Buhler honored for helping troops | TheUnion.com

Buhler honored for helping troops

Inspired by the troops he saw in Iraq and the generosity of area residents, Fred Buhler thought it only natural to start Friends of Nevada County Military in 2004 with the help of his wife, Margie Buhler.

Buhler was honored by the Board of Supervisors this week for creating the support group that has since mailed more than 4,000 care packages to local service men and women stationed overseas. He recently stepped down as president of the board for the organization, handing the gavel to Ed Rossovich.

“When I served in Iraq, I came away impressed by the incredible professionalism our men and women show,” Buhler said this week. “I was looking at helping those from Nevada County, so I formed the Friends.”

Buhler, now 69, traveled the world for Bank of America for 33 years before retiring to Nevada County in 1998. He came out of retirement several years later to help reopen the banks in Iraq after the fall of leader Saddam Hussein.

When he returned, “we thought we should do something to help the soldiers, sailors and Marines who were deployed,” Margie Buhler said Thursday.

The Buhlers met on Valentine’s Day in 1965 when they were both in the United States Army at Ft. Irwin, Calif. Fred had served two years in Korea just prior to their meeting.

After the Buhlers established the initial mission in 2004 of getting boxes to those serving overseas, “we quickly learned it was important to support the families of those in combat,” Buhler said.

“Reaching out to the families was important,” Margie said. “Sometimes it’s hard to sit and wait for (military members) to come home. We pray a lot.”

Buhler told the supervisors he hasn’t worked alone. Numerous organizations and about 1,000 individuals have donated their time to the Friends, making up boxes and visiting families, Buhler said. The group now has more than 450 official members.

“It’s been a huge support for the troops and their families,” Buhler said. “This is a very caring community, one that is concerned about each other’s welfare. I’m deeply honored by this recognition.”

To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail dmoller@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4237.

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