Provider Soldier 'pens' his story on deployments
June 14, 2012
FORT STEWART, Ga. - There are many novels about war stories written every week but not every week do you actually know one of the authors that has personally written one. The 3rd Sustainment Brigade, Third Infantry Division has one of those authors among their ranks. Specialist Jesse C. Holder, who works in the Operations sections of 3rd Sustainment Bde., recently published Chutes, Beer & Bullets: Not your Grandpa's War Story.
This book gives an in-depth look at what the Sky Soldier did for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Specialist Holder joined the Army in 2006 as an Infantryman. He went through Basic, Advance Individual Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga.
"I joined the Army because like most boys, I watched 'Saving Private Ryan' or 'Band of Brothers' too many times," Spc. Holder said. "I decided that jumping out of planes and shooting stuff seemed like a good idea."
Specialist Holder's first duty assignment was Vicenza, Italy where he became a Sky Soldier as a part of Company C, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Combat Brigade. His first deployment was as a Sky Soldier for Operation Enduring Freedom 7-8.
"My brother gave me a journal right before I joined the Army and said to write down as many memories as possible," Spc. Holder said. "At first it seemed a little weird, writing to myself, but I did start doing it in Afghanistan and it helped pass the time."
The first deployment lasted 15 months for Spc. Holder. Unfortunately, two months into the deployment Spc. Holder was wounded. He took a bullet and shrapnel through his left arm and rocket-propelled grenade shrapnel through his neck. He managed to get the medical attention he needed and stayed for the rest of the fight.
"It was difficult to imagine that we still had 13 months to go," Spc. Holder said after getting wounded. "But we made it! I dedicated my book to the 42 Sky Soldiers we lost in [Operation Eduring Freedom] 8."
Upon returning from Afghanistan, Spc. Holder received orders to the 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg, N.C. He started looking into reclassifications and decided that information technology seemed interesting. After he finished AIT at Fort Gordon, Ga., Spc. Holder was assigned to 3SB, 3rd ID.
"I have to say, going from Infantry land to an office job was a big shocker," Spc. Holder said. "But it did help me write a book."
Specialist Holder deployed with the Providers to Iraq for retrograde operations in 2010. He worked 12 hours on and 12 hours off.
"Aside from eating, showering, and hitting the gym there wasn't much to do; so I thought about writing a book and so I just started writing," Spc. Holder said. "The next thing I knew I had 22 chapters written. The journal, pictures and memories I had came in handy."
This book is written as a day in the life of a Sky Soldier. It is a humor filled narrative that takes place during the peak of the War on Terrorism. He started writing while he was in Iraq with the Providers and it took him about 15 months to write and get a publisher to pick it up and print.
"Jesse C. Holder is not a thinker -- he is a doer," Dallas Cowne said, the man who edited his book. "This is a true account of young men struggling to understand their role in America's Army and its recent conflicts in the Middle East."
If you are interested in buying the book it can be bought online at major book Web sites and is available in hardback, soft cover and E-book.