June 8, 2014, - 8:57 pm

VERY COOL: GREAT D-Day Dog Tag Story You Must Read

By Debbie Schlussel

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.

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18 Responses

We believe in a soul, Debbie, not an afterlife in the Christian sense of the word. (No insult to our Christian brothers and sisters—-we’ll find out who is right when we die. I don’t believe G-d will separate good people based on their religion, if arguendo, He has such a process).

JEG: Jews believe in “Olam Habah” (the next world), which is a form of afterlife. DS

Jonathan E. Grant on June 8, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Debbie is correct. Olam HaBa is the journey leading to Gan Eden [the Garden of Eden]. It is made more or less difficult by our deeds during our lives and many believe that it gets easier if one is buried in Israel. It is more akin to the Catholic idea of Purgatory (Obvious where the Mother Church got THAT from which was rejected by the Reformers.) than the Protestant version of a distinct Heaven or Hell. There are challenges along the way and it is a time for our souls to reflect upon our past deeds and to repent of them. Only the greatest of the greatest stand at the gates of Gan Eden when they die. Many Jews believe in reincarnation but not as a punishment, rather as an opportunity to repair past damage we’ve done. There’s no telling where our souls will reside the next time around, so think carefully before you act.

    Meira on June 9, 2014 at 3:03 am

      Clarification: Catholics also believe in a distinct Heaven and Hell but Protestants reject Purgatory. Their “loving” god gives you one chance and if you get it wrong and you will pay and pay and pay. Isn’t that lovely? Anyone who believes that has some weird “daddy” issues.

      Meira on June 9, 2014 at 3:06 am

    “We believe in a soul, Debbie, not an afterlife in the Christian sense of the word.”

    Not all Christians, JEG.

    The concept of an eternal soul was introduced via Greek writers based on mythological notion of the eternal and this notion was incorporated unto the Catholic church by the papacy. There is no scriptural basis for an eternal soul (or damnation.)

    Eternity -if warranted- at the hand of the Father only commences after the first resurrection for the living and the second for the dead. “Damned” souls are simply extinguished. It’s all in Revelation.

    DS_ROCKS! on June 9, 2014 at 3:54 am

      It was not just the Greeks, DSR, ALL EASTERN RELIGIONS, of which Judaism is one, believe in an eternal soul. Christianity took a lot from the Mithraic and Egyptian mythologies. The “Lamb of God” Is one such example but the Soul concept is wholly Jewish. Read the Psalms and you’ll see. “You quencheth my soul, you make me lie down in green pastures…” Surely you know that one. The Jewish Scriptures are full spiritual and mystical references. It’s only in the past several hundred years, starting with RamBam that GREEK rationalism has crept into our teaching and thinking. While Aquinas was trying to reconcile Christianity to Aristotle, Rambam and a few others were doing the same to Judaism.

      The truly wicked are cut off and extinguished, it seems, but that isn’t really too many people and it’s not immediate from what I can tell. If you recall, Paul said in I think 1Corinthians that there are a few sinner for whom there is no redemption. Murderers, scoffers and some others specifically.

      Meira on June 9, 2014 at 9:17 am

It is a wonderful tale. 🙂

Worry01 on June 9, 2014 at 12:27 am

Hi Debbie, I am hesitant to wade into this conversation because it gets off topic of your post which is an amazing story. It is a great story because it really is a story of hope!

I think a lot of Christians get things not quite right when we start talking about Heaven and Hell and Salvation. There is differences even among the different U.S. Protestant denominations. Also, I think there should be a distinction made between the Roman Catholic church in Rome and the catholic (small c) faith. (catholic meaning universal Christian church).

My faith teaches we are saved by Grace alone. There is nothing I can do on my part to be saved. Now through Grace and the Holy Sprit I will do good works because that glorifies God. But I can do nothing to be saved. So, that is why protestants got rid of the idea of Purgatory. And I nobody can really tell you what Heaven will be like other than that it will be good. Also, Heaven will be only temporary until God remakes creation and we will be above even the angels in Heaven because we are the children of God. There are also probably different levels of Heaven based upon your sins but of course we are saved through Grace. And as you read Scripture it seems that Hell is being separated from God.

Also, one pet peeve of mine is when people make a big issue of the gender of God (Father). God the Father describes a relationship. You have a different relationship with your Father than you do your Mother. I also dislike randomly quoting single versus out of Scripture, I think that Scripture should be read carefully and deliberately. Revelation can be difficult to understand there are four different retellings of the same story and I think must be read with the rest of the books of the Bible in mind.

Isaiah 65:17 For behold I create a new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.

Hebrews 1:12 “Like a mantel thou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed. But thou art the same and thy years will never end.”

Titus 3:5-7 He saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our saviour. So that we might be justified by his Grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

Karen on June 9, 2014 at 9:06 am

    None of which has any relationship to Jewish teaching or Scripture, except Isaiah, of course and that does not mean physical destruction and creation. It is a spiritual transformation of the inhabitants of the Earth and the resulting good stewardship that Adam was commanded to practice before the “Fall.” The Earth will be beautiful and clean and if there are any Greens around, they will love it. ‘Have dominion over all the Earth and it’s creatures” is one of the most misunderstood and abused Scriptures in the Bible.

    Meira on June 9, 2014 at 9:22 am

“…And I also don’t believe that things like this happen by accident. Some things are just not coincidences….”

Me neither, Debbie, to the first sentence; to the second: There are things we know without knowing why we know ’em.

Yes, great story.

lee of the lower case "l" on June 9, 2014 at 9:52 am

Very cool article, Debbie. Thank you.

PS – all the ‘definitions’ will be clarified soon enough. No need to rush it ..

Jack on June 9, 2014 at 10:31 am

Putting aside all the arguments above on religion,which will go on forever I guess. This is a wonderful and amazing story. I agree with you that things happen for a reason.

Joel C. on June 9, 2014 at 11:22 am

Interesting story, but what’s the moral?

Granny on June 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Does a story always have to have a moral? Can’t it just be a nice, heartwarming story about something good in this world for a change?

    Meira on June 9, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Yes, I think many soldiers had to alter the H for Hebrew in their dog tags during WWII if I remember right.
I’m surprised this is still going on.

Frankz on June 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Psalm 90 always frightens me.
For all our days pass away under your wrath; our years come to an end like a sigh;

Karen on June 9, 2014 at 4:00 pm

I have lost soo many family due to war. I was a two year old refugee to the U.S. because my parents came here from Beruit.

Karen on June 9, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Beautiful story. Thanks Debbie. Maybe someday your father’s tags will be found.

Naomi R. on June 9, 2014 at 10:51 pm

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