TAYLOR, MI, USA U.S. Army SPC, COMPANY A 4TH FSB 4TH INFANTRY DIVISION, FORT HOOD, TX 76544 KIRKUK, IRAQ 01/31/2004
Specialst Holly J. McGeogh was born on August 29, 1984 in Dearborn, Michigan. As a baby, her mother Paula nicknamed her “Willy,” a special name they would continue to use even when Holly was in Iraq. She was quick, fearless, and got into everything when she was a little girl. Throughout her childhood, Holly continued to show a remarkable sense of courage and toughness. With her endless courage, the military seemed like a place Holly was destined to be.
Upon entering Truman high school in Taylor, she joined Junior ROTC (JROTC) and was in it every year until her graduation. It seemed that JROTC was her passion and she excelled in these classes, doing much better than in her regular studies. She looked up to her mentors, Sergeant Major Brown, Major Ingham, and Master Sergeant Myers, and admired them greatly. When she graduated, she was the Company A commander.
Joining the Army was not as easy as she would have hoped. Holly had poor vision in her right eye and it took several opinions from different ophthalmologists before she was given the ‘ok’ to enlist after she graduated from high school. Holly left for basic training at Fort Jackson on August 22, 2002, and was a model soldier in basic training, mentoring and encouraging other soldiers. Holly stayed at Fort Jackson for Advanced Individual Training (AIT) as a light wheeled mechanic and was made assistant class leader. On January 31, 2003 Holly was assigned to the 4th Infantry division, A Company, 4th forward support Battalion at Ft. Hood, Texas. This was to be Holly’s first permanent duty station. Holly was deployed on April 2, 2003 to Tikrit, Iraq at one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces.
On January 31, 2004, Holly volunteered for a 60-mile trip to Kirkuk to pick up parts. Her truck was the last vehicle in a five-vehicle convoy. An IED was planted in the middle of the road and exploded as Holly’s vehicle went over it. She was killed in the attack along with Corporal Juan C. Cabralbanuelos, 25, of Emporia, Kansas, and Sergeant Eliu Miersandoval, 27, of San Clemente, California.
Holly was to be promoted to Specialist on February 1, 2004, the day after she was killed. She was posthumously promoted, and her mother was presented with the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm ordered that United States flags throughout the state of Michigan and on Michigan waters be lowered on Thursday February 5, 2004, in honor of Holly. She is survived by her mother Paula and her stepfather, Michael.