a long time ago,” she recalled. “I said, ‘Daddy, where your dog tags at?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’ ” Now, more than three decades after his death, the mystery has been solved.
Last week, Carethers-Tate learned that a man who lives in Wales in the United Kingdom — more than 3,000 miles from Detroit — found an identification tag with the words “Detroit Mich” and “Carethers” on it. It may have gotten there because Americans serving in World War II used Wales as a training ground leading up D-Day, which happened 70 years ago today. . . . After the war, Carethers returned to Michigan and married Blanche Maurine. The two were married from 1946 to 1969 but remained close until he died of cancer.
During his life, he put others first, often helping those in need, and he worked different jobs, including one at a furniture store and service station, his family recalled. “If you needed something, if he had it, he’d give it to you,” Carethers-Tate said. Her father was the first of four Thurmond Carethers, and Thurmond Carethers IV, his great-grandson, is 19.
Carethers revealed very little about the war and even declined to explain to her why he had a blue star tattoo on the top of his right hand. As he got older, his daughter said, he opened up some and described his time oversees as a “point in his life he really wanted to forget.” “He did what he had to do,” his daughter said. “He was trying to get back home to marry my mother.” Carethers-Tate heard her father landed in Normandy, France, when allied troops invaded. The landscape there is similar to that of Wales, and tens of thousands of Americans trained on the beaches and inland in Wales in the months leading up to D-Day, said Seimon Pugh-Jones.
Read the rest of the story to find out how the dog tags were found and returned to this D-Day serviceman’s family long after he died.
I believe in the afterlife (or at least a “next world” for the soul). It’s part of my religion (the next world part). And I also don’t believe that things like this happen by accident. Some things are just not coincidences. And these dog tags turned up and became known to his family just before the 70th anniversary of D-day for a reason.
G-d works in mysterious ways. And, now, Thurmond Carethers, can finally rest his soul, knowing his dog tags will soon make it home.
Thurmond Carethers, American Patriot and D-Day Veteran, Rest In Peace.
Tags: D-Day, dog tags, Maurine Carethers-Tate, Thurmond Carethers, Thurmond Carethers dog tags