Let the memory of Joey be with us forever
  • 20 years old
  • Born on February 11, 1990 .
  • Passed away on October 4, 2010 .

A soldier from Fenwick, Michigan who died after being wounded in an attack in Afghanistan decided when he was 8 years old that he wanted to serve in the Army, just like his grandfather, family members said Tuesday.

Spc. Joseph T. Prentler, 20, died Monday in Mama Kariz after insurgents attacked his military vehicle using an improvised explosive device, the Defense Department announced.

Prentler, who was known as "Joey," attended Carson City-Crystal High School and graduated in 2008. He is survived by his parents & a younger brother.

On Tuesday, his mother told The Grand Rapids Press that many in the small community offered condolences.

"He's just an all-around sweet person, just concerned about everybody and anybody. He's just a good kid, friendly. He tried to make everybody laugh. Everybody loved him."

Joey grew up on a farm in Fenwick area outside Carson City 
& enjoyed raising cows, pigs and horses.

Prentler graduating from basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia and was stationed for about two years in Germany. 

Joey was able to return home on leave before heading to Afghanistan. He deployed to Afghanistan on Father's Day this year, serving in various capacities with the Army.

Prentler's parents are planning to travel to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Wednesday, when his body is scheduled to arrive on U.S. soil. Funeral arrangements will be made when they return home.

Specialist Prentler was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment based in Vilseck, Germany.

Specialist Prentler made this statement just hours before his death, "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".

Posted by Cindy Brondsema on 25th July 2016
We believe we found a message in a bottle in honor of Joey. It was launched by a 6 year old boy named Landon. Please contact me if we have made the correct connection. Our condolences for your loss and many thanks to Joey for serving our country. John and Cindy Brondsema

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