“Next Time You’re Waiting In Line At Starbucks, You May Be Standing Next To A Hero…”

Sylvester Stallone.  Arnold Schwarzenegger.  John Wayne.

When you hear these names… a word pops into most people’s minds.  For most, that image is “hero.”   Not that these men have (or have not) been actual heroes in their real lives, but they have all played heroes… over and over… on the silver screen.

As a quick, interesting aside:  John Wayne’s real name was Marion Morrison – son of an Iowa pharmacist, Clyde Morrison.  Morrison moved his family to California because he suffered from a lung condition and thought the climate in California would help.

Young Marion had a dog named “Duke” (the source of his own nickname) and went to USC on a football scholarship from 1925 – 1927.   He got his summer job as a prop man in exchange for football tickets.  On the set, he became close friends with John Ford, who started him in his movie career.  And as some would say – the rest is history.  John Wayne appeared in nearly 250 movies – some of the biggest of his time.  He holds the record for the actor with the most leading parts: 142.

And here’s a great story taken from The Internet Movie Database:

“The evening before a shoot, he was trying to get some sleep in a Las Vegas hotel. The suite directly below his was that of Frank Sinatra (never a good friend of Wayne), who was having a party.

The noise kept Wayne awake, and each time he made a complaining phone call, it quieted temporarily but each time eventually grew louder. Wayne at last appeared at Sinatra’s door and told Frank to stop the noise.

A Sinatra bodyguard of Wayne’s size approached saying, “Nobody talks to Mr. Sinatra that way.” Wayne looked at the man, turned as though to leave, then backhanded the bodyguard, who fell to the floor, where Wayne knocked him out by crashing a chair on top of him. The party noise stopped.”


Too often we think of heroes only in dramatic terms, like the movie roles played by actors and actresses… In reality, REAL heroes walk amongst us every day.  And sometimes stand next to us in Starbucks.

For example, Roger Kruetz seemed like an average guy.  He often worked early and late hours, but usually took the time to exercise in the afternoon with his younger brother, Chris.

Roger would pick up drinks at Starbucks for both of them before their daily workout.   One day in March of this year, Chris’ brother waited for Roger, who didn’t show up.

Instead of hearing from Roger, Chris heard from the hospital.  The caller told Chris that Roger was in a coma.

Earlier in the day, Roger did go to Starbucks as planned. As he waited in line, a young woman paid for a coffee and left the store.  The young man she was standing in line with suddenly grabbed the tip jar from the counter and ran out the door.  Without hesitation, Roger chased after him into the parking lot.  Police say the two suspects, with the young man behind the wheel of a 1990 white Ford Taurus, ran Roger over in the parking lot.

Roger Kreutz died in the hospital two days after his brother received that horrific call.  He was only 54 years old.

The Tip Jar’s Contents Were Worth About $5

Kreutz’s family members weren’t surprised Roger acted the way he did. “He was just caring, loving, witty and extremely loyal,” said his youngest brother, Chris Kreutz, 42. “That’s how my brother is. I would have done the same thing.”

A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the conviction of the suspects. Starbucks Corp. contributed $10,000, which an anonymous donor matched.

At the time of this writing, a single rose with a note offering prayers stands in a vase on the coffee shop counter.

It seems a little unjust that Hollywood heroes make millions, while real ones get a single rose and the thought and prayers of loved ones.  It also seems unfair that everyone recognized the three names at the beginning of this story – but almost no one knew the name Roger Kreutz. Sadly, real heroes seem to silently slip through the cracks sometimes.

So, next time you are standing in line at Starbucks… or… the supermarket… or anywhere… think about Roger Kreutz.  Think about who you are standing next to and think about if YOU would have the courage to be like Roger.

Dr. David Warwick of Warwick Chiropractic Lacey, WA Chiropractor

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