- The Washington Times - Friday, November 11, 2005

Noble: Pvt. Roderick Evans of Detroit, Mich., who shed 230 pounds to join the Army.

Three years ago, at 5 feet 7 inches and 418 pounds, 36-year-old Roderick Evans stood little chance of joining the military. “I couldn’t walk from the couch to the door without sitting down,” the former home-health specialist and trombone instructor told the Fort Sam Houston News Leader last week. A military recruiter didn’t even bother to test him. “You’re just too big,” he recalls being told.

How things have changed. Pvt. Evans today weighs 165 pounds and says he feels like a new man. What was his secret? Nothing the doctor wouldn’t recommend. He laid off the junk food, reduced his meal portions and hit the gym regularly. He had no surgery and did not use medication. With nothing but determination, Pvt. Evans burned away more than half his body mass.

You might say Pvt. Evans’ dieting secret was a calling to serve his country. “I never lost sight of my goal,” he said. “Even at 418 pounds I never gave up. That’s just who I am.” Recruiters jumped to sign him up.

For giving “determination” a whole new meaning, Pvt. Evans is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: Whoever abused Rafael, a 2-month-old Washington infant.

As this newspaper reported yesterday, a Metropolitan Police detective testified on Thursday that Rafael was shaken, slapped and dropped on his head to the point that he will never be able to function normally. He “has no motor skills … is being fed intravenously, and the child will never be a normal child as we know it.” He also was exposed to cocaine before birth.

According to Detective Henry Gerald, Rafael’s foster mother, Tonya Jenkins of Southeast D.C., admitted to police that she shook and slapped Rafael and “accidentally” dropped him on his head repeatedly. Mrs. Jenkins is charged with first-degree cruelty to children, a felony that carries up to 15 years in prison. When police arrested, charged and interviewed Mrs. Jenkins for four and a half hours on Oct. 25, she seemed “very nonchalant about the whole incident.” The detective also claims Albert Montgomery, Mrs. Jenkins’ boyfriend, shook Rafael once.

Rafael is currently at Children’s Hospital and will need a gastrointestinal tube inserted “indefinitely.”

For unspeakable cruelty to a 2-month-old infant, Rafael’s abusers — whoever they are — are the Knaves of the week.

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