USASFC 7th SFG posthumously honors Soldier with Soldier's Medal
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service , July 15, 2009) - The wife of a 7th Special Forces Group Soldier was presented with the Soldier's Medal July 15. Comrades and family members of the hero were gathered at the Memorial Rock Garden of the 7th Special Forces Group. Sgt. James M. Treber was posthumously awarded the medal, which was presented by Brig. Gen. Michael S. Repass, the commanding general of U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), to Treber's wife, Tamila Treber. Treber, while serving for Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force- Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom heavily armed vehicle went off of a constricted dirt road and fell into water filled canal with Treber and four of his other teammates inside. Master Sgt. Shawn E. Simmons, Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey M. Rada Morales, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph A. Serna were all from Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Serna was completely debilitated, ammunition cans and a seat belt restricted him to little movement. The cabin of the vehicle had filled with water to the point, their bodies were fully submerged. Treber with little thought for self acted very quickly. Treber released the load and moved him to a pocket of air in the vehicle that would allow him to breathe until help arrived. He went back under water to find another pocket of air, during his daring act he died. Serna is the lone survivor of the June 29 accident; he will keep the memories of his team mates and the heroic actions of Treber alive. The Soldier's Medal is awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States, or of a friendly foreign nation who while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States, distinguished him/herself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy. The performance must have involved personal hazard or danger and the voluntary risk of life under conditions not involving conflict with an armed enemy. Awards will not be made solely on the basis of having saved a life. "This ceremony was the beginning of a healing process," Gordon Treber, father of Sgt. James M. Treber said. "James is not the victim of anything; his service was purely chosen and every generation has to fight for their freedom. This generation is doing a tremendous job." During the ceremony, Soldier's of the 7th Special Forces Group look on in solemn respect for the awarding of the medal to his wife. Repass expressed his condolences to Mrs. Treber and the Treber family. Also, Repass honored Sgt. Treber's service and gave words of encouragement to the Soldiers. "Many of you will be returning to combat and I ask that you remember the valor of Sgt. Treber, let that be an example of what you will do in a period of maximum peril." Repass said. "He was a man of actions, not words. Sgt. Treber answered the call without hesitation or debate." At the closing of the ceremony, Soldier's from the 7TH Special Forces Group gave respects and passed words of encouragement to the wife and family of Treber.

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