Being a leader embodies more than just telling people what to do. It includes setting an example that people can follow. Eric Holmes was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, surrounded by a family of public servants. His mother was a high school math teacher while also raising three children on her own. This forced Eric to take a leadership role in his family at an early age. Eric is no stranger to hardship, and this fact alone shows the diligence he exemplifies. Beginning in 7th grade, Mr. Holmes began working his first job as a paperboy. Waking up at 4 am, Eric would begin his route distributing the paper before the sun was up. At Lake Highlands High School Eric played football, the cello, and was a member of the wrestling team. As a member of the Student Council he brought back the Pledge of Alienage for the morning announcements.
After high school, Eric began his journey into the military by attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, in 1980. During his time at the academy, Mr. Holmes pursued Bachelors of Science in engineering, while being a part of the football team and other committees. Upon graduation, Eric was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry and completed Ranger and Airborne schools. He was then sent to Fort Lewis, Washington where he earned his Expert Infantryman’s Badge and became the Garrison Company Commander at Yakima Firing Center. His next duty assignment was to obtain a Masters of Science in Operations Research (a discipline of modeling and problem solving) at Georgia Tech. While there he was a member of the sky diving club. Eric’s next assignment was at the Center of Army Analysis located near Washington DC. While there he directed a handful of studies, one involving the US Counter-Drug campaign. Captain Holmes joined the reserves, where he helped high school students get into West Point from 1996 to 2005, and was promoted twice. After a year in the 76th Division, a reserve unit, LTC Holmes volunteered to go to Iraq. He was assigned to the Center for Army Lessons Learned to study counterinsurgency in Ramadi, Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division. The most important lesson he learned was the success of taking back a community from thugs is dependent on grassroots community involvement.
LTC Holmes went back on active duty from 2009-2012 where he was assigned to the US Counterinsurgency Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. On this tour of duty he was promoted to Colonel. He retired after thirty years combined active and reserve duty in 2014.
Mr. Holmes left active duty in 1993, segueing into the business world and receiving a job with AT&T in New Jersey. He was a manager for their dial-up service, which over time evolved into modern day Internet access. From 1997 to 2001, Eric worked for Racal Datacom and Alcatel as a Product Manager. At Alcatel he managed a $140 million product line with over one hundred engineers.
In 2004 the military was bombarded with negative publicity from the Abu Ghraib scandal. Mr. Holmes wrote a book, Iraq: Providing Hope, which was filled with stories from service members doing remarkable work for the betterment of the local people in Iraq. After publishing the book, Mr. Holmes appeared on over 50 radio and TV talk shows to express support to the soldiers after the scandal. President George W Bush wrote Mr. Holmes a letter thanking him for his efforts. Eric’s next venture was to co-find a charity for wounded soldiers.
Not only is Mr. Holmes a well-decorated Army veteran, he is also known as a family man. He and his wife, Mrs. Jenni Holmes, raised 2 sons who both graduated from Park Hill High School with honors and played sports. Both were active parents in their sons’ schooling. Eric coached them in little league sports for seven years. Lane, their first son, was born in 1995 and Tyler was born in 1996. Lane went on to graduate from West Point and now serves at Fort Carson, Colorado and is an Afghanistan veteran. Tyler received a scholarship to attend William Jewell College. Mrs. Holmes, originally from Jacksonville, Florida, graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. She has provided nursing care at several major teaching hospitals including Emory, Georgetown, North Carolina and St Luke’s. In Atlanta she took care of Carroll O'Connor, which landed her photo on the front page of the National Inquirer. Since moving to Kansas City, Jenni has worked at St. Luke’s Hospital for 10 years where she was awarded several times. In January Jenni transferred to St. Luke’s North to work in the ICU. She has been on the frontline of COVID since the pandemic hit.
All in all, Mr. Eric Holmes is a decorated public servant that has spent a good portion of his life serving the community. Not only has he become a member in countless clubs and organizations, he has dedicated years of his life to the Armed Forces. Being a leader is not something Mr. Holmes has recently learned or picked up; he was born with it. The level of compassion he has for his community, his family, and the United States of America shows how dedicated he is in the fight to uphold our God given rights, holding his superiors accountable, and protecting his district. Though he retired from the Army in 2014 he still has a burning passion to do right by his fellow Americans. Eric Holmes is the true definition of a leader.