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P-MAN IX Update #21
18 March 2007

Hello Everyone,

Since you have become friends with the BentProp Team of 2007, it is with deep, deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of Bob Holler. The details are sketchy at the moment, but he died yesterday, March 17th, on a skydive in Georgia.

It is fitting that we pay tribute to him on these pages. I was honored to have been with him for the 30 days of P-MAN IX. He made a lasting impression on all the team members and he has altered the way we do business in the field. All for the better.

He will be missed by many people around the world: from his charges at The Hawk's Nest, to the hundreds of PJs that he has worked with over the years. He has made a positive difference in countless peoples' lives.

Life is meant to be lived and Bob lived it to the fullest. He woke every morning with a purpose in life. When he was active duty, it was his PJ world that drove him. I know from our talks that he lived for his daughter and looked forward to watching her and her family go forward in life. He wanted to be the best granddad. The one who drove his grandchildren to school on a Harley, and taught them how to skydive.

I'm not Bob's closest friend. But I wish I could have been.

Bob Holler, you will be missed.

Here is a short, and wholly insufficient biography of a great man along with some thoughts by a fellow PJ reflecting on Bob’s retirement in 2004 from The U.S. Air Force. The newsletter came from The Pararescue Association.

PARARESCUE RETIREMENT 2004


PJ Lt/Col Vincent Savino, 38th RQS Commander
presents Retirement Certificate to
CMSGT Robert L. Holler

Chief Master Sergeant Robert L. Holler is the Chief Enlisted Manager at the 38th Rescue Squadron, Moody AFB, Georgia.

Chief Holler joined the Air Force in July 1974. After enduring a year of extremely tough, mental and physical training he graduated as a PJ in July 1975. During his AF career he has had assignments at Nakom Phanom, Thailand; Clark AB, Philippines; McClellan AFB California; Kadena AB, Japan; Eglin AFB, Florida; Hurlburt Field, Florida. As a PJ Chief Holler has been credited with over 500 lives saved.

Chief Holler's military decorations include the Bronze Star with one oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Achievement Medal and the Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device and eight oak leaf clusters. His other achievements include Distinguished Graduate, Academic Achievement and Drill Master awards from the NCO Academy. Chief Holler is an avid skydiver with over 4700 freefalls and was a member of World Team ’99 and ’04. World Team is a collection if expert skydivers from over 30 different nations who, in 1999, as one team, set the large-formation skydiving world record of 282 and in February of this year, set the current largeformation skydiving record of 357.

Key Achievements: Flight Examiner; Chief Certifier; Validation of long range desert tactics (Quick Force); Developed and tested the Rigging Alternate Method Zodiac (RAMZ); Developed and tested the Special Purpose Underwater Deployment System (SPUDS); Established Combat Mission Needs Statement (CMNS) for high altitude delivery parachute; Led strategic shift from flight to enhanced and simplified training.

FROM THE PRESIDENT

As we close in on the 2004 reunion, I am looking forward to a great turnout. To increase the potential turnout, I would ask everyone to make contact with their classmates to see if everyone in their class iscoming, and if not to encourage them to come. The application for the reunion is online, as well as likely to be part of this newsletter. If they are not members of the association, no better time than now to join.

Recently, one of our members, CMSgt Bob Holler, had a retirement ceremony that was the most awesome experience, and to be a witness to the event was an honor. As we reflected on the 30-year career of one of our premier members, it was obvious to see how our lives affects those around us. The depth of the PJ career field present, from old to young, to share in the reflection of Bob’s life as a PJ and leader was representative of how true this is. It is obvious we have made a difference in many of our brethren who don the beret and live by the motto. This has been instilled in us as well by the generations of PJ’s who were our instructors, teammates, friends, students and their families. We trade our knowledge and learn both up and down, as many skills are shared by the nature of our careers. I was lucky to have worked with Bob, but not as much as I would have liked.
 


Bob and crew

Photos from the 2007 BentProp expedition:


Solemn flag-ceremony moment in Palauan mangroves


Helping Joe Maldangesang fold Palauan flag


Happy Bandido


Bob and Pat, 18 February 2007


Bob on the barge with JPAC, 19 February 2007


Bob conducting an interview, 20 February 2007


From Bob’s camera, 20 February 2007


Taking 5 in the jungle, 22 February 2007


In search of an elusive lizard to photograph, 22 February 2007


Shooting Japanese aircraft parts, 24 February 2007


Up at Pineapple Hill with a Chief, 25 February 2007


Bob on the left pontoon, 26 February 2007


Marking metal detector hits, 27 February 2007


Bob on the Jake, 28 February 2007


In town, taking care of business, 01 March 2007


Enjoying the sunset, 01 March 2007


Chowin’ down, 01 March 2007


Center, in the mangroves, 02 March 2007


The Chief can fix anything, 02 March 2007


Computer consulting, 05 March 2007


On the Wildcat site, 07 March 2007


Flag ceremony in the mangroves, 08 March 2007


Udong, with pork and egg, 09 March 2007



Caught a boat, 10 March 2007


It’s just a fiesta, 11 March 2007


A new coin, from JPAC, 11 March 2007

And after this coin was passed, Bob handed me a cigar and drove me to the airport. He wouldn’t let me take the hotel shuttle. That’s Bob.

Blue SKies, Flip