EVANS CITY (KDKA) — A father is in mourning following his son’s death in Afghanistan. He is now remembering the local soldier as a brave and patriotic man who was both a good son and father.
Staff Sgt. Eric Holman, 39, of Evans City, was an explosive ordinance specialist who loved his job.
He was killed Wednesday by an improvised explosive device in Ghazni province.
“Those guys have an incredibly dangerous job,” said David Holman, Eric’s father. “You know, they’re out on patrol and when they come across these things, it’s his job to secure and disarm them or explode them or whatever it takes to protect the rest of the team, and he did it willingly. That’s what he wanted to do.”
A 1990 graduate of Avonworth High School, Holman also attended Penn State University.
He joined the Army after 9/11 and was deployed to Afghanistan in January. Holman was also a member of the Golden Knights parachute team.
“He loved his country,” said Eric’s father. “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.”
Holman says his son recently purchased an airplane and was planning to take flying lessons when he got home next month.
“When he came home from Afghanistan, then he and I would fly his new airplane back to Fort Bragg because that’s where he wants to learn how to fly, down there,” said David Holman. “Of course, that’s never going to happen.”
Holman says he and his son talked every week, and they were as close as a father and son could be. He also leaves behind a 7-year-old son.
“He was an incredible guy. He achieved so many things in his life,” Holman said of his son. “He was a good son; he was a good father.”
His family just returned this weekend from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where they went to retrieve his body.
Meanwhile, the Golden Knights parachute team is planning a special ceremony over Grove City Airport in Holman’s honor.