Hice presents U.S. Flag to Athens resident, World War II combat veteran 

press release from the office of US Congressman Jody Hice

U.S. Congressman Judy Hice (GA-10) with WWII Combat Veteran James “Jim” Gretzinger. Contributed photo

Athens, GA – On Monday, November 7, 2022, Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10) presented a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol to Mr. James “Jim” Gretzinger on the occasion of his 97th birthday. Mr. Gretzinger is an Athens-Clarke County resident and a former United States Army Sergeant who served during World War II, both in France and Germany.

“Mr. Gretzinger is a part of America’s greatest generation,” Hice said in a press release. “During my visit, I was fascinated and humbled by his stories of service to our country. Mr. Gretzinger and his fellow soldiers demonstrated selfless bravery, courage, and tenacity. I am forever grateful for their impactful service in the storied 100th Infantry Division. We are truly blessed to have the finest men and women on the planet willing to step up to serve and defend the divine principles on which our Nation was founded. I want to deeply thank all veterans for their service and express my sincerest gratitude to their families for the many sacrifices they have endured.”

WWII Combat Veteran James “Jim” Gretzinger. with U.S. Congressman Judy Hice (GA-10) Contributed photo

In September 1944, at the age of 18, Mr. Gretzinger arrived in Marseille, France, where he helped defeat German forces as a mortar man, platoon runner, and reconnaissance Sergeant in the 100th Infantry Division. Like other veterans serving in the European Theater of Operations, Mr. Gretzinger faced grueling hardships and extreme challenges, including being stationed in France during one of the coldest winters ever recorded. After his unit pushed through the Maginot and Siegfried lines, Mr. Gretzinger recalled taking turns with his team to use the chow jeep’s tailpipe to warm themselves. It was a time in which they faced hunger and freezing temperatures all while staying battle-ready on the frontlines. Mr. Gretzinger remained in Frankfort, Germany until 1946 and served with the occupation forces in the headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander. 

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