OHIO TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Loved ones said goodbye to a local soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Eric Holman, of Evans City, was laid to rest Monday with full military honors.
Holman volunteered for one of the most dangerous jobs in Afghanistan – defusing improvised explosive devices. One of those explosions took the 39-year-old’s life.
“He never ran away from anything. He always ran to things.”
Holman’s cremated remains were carried on a horse-drawn caisson.
“He gave his life trying to do exactly what he signed up for – to protect those around him to be able to make sure that his fellow soldiers were taken care of,” Maj. Gen. Todd Semonite said.
Staff Sgt. Holman’s family, including his 7-year-old son, was surrounded by a sea of friends and fellow soldiers at the Mt. Nebo Presbyterian Church Cemetery.
“He was short of ego, but he was extremely confident and he was quick to pass on what he knew,” Sgt. Tim McCuen, a pallbearer, said.
Holman was a graduate of Avonworth High School and Penn State. He joined the military after 9/11 and became one of the elite members of the U.S. Army “Golden Knights” Parachute Team.
“9/11 – he said he was going to sign up, enlist, and it was his dream, that was his adventure, that was his goal,” Vicki Carse, a family friend, said.
Staff Sgt. Holman received three posthumous awards – the Meritory of Service Medal, the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
His fellow “Golden Knights” will hold a memorial for him next month.