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'He just wanted to serve his country'


Goodrich soldier found dead in Army barracks



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November 20, 2013 - Shane Michael Holton, 21, a 2011 Goodrich High School graduate, was found dead inside his barracks room Thursday, Nov. 14 at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska.

As of presstime, the results of an autopsy were incomplete.

"I remember sitting at the table in our home with the Army recruiter from Grand Blanc," said Tom Holton, Shane's father.

"The recuiter asked Shane why he wanted to join the Army. He was so emphatic about his strong desire to join the Army. He just wanted to serve his country."

After completing high school, Shane entered basic training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C.—he was then sent to Fort Huachuca, Ariz. for advanced individual training.

Tom said his son was into technology so he first considered being a bomb technician, working with IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device)—he later decided to make a go at intelligence.

"Shane was trying to get deployed to Germany—he really wanted to go there," said Tom. "But he was deployed to Korea for readiness exercise, then back to Fort Wainwright, Alaska in July 2012."

Shane was serving as an intelligence analyst assigned to 184th Military Intelligence Company, Brigade Troops Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. He had served about a year-and-a-half of a four-year stint in the Army. Shane then would serve four years in the Army Reserves, added Tom.

"We have pictures of Shane dressed in arctic readiness gear smiling—gun, heavy coat, gloves —cold weather ready for combat with an M-4 strapped across him," he said. "Shane was a member of the Arctic Warriors, ready to do battle— and he had the biggest smile on his face."

"Even Shane's battalion officer, who had more than 1,000 soldiers under his command, knew him. He too recalled Shane's smile—that was a lasting impression."

Darrell King, Goodrich High School Skeet Team head coach for the past nine years, recalls Shane's contributions to the sport.

"Shane was patient and kind," said King. "He was always willing to help the younger kids—a mentor to others. I never had any trouble or guff from him. He listen to what the coaches had to say."

"In 2009 Shane was an underclassman who I bumped up to varsity with the top skeet shooters," he said. "That year they qualified for the Scholastic Clay Target Program Michigan State Championships at the Detroit Gun Club in Walled Lake. That year the team got off to a bad start due to high winds, but they hung in there. We ended up winning by two clays."

"He was a good kid," he said. "If you asked him to help, he was there. We are deeply saddened by his death."

As of presstime on Thursday the family is expecting to hold services on Saturday and Sunday at Hill Funeral Home in Grand Blanc, with Holton's final resting place at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly.

See thecitizenonline.com for details and confirmation.

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