EVANS CITY, PA, US
SSG, 767TH ORD CO., 192ND ORD BN, 52ND ORD GROUP, 20TH SPT CMD, FORT BRAGG, NC
08/15/2012, GODALI, AFGHANISTAN
It is with great regret that Lieutenant Colonel Jose Melendez and Members of the team bid farewell to a Golden Knight, Staff Sergeant SSG Eric S. Holman. Holman 39, from Evans City, PA was killed August 15th by an enemy improvised explosive device (IED) in Gnazni province Afghanistan.
In 1996 Holman earned a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice from Pennsylvania State University. In 1997 he learned to skydive and liked it so much that he worked honing his skills to become an air coach, static line instructor, tandem instructor and FAA senior parachute rigger and enjoyed the occasional base jump.
SSG Eric S. Holman enlisted in the Army in October of 2003 as an aviation powertrain repairer. Holman was afforded the opportunity to attend the Golden Knight Assessment and Selection Program in September 2005. Upon completion of the rigorous six-week program he was knighted and assigned to the Gold Demonstration Team. Holman served for over four seasons on the Knights as a demonstration parachutist for the Gold Demonstration Team where he logged more than 2800 free-fall parachute jumps, 1000 tandems and 21 military static line jumps.
In his free time, Holman enjoys spending time with his wife and son; working on and riding motorcycles; shooting and mountain biking.
Eric’s teammates are deeply saddened by the news of his death and reminisce about all the great times shared with their brother. SFC Tom Dunning said, Eric taught me to ride a motorcycle. Tom gave Eric so many accolades to include giving him the best gift he could have ever given him was the passion for getting out and riding a motorcycle. Tom had a long chat with Eric about two weeks ago and Eric said, he couldn’t wait to get back to Fort Bragg, so they could go riding.
SFC Noah Watts said, If something had wheels and an engine that Eric could drive it and that he was the first person he ever saw drink a hot cup of coffee while riding his bike. Noah also said, Eric was a phenomenal teammate, that he would do anything for anyone and that he had even loaned him his enclosed trailer to move from Georgia even though he just met him, and oh yea, Eric looked great bald!
His father, David, of Forward Township, Butler County, told KDKA-TV that his son was a bomb disposal specialist who loved his job. “He loved his country,” David Holman said. “He was very patriotic and he just felt that he needed to do what he needed to do, and he wanted to have an impact.”
His stepmother, Jan Holman, told the Pittsburg Post-Gazette that Eric joined the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division and became a member of the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team, which became “like a family” for him, she said. “He had planned to make the Army a career,” Jan Holman said. “He liked everything about it.”
David Holman said his son recently purchased an airplane and was planning to take flying lessons when he got home next month. He said he and his son, who leaves behind a 7-year-old son of his own, talked every week.
“He was an incredible guy. He achieved so many things in his life,” David Holman said. “He was a good son; he was a good father.”