Veterans Association of America, Inc.
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Serving those who've served this Country

Mr. John Crocker, Board Member Emeritus


     John Crocker was born, raised, and educated in Harlem. He attended P.S. 139 when it was an elementary school and remained in the same complex when it became Fredrick Douglass Jr. High School. He graduated from Frederick Douglass in 1944 and attended DeWitt Clinton H.S. in the Bronx.

     He left H.S. to go to work in 1947, worked as Sales Clerk in a Liquor Store in Lower Manhattan until 1951 when he was inducted unto the U.S. Army. He received his basic training in Fort Dix N.J., and then was transferred to Fort Campbell Ky. for Airborne Infantry Training. He received his Parachute Badge in 1952 and was assigned to the 11th Airborne Infantry Unit at Fort Campbell. He earned his H.S. diploma in the military after a year of studies. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in January 1953 with the rank of PFC.

     John began employment with the City of New York as a Conductor for the Transit authority in 1954; he had taken the test prior to being drafted, and remained on the list. He worked as a Conductor for three years and later was promoted to Special Inspector.

     In 1956 John took and passed the test for New York City Patrolman. He was sworn in as Patrolmen in January 1957, and began working in the 7th Precinct in Lower Manhattan. He was awarded the Meritorious Police Metal in 1958. In 1959 he was transferred to the 90th Police Precinct in Brooklyn, where he worked until 1972. He worked on foot patrol in the Radio Motor Patrol and Special Assignment, also on Clerical Assignment in the precinct.

     In 1969 John began studies at New York Technical College in Brooklyn N.Y. and earned an Associate Degree in 1972. In 1973 he began studies with New Paultz College, New Paultz, New York and with the State University of New York. In 1979 he earned a B.A. from the State University of New York and a B.Sc., from New Paultz University.

     In 1978 John graduated after being trained for 18 month to become a “TACS”, (Teaching Assistant in Correctional Services), a program sponsored by the New York State Department of Corrections, The New York State Department of Labor, and The State University of New Paultz.

     In 1984 he began work as a Job Developer/Employment Specialist for the South Forty Corporation, in New York, N.Y., a non-for profit agency that provided Transitional Services for men being discharged from the New York State Correctional System. The same year he enrolled in Fordham University’s Graduate School, “Project REAL” (Recourse Enhancement and Leadership) He requires 12 credits for a Master’s Degree.

     In 1985 John joined the New York State Department of Labor, and began work as a Local Veterans Employment Representative, (LVER), and was responsible for the priority services mandated by U.S. Code, Title 38 and Chapter 42. The Local Community Based “One Stop Shop Center” serviced Upper Manhattan Veterans.

     From 1985 to 1987 John worked as a Counselor and Job Developer, for Holy Apostles Center, New York, N.Y. where he implemented and developed employment and on-the-job training opportunities for disadvantages clients, and demonstrated to employers the advantages and profitability of employing certain chronically unemployed persons.

     From 1997 to 1998, John worked for Volunteers of America at the Wards Island homeless shelter providing Social and Supportive Services for disadvantaged male and female adults.

     Currently, John is working with Community Access, a non-profit agency founded in 1974, which provides housing, counseling and advocacy for people recovering from mental illnesses. He is assigned at Gouverneur Court. Gouverneur Court represents an exemplary partnership, which furthers the goal of affordable housing and services for the most vulnerable New Yorkers. Gouverneur Courts accommodates Homeless adults recovering from mental illness, men, women tested positive for HIV, and Low Income adults.

     Regarding Education, John was instrumental in the developing the “Lifelong Learning Partnership, a unique partnership to extend lifelong learning to underserved adults in New York City. It was formed in October 2003 when channel Thirteen/WNET New York’s Adult Education Department, the New York City Department of Education and Community Access at Gouverneur Court (a not-for profit housing advocacy initiative), joined forces to enroll adults student in Channel Thirteen’s Pre-GED and GED distant learning tutorial programs. The program also advocates for adults wishing to continue their educating after completing the GED examination.

     John also tutors students from an elementary school in Upper Manhattan’s “Sister’s Uptown Bookstore and Cultural Center.”

     Rev. Dr. Carl L. Washington Jr., Pastor, set him aside as a Deacon in New Mt Zion Baptist Church. He’s also a Chaplain In the “United Chaplains of New York State.”

     John Crocker is married and currently resides in Harlem, New York.