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Local Soldier Home After 28 Months In Canal Zone

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Local Soldier Home After 28 Months In Canal Zone

The soldier in a non-combatant area seldom receives a medal, but often his work is so tedious, a decoration or two would well be deserved.

Such a soldier is Sgt. George Hotzel who has come home for a furlough from the Panama Canal. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hotzel, 116 W. William St., George has already served 28 months at an air base guarding the locks. When his furlough is up he will return to that area to again live the routine life of a soldier fighting a battle of vigilance.

Hotzel was number three man on the Ann Arbor draft rolls, and left for military service in May, 1942

He received basic training at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., and shipped overseas two months after he entered service.

A supply sergeant with a tow-target squadron, George said there were occasional bright spots which broke the routine for the soldiers. These were in the form of weekend trips which the men took in Army bombers to different parts of Central America.

Guatemala, according to the Ann Arbor soldier, took the prize for being the most attractive and cleanest spot in that vicinity. He was particularly impressed by the sight of the Guatemalan women carrying large baskets of fruit on their heads and their young on their backs.

Before entering service Hotzel was employed by Schlenker's Hardware Co., and worked also as a driver for the circulation department of the Ann Arbor News.

George was a private when he went overseas, won his promotion to corporal in March, 1943, and 10 months later became a sergeant.

Sgt. George Hotzel