MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- As a young boy, Chris P. Holman II looked up to his Marine father, an amphibious assault vehicle mechanic. He went to work with his father occasionally and was around AAVs most of his childhood.
It’s no wonder that a few years later, Holman found himself following in his father’s footsteps.
Lance Cpl. Holman, a Sneads Ferry, N.C. native, is a mechanic with Maintenance Platoon, Company B, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, the same unit his father was with during his Marine Corps career.
After graduating from Dixon High School in 2003, where he played football, basketball and baseball, Holman decided it was time to make a change in his life.
He enlisted in the Marines Feb. 9, 2004, then headed off to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C.
“I joined the Corps to instill discipline in myself while learning a trade, hoping eventually to go to college,” the 20-year-old Holman explained.
Upon graduating recruit training, his father came to see him for the first time as a Marine.
“My dad came up to me, shook my hand and said, ‘Congratulations devil dog,’” Holman said.
Holman said he chose to be an AAV mechanic because he was around them most of his life. He arrived to his first duty station and reported to his unit, the same unit from which his father had retired.
“A lot of my superiors served under my father, and I always get compared to him,” he explained with a grin. “They always say things like, ‘If you mess this up, I’ll call your dad.’”
Growing up around the Marine Corps, Holman always knew one day he would join. He said his father inspired him, and he knew the Corps would help him get a head start in life.
In March 2005, Holman made his first seven-month-long deployment to Fallujah, Iraq, an experience he claimed changed his life for the better.
“A lot of growing up happened out there,” he said. “ I became more mature and understanding of how the world works. I’ll take that with me the rest of my life.”
He returned to the United States in October 2005 more focused than ever and having a plan for what he wanted to do in life.
“After my first enlistment is over, I plan on using the Montgomery G.I. Bill to go to college and get a business degree,” he continued. “When my father retires, I would like to take over the company (his father’s mechanic company) knowing what I’m doing, not just being daddy’s little boy taking over.”
Holman said that what he has enjoyed most about being a Marine is deploying and doing his job.
“I’ve meet a lot of new people and friends,” he explained. “I’ve traveled to foreign countries, seen a different culture and done what I like to do.”
Two years have gone by since Holman made his journey to become a U.S. Marine, and he said now he can appreciate what his dad did for 20 years.
“I truly understand everything my dad went through in his career, from the long working hours to being away from his family a lot,” he explained. “I’ve gained a lot of opportunities and good experiences, but I’ve also gained an appreciation for what my dad did and sacrificed.”