Golden Knight gives the Ultimate Sacrifice

 

 

 

 

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 a 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!”

 

 

Roy D. Martin

CPT Roy D. Martin

It is with heartfelt sorrow that we announce that Original US Army Parachute Team member Roy Dophele Martin, the USAPT’s very first Executive Officer (1960-62), and its second commanding officer (1962-65) lost his horrific battle with cancer on Monday, July 2, 2012 at the Veterans Administration Nursing Home in Collins, Ms.

 Roy was a giant of a man, not just in stature, but in the legend he leaves behind for his family, former team mates and current Knights,’ which he fought to blaze a trail for today. Roy’s License number is D-41,  he was a sky diving instructor and made 1,849 free fall parachute jumps,  his highest jump was 30,000 Feet, and he made over 200 static line jumps during his parachuting career.

Roy’s Military legacy speaks for itself as he participated in Towers Moon, an early test of the tactical use of free fall parachuting. He also was the Officer in Charge and Jumpmaster of the original HALO Test project and was a STRAC Team member and a former Company Commander of B Company 1/8th Cavalry (1965-66.)

These are a few of Roy’s accomplishment during his career with the team from his personal bio. “The team members selected the team name “Golden Knights.” Danny Byard and Dick Fortenberry came up with the name then the team voted for it. I signed off on the name. Team expanded to 5 Officers, 1 Warrant and 40 Enlisted with rank increases to: 3 E-7′s, 6 E-6′s & 20 E-5′s. The Team aircraft was approved of with aviation section. Led the First U.S. Army C.I.S.M Team. The Competition Team placed 2nd overall in Pau France. The Team earned a Superior I.G. inspection rating. Served as the Team leader: U.S. Team 1963, Adriatic Cup Meet placing 2nd overall.P.CA. Served as the Board of director 1962-65.Team was accident free from 1962-65. The Team was re-organized to: Two Demonstration, One Competition and One R&D team. I Departed Team to attend Advance Infantry Officers Course and Assignment to Vietnam.” 

George Torrealba said, “He was an outstanding Soldier, a combat leader that carried a rifle and bullets downrange as well as having a storybook parachuting career. While Commander, he probably sent more Team members to OCS and Flight School than any other Commander. His dedication to the Team and its members never ceased and he never stopped trying to see they received the accolades they earned.”

Casually talking to Roy you could see that he was a gentle soul working with Way Out Farms as a tree farmer, that he loved and had numerous animals, and that he had been a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for over twelve years. He owned many titles earning a BA degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha; MS University of Southern MS., Elder Ellisville Presbyterian Church ,President Military Officers Association Pine Belt Chapter, President Mississippi Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee, Past President Jumping Mustangs Association, Life Member: DAV, VFW, PH, MOA and active member of Ellisville Lions Club.

Roy always attended and thoroughly enjoyed the Team reunions and was sure to stop in at the headquarters facility any time he was in the Fort Bragg area to tell stories and reminisce about the “days of ole.”

Roy was married to the love of his life, Martha Jo Sellers Martin that was always at his side supporting him for over 59 years and had three children he cherished, Rickey, Randy and Michelle and a proud grandparent of five granddaughters: Connie, Kayla, Lauren, Kelsey and Madison.

Funeral services Roy Dophele Martin, 81 of Ellisville, MS will be held at 10:30 a.m., on Friday, July 6, 2012 at Ellisville Funeral Home in Ellisville, MS with Rev.Benjamin P. Glaser officiating. Burial will be in Gandy Cemetery.

Roy you will be greatly missed and we know that you greeted with open arms by many of your old team mates and by Dan Williams who just passed with cancer on 24 June, 2012.

 “Blue Skies, Roy We love you!”  

 

After 15 Years, Golden Knights Return to Gray, TN

After 52 years of service, Golden Knights have created many traditions. At the same time, several communities have inducted us into theirs. One such community to involve the Golden Knights into their annual traditions, is Gray Tennessee. For several years, Golden Knights performed aerial demonstrations into their annual fair. We became a regular sight in their Tennessee skies. The small community looked forward to our visit every year. However, the black and gold of Army parachutes have been absent since 1996. Black Team was honored to represent the Team’s return on Monday, August 22nd. (more…)

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