COLUMBUS, Ohio —
Six times in the last 10 years, Sgt. Maj. Jeff Zentz has deployed with his Ohio Army National Guard units. Zentz’s most recent deployment ended just a few months ago when the 371st Sustainment Brigade, headquartered in Springfield, Ohio, returned from a nearly yearlong deployment in support of operations in Southwest Asia.
With that many deployments on his service record and a wife and three children, Zentz knows firsthand the challenges soldiers face when they’re away from their families for an extended period.
“Staying connected to my wife and children is one of the hardest parts of being deployed, especially as often as I have been over the last 10 years,” he said. “Being gone for nine to 12 months is not like being gone for a drill weekend or a two- to three-week annual training.”
Zentz credits his wife, April, for giving him the ability to focus on taking care of his military business through the support she’s given him during the six mobilizations and “holding down the fort back home.”
“During every deployment, I handled most of the issues at the home level,” she said. “Even though things may have been difficult, I always made sure I did not complain to Jeff. I knew he had a lot of important responsibilities where he was, and I didn’t want to draw his attention away from those.
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