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Washington County Commissioner Jeff Cline's biggest hero, his father

June 18, 2011|By MAEGAN CLEARWOOD | maegan.clearwood@herald-mail.com
  • Washington County Commissioner Jeff Cline, left, and his father, Harry "Buck" Cline, prepare to ride in this year's Memorial Day parade in Boonsboro.
Submitted Photo

Washington County Commissioner Jeff Cline sees his father every day, but that doesn't make Father's Day any less special. For Cline, the holiday is another chance to honor his biggest hero.

"My father lived the American dream of providing a better life for his children," Cline said. "I couldn't be prouder of him."

Harry "Buck" Cline, 88, served in World War II in the 475th Infantry Division in the Pacific Theater in India, Burma and China. After returning home, he worked two jobs to support his wife and four sons.

"It was fun, seeing them play. We never traveled much. Having four children, you don't travel much," the elder Cline said.

During his childhood, Jeff Cline, 54, said Father's Day was a relaxed event.

"We always made him a card and slipped it onto his chair at the kitchen table," he said. "That was a big deal. He'd say, 'Thank you.'"

Jeff Cline has equally fond Father's Day memories with his daughter, Jessica, from whom he has accumulated an impressive tie collection over the years.

"When I wear them, she's on my mind. I treasure them," Cline said. "I've gotten a phone call already (this year) asking for my shirt size. I wonder what I'll be getting."

Jessica, a 24-year-old Salisbury University graduate, lives in Baltimore and usually comes home for the celebration, Cline said.

"She's worked hard all her life. I'm proud of her," he said.

Cline said his daughter has been lucky enough to also have a close relationship with her grandfather. Her grandparents regularly watched her when she was young, Cline said.

For Father's Day, Cline said his family usually goes to church and then either out for dinner or to his brother Mike's house.

It's a simple affair, but Buck Cline always was a modest man, his son said.

"My dad is a very quiet man," Cline said. "Less said is more. He has a quiet disposition and a great sense of humor. Actions are as good as talking."

His father never asked for any kind of recognition for his service in the war, Cline said. Finally, two years ago, the veteran made his debut in the Boonsboro Memorial Day parade.

This year, the elder Cline had another chance to be a part of the festivities, but he wasn't alone. He and his son rode together in the parade.

"People were saying, 'Thank you, Buck,'" Jeff Cline said. "I was so proud."

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