Sgt. Hollon protects daughter, loses lifecomment (1)
July 12, 2012
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
That familiar passage of John 15:13 illustrates how a Christian should live while also calling to remembrance that Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for each of us.
During a tornado April 15, 2011, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Steven Hollon protected his young daughter at the cost of his own life.
In April 2012, the Air Force acknowledged Hollon’s heroism by presenting the Airman’s Medal to his family.
According to information provided by Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, the Airman’s Medal is given for an act of heroism that involves “voluntary risk of life under circumstances other than conflict.”
The medal was presented to Hollon’s widow, Karen, and an identical one was given to his mother, Sara Hollon.
At the time of the deadly tornado, 41-year-old Hollon and his family had returned from England, where he had been stationed. Hollon was on terminal leave from the military and was scheduled to retire officially on May 1, 2011.
Hollon had served in the Air Force 22 years and was a Desert Storm veteran, according to the Air Force base.
The family was staying with Sara Hollon and her husband, Willard, in the Boone’s Chapel community near Prattville until their own home was completed next door.
Sgt. Hollon, Karen and their two daughters — Renae and Faith — had planned to join East Memorial Baptist Church, Prattville, the following Sunday, Sara Hollon said.
On April 15, 2011, the two families tried to stay apprised of the weather situation and thought the storm had passed them, said Sara Hollon, a member of East Memorial Baptist.
However, “it came on us without us realizing it was there,” she recounted.
The storm not only claimed the life of Sgt. Hollon, but also that of his father, Willard, and his sister, Cheryl Mitchell, who lived beside her parents.
In only a few moments the storm had taken Sara Hollon’s husband and two of her four children.
Sara Hollon said reports from rescuers indicated that Sgt. Hollon had acted as a shield, protecting his daughter, Faith, who was 10 years old at the time.
“It was like he was shielding her body from the walls coming in on her,” Sara Hollon said. “Her safety was upmost in his mind.”
Air University Commander Lt. Gen. David Fadok concurred.
“We can all learn a lot from his actions,” information from the Air Force base quoted Lt. Gen. Fadok.
“To give your own life to save another is the ultimate sacrifice and the Air Force is a better place because of people like Steve Hollon.”