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Two men honored as 'Veterans of the Year'

November 06, 1999|By ANDREA ROWLAND

Two Washington County veterans have made it their duty to help others.

The county Joint Veterans Council recently honored Boonsboro resident Robert E. Glausier and Clear Spring resident John E. Bumbaugh as "Veterans of the Year" for their volunteer work with community youth and veterans' groups.

"I was totally surprised when they called me up there. My jaw dropped," said Glausier, 67.

"There are a lot of veterans that are very active and deserve this award," added Bumbaugh, 59.

The duo shone among the applicants for the award, said Ray S. Linebaugh, secretary for the county Joint Veterans Council.

"I thought both of them were very deserving for the award," Linebaugh said. "They were so close together that it wouldn't have made a dime's difference which one we picked."

Glausier, a retired U.S. Marine Corps captain who served from 1949 to 1970 with active duty in the Korean and Vietnam wars, now serves as sergeant-at-arms for the Joint Veterans Council and is a member of American Legion Post 10 in Boonsboro.

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As the commandant of the Marine Corps League Bulldog Detachment, he heads the local "Toys-For-Tots" program.

"I'm totally committed to it," he said. "We've had wonderful support from individuals and businesses in the years we've done it."

Glausier also chairs the Joint Veterans Council's "Bags of Plenty" program - to which veterans and veterans organizations donate nonperishable food items or money for delivery to Food Resources.

Bumbaugh served as an aviation electronics technician in the U.S. Navy from 1958 to 1962, and his community service is linked to his post as first vice commander for the Western Maryland District of the American Legion.

The organization helps underprivileged youngsters by hosting Camp West-Mar near Thurmont, Md., said Bumbaugh, who is on the camp's board of directors and helps maintain the facility throughout the year.

Kids spend two weeks at the camp learning such skills as cooperation and firearm safety, Bumbaugh said.

He spends as much time as possible at the camp while it's in session, but it's the camp counselors who "deserve a lot of credit" for the positive impact they have on campers, Bumbaugh said.

Among his other duties with the Western Maryland District, Bumbaugh helps organize the American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest, he said.

The competition gives students who write about the Constitution the chance to win scholarships, Bumbaugh said.

Both he and Glausier have devoted most of their time to their volunteer efforts since retiring from their after-military careers. Bumbaugh worked for AT&T for nearly 30 years, and Glausier spent 22 years with the state Department of Corrections.

That job paled in comparison to his 21-year stint in the armed forces, Glausier said.

"I loved the pride, the prestige, the honor" of serving in the Marine Corps, he said.

Both men said their military service backgrounds contributed to their civic-minded natures.

"People in the military have a different perspective on how things should be done. They have an appreciation for what they have," Glausier said.

"We're not used to an eight-hour day," Bumbaugh added.

Many of today's youth lack the armed service experience and family values that breed civic responsibility, the veterans said.

A Hagerstown native, Bumbaugh remembers helping his neighbors on Saturday projects without being asked.

"You just helped each other," Bumbaugh said. "That stuck with me."

Glausier recalled similar experiences, and noted the military tradition of setting up health clinics and orphanages in U.S. forces-occupied countries.

The veterans said more community support of volunteer programs such as those run by veterans' groups could aid the fight against apathy.

"We've been teaching for years the same values that everyone says are now lacking," Bumbaugh said.

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