JOHN C HOLOKA
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HONORED ON PANEL 9E, LINE 57 OF THE WALL

JOHN CHARLES HOLOKA

WALL NAME

JOHN C HOLOKA

PANEL / LINE

9E/57

DATE OF BIRTH

11/03/1944

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG TRI

DATE OF CASUALTY

07/22/1966

HOME OF RECORD

GETTYSBURG

COUNTY OF RECORD

Adams County

STATE

PA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

MARINE CORPS

RANK

CPL

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR JOHN CHARLES HOLOKA
POSTED ON 2.1.2000
POSTED BY: JOHN F. HARRIS

AS I STAND BEFORE YOU

My Dear Friend,
It is with great sadness that I stand before you. I miss you so much. I know - I should be over it by now. But, the pain of your departure is still so vivid . . . even after all of these years.
I know . . . You've told me a thousand times to get over it . . . that you are among others who've found their peace.
I know that you brought me here for a reason. And, John, I try so hard to understand these things . . .
You know that some of the others also came to honor you. To remember you . . . To let you know in our own way . . . that we haven't forgotten. A few I haven't seen since the old days.
I know you brought them here, too . . . for a reason. I think we all came because in our own way we wanted to know where you were. I think that even though a lot of years have passed since your tragic departure from this earth . . . we have all thought about you. And, wanted to know where you were. We all agreed that over the years - we had wanted to let your family know that we once knew you . . . That we had lived with you. And, shared with you. But, I guess it just didn't seem right at the time.
I met your sister Sandy. She was grateful that we would come to be here with you. For this event. But, we were grateful to be able to share with her - our thoughts about you. We told her how you had given up a chance to go home. That you had wanted to be with your men one last time . . . That you put them before yourself. I know why. We know why. We may question it at times . . . but we know.
I think your sister now knows a little more about why . . . and about you.
John . . . I know you're not alone. There were so many like you. To many like you. But, will you tell the others for me - that we remember them too? That we won't ever forget them?

Well . . . I guess I've got a long way to go yet . . .
Goodbye my friend . . . I miss you.
You rest easy now. This is a pretty place . . .
Better then that torn-up hill.
Thanks for bringing me here . . .
Semper Fi.
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POSTED ON 9.19.1999
POSTED BY: Wayne E. Motts

Semper Fi

"I am still alive," stated John in a letter to his family on July 3, 1966, not knowing that he had less than three weeks to live. His life began in Pittsburgh, PA on November 3, 1944, as the youngest of three children-and the only son-born to Charles and Elizabeth Holoka. John's father was the owner of a successful car dealership when he sold the business and moved to Gettysburg in 1950 to take up farming. John, along with his sisters Sandy and Ann, lived on a farmstead just south of town.
As a youngster, John was an active child: He started sports early and played football and baseball throughout his school years. He graduated from Gettysburg High School in 1962; that August, he joined the Marine Corps. After several postings, which included Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and Roosevelt Barracks in Puerto Rico, he left for service in Vietnam in May 1966.
Two months later as a non-commissioned officer of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, John was engaged with his unit in "Operation Hastings." On the evening of July 22, 1966, while a portion of his company was in a defensive perimeter, John was mortally wounded during a mortar attack. Desperate to save their fellow Marine, four of his friends placed him in a poncho and carried him through the pitch darkness to a nearby helicopter-landing zone. Despite their best efforts, John, 21, died of his wounds.
Prior to his death, John helped younger Marines of the company through trying times. One friend, John F. Harris, remembered Holoka's strength and compassion while the two shared a foxhole. "I remembered being scared that night-we had by then been through much. I remember his soft words through the night. Calm and collected...he had given me a sense of security during a time of great anxiety."
His sister Sandy was not surprised by John's actions: "He liked people (young, old, and in-between)...he lived believing everyone was good..."
John now rests in Gettysburg's Evergreen Cemetery beside his mother and father.
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POSTED ON 8.29.1999
John,I had the honor along with Emilo Tulipano,Robert Michuad, Ceorge Christo and John Harris of meeting your sister after 33 years.She is one fine lady in my book, and after being with her for four-five days, I came to know you better and your fine family
and John I know she misses and loves you very much,She told us stories about you,but then again knowing you we already knew, you were one fine friend and Marine and will always be missed and remembered in my heart forever, your friend,Phil Vangel
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