IMPERIAL BEACH, CA, USA U.S. Army SGT, COMPANY A, 1ST BATTALION, 7TH SPECIAL FORCES GROUP, FORT BRAGG, NC KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN 06/29/2008
Memories of this Special Forces soldier can be found around the world. He was deployed in Afghanistan, was born in Hawaii, spent most of his life in San Diego and was stationed at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After many visits to his father’s home on the North Coast, memories of James M. Treber, 24, can also be found in Astoria.
On Saturday, near Khosrow-E Sofla in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan, Treber’s Humvee rolled into a riverbed on a night patrol. Treber and two other members of his unit drowned, according to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command News Service.
“He died doing exactly what he wanted to do,” said a neighbor and family friend, Rich Hedlund, of Astoria.
Treber’s father, Gordon Treber, and stepmother, Nicole, flew to Fort Bragg early Tuesday to coordinate memorial services. His father was a 26-year Navy veteran. The military was in James Treber’s blood.
“It’s something he wanted to do when he was in high school,” said his father, Gordon Treber.
James Treber was a member of the Junior ROTC program at Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach, Calif. His father moved the family from Hawaii to San Diego in 1990. James Treber was competitive and motivated.
He’d have to be. As a Green Beret – a member of the Army’s Special Operations Forces division – Treber went through six training phases of the Special Forces Qualification Course after joining the Army in November 2005. This intensive training often lasts longer than a year. After completing every phase, the candidate is then awarded a Green Beret.
“He was extremely motivated,” Gordon Treber said. “I believe he was a perfectionist as well. He was a risk-taker. He was always with the skateboards and the mountain bikes and the scrapes and scratches. It didn’t seem to bother him too much.”
After high school, James Treber earned a spot as a merchant mariner where he worked on military sealift command ships.
“He was an incredible young man,” said Hedlund, the family’s next-door neighbor in Astoria.
The Lord’s Prayer is displayed as the headline on his MySpace page. It features a picture of Treber and his wife, Tamila, hugging. Tamila and James were married in October.
They met while he was stationed at Fort Bragg. She is from North Carolina. They found that they shared certain passions, especially enjoying their BMW.
“They’re both car fanatics,” said Gordon Treber.
In addition to his widow, he leaves other relatives. His grandparents, Kate and Paul Treber, are from Colton. Other family members include his mother, Laurie Treber, of Mohave, Arizona; brother Gordon Treber, Jr., of National City, California; step-mother Nicole Treber, of Astoria and sisters Barbara Hunt of Orange County and Angel Hunt of Modesto, California.