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Brother's bravery never forgotten

May 30, 2010|By MARIE GILBERT

HAGERSTOWN -- The photograph is faded and torn, the result of being folded and stored in a wallet for the past 41 years.

But Jeff Trebel considers it one of his most precious possessions.

It's a photo of his brother, Michael, taken on his graduation day in 1968.

One year later, he was dead.

Losing a loved one never is easy, Jeff Trebel conceded. But it's even more difficult when the loss occurs thousands of miles away -- in a jungle, in the mud, in a war.

The Hagerstown man said he was 15 years old when the family received word that Michael, serving with the U.S. Army, had been killed in Vietnam.

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Trebel carries the photo, he said, so he doesn't forget.

"As time passes, it's hard to remember his laugh or the sound of his voice," he said."But I'll never forget his bravery."

Trebel held the photo close to his heart Sunday morning as the sound of taps drifted across Cedar Lawn Memorial Park.

It was a simple gesture, but a moving one.

"It's the thank you he never heard," Trebel said.

About 100 people said "thank you" to the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for their country during the annual Memorial Day service at Cedar Lawn.

The guest speaker was Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, who told the crowd, "It is the military, not the reporter, that has given us freedom of the press.It is the military, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the military, not the campus organizer, that has given us the freedom to demonstrate."

During the ceremony, Munson honored Boonsboro resident Robert E. Glausier, a retired captain with the U.S. Marine Corps who served from 1949-70 and earned a Battlefield Commission.

Presenting Glausier with a medal, Munson said, "He is a true hero, one of the reasons I am a senator in a free society."

Munson said the medal, which features the Maryland seal, is a small thank you "for all Capt. Glausier represents and all the military he represents."

The ceremony also included the laying of a wreath by members of the American Legion Post 42 Honor Guard.

The program concluded with red, white and blue balloons being released into the air.

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