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Tribute Ship for Lebanon War Hero Retires From Service - abc27 WHTM

Tribute Ship for Lebanon War Hero Retires From Service

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For the USS Rentz, it's the conclusion of three decades of keeping global enemies at bay...and illegal drugs off the streets of America.

"The tempo down here is non-stop. And, right now, we are the only U.S. Naval vessel in the entire theater," said CDR Lance Lantier, Commanding Officer of the guided missile frigate. "Our kind of battle cry has been: 'We are Fourth Fleet!' "

It's been a proud and valiant service that would make the Rentz namesake proud. The ship was named in honor of Lebanon native, George Rentz, who, as chaplain on board the USS Houston in 1942, surrendered his life jacket to another sailor as the ship went down in battle. A selfless act of heroism that earned him the Navy Cross, the only World War Two chaplain so honored.

The ship's Executive Officer, CDR Martin Robertson, says Chaplain Rentz would be proud of the ship's many successful missions.

"It's a real honor to be the Rentz's final XO," he said. "The ship has had an almost 30 year history. It's been distinguished. And the sailors that are on board with us, deployed right now, are doing Rentz's legacy proud and honoring the name of Chaplain Rentz."

In just her final year of service, the Rentz teamed up with anti-submarine helicopters and the U.S.. Coast Guard to intercept millions of dollars worth of illegal narcotics along coastal waters of Central and South America. An exhausting, round the clock effort requiring all hands on deck, working as a team.

"The camaraderie among the crew is outstanding," noted CTCM Jasen Williams, Command Master Chief. "And when we have a mission task, we make sure we give it 100% and make sure we get the mission done."

The Rentz will retire her colors for good in San Diego at the end of May. But, until that time, in the spirit of Chaplain Rentz, the order of the day remains "duty first."

"On our final deployment, we haven't stopped," noted CDR Lantier with pride. "We never say die. We don't say quit."

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