Holmes memorial service

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 19, 2010

ShuRissa Holmes receives a flag from Col. Keith E. Knowlton of the Georgia Army National Guard following memorial services honoring her father, Sgt. David A. Holmes Jr., on Sunday at the Batesville Junior High School Auditorium. Sgt. Holmes, a native of Batesville, was killed June 26 in Afghanistan where he was serving with the Georgia National Guard. Col. Knowlton presented a second flag to ShurRissa’s sister, ShuQuita, seated right. The Panolian photo by Rita Howell

Service was Sunday at BJH auditorium

By Rita Howell

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

A memorial service Sunday in Batesville honored the life of Sgt. David A. Holmes Jr., killed June 26 in Afghanistan while serving with the Georgia Army National Guard. He was the son of Betty and David Holmes Sr. of Batesville.

The service was held in the Batesville Junior High School Auditorium.

Sgt. Holmes was buried on July 9 at the Georgia Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Milledgeville, Ga. He and his wife LaTonya and their children made their home in Tennille, Ga.

The Sunday service gave “an opportunity for hometown people to celebrate the life of Sgt. Holmes,” Elroy Winding, Military Funeral Honors Coordinator for Mississippi, explained. It included patriotic songs, a reading of Sgt. Holmes’ military awards, and presentations by local officials.

Among those who participated were Staff Sgt. Marcus D. Patterson of Jackson, Col. Orville Robertson, retired ROTC director for South Panola; the Rev. Dr. Zannie Leland, the Rev. James Wright, and the Rev. Larry Key, soloists Keith Cole and Trusten Moore. Local officials expected to be present are State Representatives Dr. Joe Gardner and Warner McBride, Sen. Nolan Mettetal, Supervisor Board President Gary Thompson, and Batesville Mayor Jerry Autrey.

The service ended with a military salute on the outside of the auditorium — the firing of three sets of volleys — and the sounding of taps.

Sgt. Holmes, 34, was a 1995 graduate of South Panola High School where he was active in the ROTC program and gained recognition as a talented artist.

He served in the Marine Corps and the Navy before joining the Georgia National Guard. He was assigned to the 810th Engineer Company of Swainsboro, Ga.

He was killed when his unit was attacked by insurgents using an improvised explosive device.

Sgt. Holmes is the fourth Panola Countian to be killed in action in the wars of the 21st Century. In 2003 Pfc. Damian L. Heidelberg, 21, died in Iraq. He had been a student at the Batesville Job Corps Center before he enlisted. In 2005 Panola Countians Cpl. Daron Lunsford, 29, and Cpl. Brandon Presley, 21, were killed in Iraq.