The recognition was 60 years in coming, but the Marine receiving it was no less proud.
Still trim and fit in the U.S. Marine Corpsuniform he had custom-made in Okinawa in 1966 on his way to Vietnam, retired Capt. Robert “Bob” Glausier, 80, proudly wears the Gold Star he finally received for combat action in the Korean War.
It is the second combat action award he has received.
Still, Glausier is hesitant to make much of his latest recognition.
“Bob is awfully modest. He had a heck of a time getting the award,” said Clark Mayer, adjutant of the Antietam Detachment of the Marine Corps League in Hagerstown.
Glausier, who retired in 1970, had previously received an award for combat action in the Vietnam War. He received one of the last battlefield commissions of that era in June 1966, Mayer said.
The Combat Action Ribbon was first authorized by the secretary of the Navy in February 1969 and was made retroactive to March 1, 1961, according to information provided by Mayer.
In October 1999, President Bill Clinton authorized the secretary of the Navy to award the Combat Action Ribbon to members of the Navy and the Marine Corps who participated in combat during any period after Dec. 6, 1941.
In 2010, Glausier learned he was eligible for a second combat action award. He sent a letter to USMC headquarters inquiring about his eligibility. The letter was forwarded to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, starting the wheels in motion.
But the process was complicated by lack of documentation. A fire burned through the St. Louis records center in July 1973, increasing the effort required to verify that Glausier was eligible for the award.
Normally, research would have to be done by records personnel to check combat diaries, general orders, ambush and reconnaissance patrols and after-action reports.
But since those records weren’t available because of the fire, it took contact with the commanding officer, executive officer, noncommissioned officers and fellow Marines, many of whom were older than Glausier, to verify his combat service in Korea as a sergeant.
“I didn’t do anything. They went to work and found out I was eligible. I was humbled,” Glausier said.
Glausier was to be presented with this long-awaited award at the Marine Corps 236th Ball on Nov. 5, 2011, at the AmVets on Frederick Street in Hagerstown, but was in the hospital after falling on the ice as he headed to church the weekend of the October snowstorm.
Instead, Glausier received the award on Nov. 18 at the Leesburg, Va., rehab center where he was recovering and where his daughter-in-law works as a nurse.
Glausier has since returned to his Boonsboro home, where he has lived since his retirement from the military, walking only with the aid of a quad cane.
He grew up near Tampa, Fla. and married Boonsboro native Barbara Jean Zimmerman in 1954, after the Korean War. They were married 56 years, until her death in February 2010.
The Glausiers raised two sons, but lost one 25 years ago to cancer at the age of 27.
After moving to Boonsboro in 1970, Glausier worked as a correctional supply officer at the Maryland Correctional Institution, then at the Roxbury Correctional Institution before his retirement in 1992.