I created a profile at Geni.com for Samuel Calvin Shrout. Sam was not blood-related to me, but he was my father's best friend from the United States Marine Corps. If memory serves correctly, they went to bootcamp at the same time and that's where they met. My dad ended up stationed in Hawaii, and Sam went to war.
Samuel Shrout was born in Fresno, California and died in Long Beach, California. He had a twin brother named Claude William Shrout who predeceased him February 27, 1993 in Tulare, California.
When I met Sam, he had just gotten out of prison and was transient. My dad took him under his wing for a while, giving Sam $20 here and there so he could buy his necessities. Sam had robbed a bank in the 1970s because he wanted to pay his child support. My dad supposedly talked Sam into turning himself in and changing his life around.
When I was a kid, Sam was transient, but every so often he'd stop by my father's house in Long Beach, CA to shower, eat, visit, sleep and play chess. He was a genius at Chess and could beat you in less than 10 moves. Sam taught me how to play chess, and I used to think he cheated, because he won every time and would not show mercy on me. I was a poor sport!
Being homeless and having many issues, possibly due to war, Sam became an alcoholic and a bit delusional when he was drunk. This was the turning point in the relationship between my father and Sam. My dad chose tough love and then they lost touch completely. My father ended up moving to Missouri in the 1990s, and I hadn't heard from Sam since the 1980s.
It was due to extensive digging deep in memory and wondering if Uncle Sam was still around and how he was, that I was dismayed to find that Uncle Sam had passed away in 2008 and had a family-less burial at Riverside National Cemetery. Even though he didn't have blood family to support him during his service, and my dad was angry with him at some point, he was my Uncle Sam and I would have loved to be part of that home-going celebration.
UPDATE August 21, 2015
Picture of Sam's gravestone.
|Uncle Sam's gravestone. Photo courtesy of BillionGraves.com.|
Link to a man who posted about Samuel Shrout's burial.
Link to Samuel Shrout's combined military burial service.