Local Airlift Wing Sergeant returns home after passing away in Antarctica

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MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A “Hero’s Welcome Home” was held for a local man who passed away serving in the Airlift Wing in Antarctica.

Dozens of people lined the street in Mechanicville to welcome home Sergeant George Girtler, who passed away of natural causes while he was serving in support of Operation Deep Freeze.

Girtler, originally from Scotia, had deployed twice with the wing to Antarctica as well as to Greenland.

He is survived by his two children, and his wife, Mary.

Mary Girtler tells News10 she is relieved that her husband is back home. Friends remember Sergeant Girtler as a kind and caring family man.

“He was a real nice guy, very down to Earth,” Matthew Higgins, who grew up with Mary, told News10, “good to Mary, good to his kids…to everybody.”

Plans for services for Sergeant Girtler have not yet been announced.

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