Face of Defense: Soldier Serves Third Tour in Afghanistan
By Army Sgt. Antony S. Lee
Regional Command South
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, March 31, 2014 The first time Army 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.
Army Staff Sgt. Dane Lentz of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, poses for a photo at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, March 26, 2014. Lentz recently arrived in Kandahar to serve on his third deployment in Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Antony S. Lee
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
It would become so sultry in his tent that Lentz 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 daytime,” said Lentz, who recently arrived once again in southern Afghanistan to serve on his third deployment. “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 the 4th Infantry Division. All three of his deployments have been with 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team. All three tours of duty 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 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.
His battalion’s mission is to secure the areas around Kandahar’s airfield, Lentz added.
Lentz re-enlisted during his second deployment to Afghanistan while he was serving in Regional Command East, and he plans to re-enlist again this deployment in Regional Command South.
Everyone, Lentz said, should consider serving a hitch in the military. “It teaches you more about yourself,” he said.
After three deployments in Afghanistan over the last five years, Lentz believes the Afghan forces are prepared to provide security for their 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 hails from Newfoundland, Pa. 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.