News: 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division soldier serves for third time in Afghanistan with same unit
Story by Sgt. Antony Lee
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The first time Staff Sgt. Dane Lentz deployed to Afghanistan, it was 2009, and Lentz lived on a small base in Kandahar province near Forward Operating Base Pasab.
It would get so hot in his tent that he and his fellow 4th Infantry Division soldiers had to spend time in designated air-conditioned rooms.
“It was so hot that the generators wouldn’t work during day time,” Lentz, who recently arrived once again in southern Afghanistan to serve on his third deployment, said. “With the living conditions here, I don’t think we’ll run into that problem.”
Lentz has spent his entire Army career – other than his initial entry training – with 4th Infantry Division. All three of his deployments have been with 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, and all three have been to Afghanistan.
“This one is more focused on letting the Afghans take control of their country,” he said. “That way, they’ll be prepared when we leave, and they can sustain security of their country.”
Lentz joined the Army on Aug. 6, 2008, and he arrived at Fort Carson, Colo., after completing Infantry training.
“I joined right out of high school. I felt like it was my duty,” he said.
Lentz is currently a reconnaissance team leader, and he hopes to use the experience he gained from his first two deployments to better prepare the members of his team. His knowledge of the terrain and weather of Afghanistan will help him in knowing what to expect during missions, he said.
“Our battalion’s mission is to secure the areas around KAF,” he added.
Lentz re-enlisted into the Army during his second deployment while he was serving in Regional Command (East), and he plans to re-enlist again this deployment in Regional Command (South).
“I think everybody should give it a shot. It teaches you more about yourself,” he said about serving in the military.
After three deployments in Afghanistan in the last five years, Lentz believes the Afghan forces are prepared to provide security for the country.
“We’ve been here for a long time, training [the Afghan National Security Forces],” he said. “I think it’s good that they’re ready to take control of the country and defend it against whatever’s thrown at them.”
Lentz is from Newfoundland, Pa., and after living in Colorado for six years, he says he loves it there. He goes snowboarding in winter and camping in summer, and his wife and son currently live there.
He hopes to become a sniper instructor upon his return to the United States.
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