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Nonotuck Care Manager Laurent’s Great Uncle to Come Home

Call it a Memorial Day miracle: this May, Nonotuck Care Manager Tammy Laurent received the surprise of a lifetime when she learned that her Great Uncle Shaz (full name Pfc. Erwin S. King) will come home to be buried alongside his parents in the Berkshires. King enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in January 1942, at the age of 17, and excelled in basic training. He was killed just days after turning 18 and arriving in Guadalcanal. His parents had always hoped for his return, even purchasing a burial plot next to theirs in anticipation.

King's family, including another niece and a nephew whom he never met, were informed that his remains had been found in the Solomon Islands and identified through a DNA sample provided several years ago by his niece, Judith LaBonte Richard.

When he is interred with full military honors this September, it will mark the end of an 82-year journey, one that still leaves Tammy in disbelief. “This is something out of a movie. I’m humbled and honored to be his relative. I have several family members, on both sides, that have served in the military, and of course, I’m proud and grateful to all of them,” she says. “Uncle Shaz is the only relative I am aware of who died in service. I called my father about this, and he was so emotional. It’s surreal to be a part of history in the making.”

Tammy’s husband is also a veteran, serving in the first Gulf War.


Read more about Erwin S. King’s Journey Via the Berkshire Eagle

“(Through shared living) people with a disability experience a real transformation and discover confidence in themselves; they discover their capacity to make choices, and also find a certain liberty and above all their dignity as human beings.”

Caregiving with Love:
Guide for Shared Living Providers

Learn how Nonotuck developed a love-based ideology of care. We started our shared living program as an alternative to group homes for people with disabilities. Instead, Shared Living creates genuine life transformation for people with disabilities, as well as families and communities. The true power of caregiving is found through hospitality, authenticity, and love.

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