Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Derek D Holland

Wind Gap, Pennsylvania

June 3, 2008

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
20 Army Pfc

228th Brigade Support Battalion, Pennsylvania Army National Guard

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

 Killed in Zormat, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when their vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device.

Office of the Mayor

WHEREAS, U.S. Spc. Derek David Holland, resident of the Borough of Wind Gap, son of Kathy L. Andreas of Wind Gap and David G. Holland of Coplay, and graduated from Pen Argyl Area High School and the Career Institute of Technology in 2006; and

WHEREAS, Spc. Derek David Holland enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard on April 25, 2006; and

WHEREAS, Spc. Derek David Holland served proudly as a member of the 228th Brigade Support Battalion in Bethlehem, and was deployed to Afghanistan in the service of his country in March 2008; and

WHEREAS, Spc. Derek David Holland was serving as security for the Gardez Provincial Reconstruction Team, which operates in Paktia Province helping Afghanistan build its infrastructure for essential services; and

WHEREAS, Spc. Derek David Holland has made the ultimate sacrifice, giving his life in the line of duty on June 3, 2008, when an improvised explosive device struck his humvee near the town of Zormat; and

WHEREAS, Spc. Derek David Holland was awarded posthumously the Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge; and 

WHEREAS, Spc. Derek David Holland was a courageous National Guard soldier, and a loving son, nephew, cousin and friend; and 

WHEREAS, Spc. Derek David Holland whose patriotism and dedicated service to his country make him a hero and a true role model for all Americans.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED by the Mayor of the Borough of Wind Gap, on this, the 28th day of June, 2008, that Spc. Derek David Holland be, and he hereby is, recognized, honored and thanked for his selfless dedication to his Country that he so proudly served.

Mitchell D. Mogilski, Sr.
Mayor, Wind Gap, Pa.

Wind Gap, Pa Borough Seal
From The Pocono Record poconorecord.com 06/03/08:

Derek D. Holland
June 3, 2008
June 09, 2008 6:00 AM

Derek D. Holland, 20, of Wind Gap, died Tuesday, June 3, in Afghanistan. Born in Bethlehem, he was a son of Kathy L. Andreas of Wind Gap and David G. Holland of Coplay.

He was a 2006 graduate of Pen Argyl High School and attended the Career Institute of Technology in Forks Township. He was a member of Co. A 228th. FSB, PAARNG. Derek worked at B'nai B'rith Apartments, Allentown, during the summers and between his basic training and advanced infantry training.

Several years ago he wrote: "A man with his head held high and a man with his head held low both have the ability to see what's in front of them. But the man with his head held high can see farthest."

He is survived by his parents; by his Aunt Penny A., wife of Richard Spingarn of Trumansburg, N.Y.; his Uncle William S. Andreas of Sudbury, Mass.; and a cousin, Russell B. Spingarn of Trumansburg, N.Y.

A service, with military honors, will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 12, at Donald S. Reinert VFW Post # 7293, 5209 Springmill Road, Whitehall. Calling hours will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Trexler Funeral Home, 1625 Highland St., Allentown, and from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday at the VFW Post.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Co. A 228th. FSB Family Readiness Group, 301 Prospect Ave., Bethlehem, PA 18018, or to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, c/o Trexler Funeral Home, 1625 Highland St., Allentown, PA 18102.


UPDATE: National Guardsman with Bethlehem unit -- who went to Pen Argyl Area High School and CIT and lived in Wind Gap -- killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan

Posted by staff and wire reports June 05, 2008 12:00PM
Categories: Lehigh Valley Live
Special to The Express-TimesDerek David Holland joined the National Guard during his senior year at Pen Argyl Area High School.

A 2006 Pen Argyl Area High School graduate and Pennsylvania National Guard soldier from Wind Gap was killed by a roadside bomb Tuesday in Afghanistan. 
Military officials say 20-year-old Spc. Derek David Holland was killed when the bomb struck his Humvee near the town of Zormat. An Air Force major serving with the Provincial Reconstruction Team was also killed in the attack. The vehicle's gunner, also a member of the Pa. National Guard, was wounded.

Holland enlisted in the Guard during his senior year at Pen Argyl. He was attached to the 228th Brigade Support Battalion in Bethlehem. 
"Derek was an energetic young man who was admired by his fellow Soldiers for his work ethic and devotion to duty," said Maj. Gen. Jessica L. Wright, Pennsylvania adjutant general. "This is a tragic loss and we keep his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Horner was Holland's supervisor. He says Holland was -- in his words -- "one of the most dedicated soldiers I have known."
A secretary with Pen Argyl Area High School -- Holland's alma mater, said, "I always felt it was going to come close to home, and it has."
High School Principal John Smith expressed his sorrow at hearing of Holland's death, and said he had spoken to him many times.

"He was a very quiet, introspectful, thoughtful kind of person," Smith said, adding that he was trying to overcome personal emotional issues. "For him to take upon himself this challenge to serve his country shows a high level of maturity."
"This is a tough thing," he added.

Holland arrived from the Northwestern School District in 2002, Smith said. He was enrolled in the information systems technology program at the Career Institute of Technology in Forks Township and was on the honor roll several times. 
Andra Groller, his teacher, said Holland was shy when he got to CIT, then developed a good skill and love of the creative side of computers. He also developed an interest in the military in his senior year and hoped to combine it with his computer education, she said.

CIT director Ron Roth said of Holland's death, "It hits you that it's so close. It's a shame." 
Smith said he announced Holland's death during a regularly scheduled faculty meeting Thursday morning. "We had a moment of prayer for him." 
"We'd like to express our sympathy to their family and share our pride in what our students are doing over there," Smith said.

The Guard's Casualty Notification Officers and Casualty Assitant Officers are responsible for notifying the families of soldiers killed in action. The officers are ready at a moments notice to make personal visits to the family and help them with necessary paperwork. The officers also keep the family updated on the location of their loved one's remains. 

"We try to work with families as much as possible to help relieve thier pain and grieving," Lt. Jay Ostrich, National Guard Public Affairs Officer at Fort Indiantown Gap said. 

A Pennsylvania National Guard news release says more than 700 Guard soldiers are providing security for Afghan provincial reconstruction teams throughout the country. Thirty-two Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan; Holland is the fifth to die in Afghanistan. The news release says he will be posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and a Combat Action Badge.

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