SGT Tyler N. Holtz
October 1, 1988 – September 24, 2011
It was a warm, calm night in Afghanistan and Army Rangers from the 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment were there for one purpose, to carry out their mission. SGT Tyler Holtz, who was affectionately referred to by his Ranger brothers as “Incredible Holtz”, was the Ranger team leader that night. He led from the front and was a powerhouse that cast a long shadow of fierce determination, motivating others to follow in his footsteps.
As SGT Holtz advanced his team forward, they encountered enemy fire. That night, on his 4th deployment, Tyler Holtz was killed in action. He was only 22 years old.
Back at the FOB (Forward Operating Base) was a letter that no Ranger wants to write nor any mother wishes to receive. Tyler’s final words to his mother read: “I was fighting so that you and America will never have to know another war on our soil. That being said I died happy, maybe not peaceful, but happy and with purpose, and that’s all I could have ever asked for. It may sound weird to you but I have always asked God that if I have to die, that He let me die in war, on the battlefield, alongside my other family: my platoon I’ve grown to love. To me, there is no bigger glory than to die for those you love.”
Tyler and his brothers, Michael, Hayden, and Luke were all very close. Luke Holtz later enlisted in the Army and eventually went to Bravo Company, 2/75 and deployed in the same Ranger platoon that Tyler once served.
Tyler Holtz was a 2007 alumnus of Mater Dei High School where he played football for four years. Coach Rollinson remembers Tyler as “the epitome of character, work ethic and understood the concept of team.” But Tyler’s legacy extended beyond the football field, as his coach recounted, “It is with great honor and the deepest respect that Tyler’s name is listed among those Monarchs who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice so that we are allowed the freedoms that we so thoroughly enjoy.”
Patrick Murphy, President of Mater Dei High School, remembering Tyler’s funeral commented, “To see 80+ Mater Dei Varsity Football players in their shirts and ties and varsity football jerseys standing as an honor guard on both sides of the road; as well as to hear the eulogies from Tyler’s fellow Army Rangers regarding his incredible bravery, heroism, courage, teamwork, leadership, and friendship, it brought home to me in a very real way that Tyler Holtz was a TRUE AMERICAN HERO.”
On the night of November 7, 2014, representatives from the Holtz family and Mater Dei High School as well as those gathered to watch Mater Dei’s football game, joined in a poignant memorial to the life and service of SGT Tyler Holtz. Just prior to the game, the Freedom Has A Face Project, along with Army Rangers who served with SGT Tyler Holtz, presented Mater Dei High School with a bronze plaque memorializing SGT Holtz as an Army Ranger and Mater Dei alumnus. To view photos from that evening, click here
Please join us in honoring this Mater Dei Monarch and U.S. Army Ranger whose last words were “to me, there is no bigger glory than to die for those you love.”
Freedom Has A Face is a non-profit based in Spokane, Washington. FHAF is dedicated to bringing the memory of all U.S. military killed in action into the hearts of everyday Americans. FHAF maintains a detailed, interactive memorial website and also sponsors community memorial projects for heroes killed in action. U.S. Army Ranger SFC Joseph Lachnit and his father Joe Lachnit founded FHAF in 2011. For more information on FHAF go to: freedomhasaface.org
Coins are $20 each and can be purchased online (FREE SHIPPING) when you click here.
Watch a special tribute video when you click here.