FENWICK, MI, US
SPC, CO G, 3RD SQUADRON, 2ND STRYKER CAVALRY REGIMENT, VILSECK, GERMANY
10/04/2010, MAMA KARIZ, AFGHANISTAN
Specialist Joseph T. Prentler died October 4, 2010 in Mama Kariz, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his military vehicle using an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany. The twenty year old was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and had not been deployed very long.
Joseph Prentler was from Fenwick, Michigan. He grew up on a farm just outside Carson City. His family described him as funny, caring and honest and school officials note that he was quiet, but well-liked. Joey was a graduate of Carson City-Crystal High School. His little brother, Dakota Prentler, greatly admired his brother “Joey” and wanted to serve in the military and be just like Joey even saying he’d like to do and experience the same things that Joey did. Joey flowed in the footsteps of his grandfather, who was also a military service member. “We appreciate what he’s done for our lives and what the other soldiers are doing right now,” Dakota Prentler said; and he recalled that his brother had taken him to a snow hill not far from the church and dared him to snowboard a steep hill.
“It’s been a rivalry since that day to see who could snowboard down that hill,” Joey was always more concerned about others and when asked about Afghanistan he’d respond that was not important, and then ask how the questioner was. He also played a wonderful role of the “big, goofy uncle. Joey’s platoon leadership noted that Joey was an important part of the platoon and he had been a joy to serve with Joey.
The military presented Prentler’s parents with his Bronze Star and Purple Heart awards, and gold combat spurs from the U.S. Cavalry. He served in the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment. He earned other medals, including his combat infantry award given posthumously.
Joey Prentley once commented : “To look back at life you can only ask one thing, ‘how many risks did you take?’ and if there was, did they pay off well enough for us to say, ‘I lived proudly.’