Welcome to me! This area here is going to talk about my the history of this website, and in order to tell the history of this website I must tell the history of me… To tell it accurately that is! I will give the first low down about http://www.holmes1350.info right now… It is my longest running website, sure I have had others before this mostly spinoffs of other sites but this one was mine and mine alone! Holmes1350 is and has always been my screen name on AIM and Yahoo! So naturally, being that was already my online handle, my friend Adam VanKirk bought this domain name for me while I was in Alaska; yeah I will get to that later! And Adam hosted it on his very first homemade server, giving me the oppurtunity to become what I have made of myself today a webdesigner of sorts! And this site is a site I created while in Iraq, which I will get to later as well! But http://www.kennyleeholmes.com was started over there because I wanted another site that would show my creativity in brand new ways! This bio is the same as it is on Holmes1350.info, but the difference is that it is on KennyLeeHolmes.com and has this expanded update! Enjoy my story!
Born January 6th, 1982, in Elkhart, Indiana, born to Kenneth W. and Drema C. Holmes. Born in a blizzard, so I am told anyway… I was born a little over a month late; I was supposedto have been born in November of 1981! However, I was born on Epiphany. (Epiphany for those who don’t know is the day that the three wise men found Jesus in Bethlehem bringing him gifts.) I was born with a birth defect known as cleft lip and palate. Which I only bring this up because I feel that it helps define me as a person, it was something that made me weak as a child but as an adult it has made me stronger and able to be callous to those that find it funny to be harmful to people that are different. I have had many, many surgeries throughout my childhood to fix the deformity and now you would almost not know what it was unless you’ve had experience with it somehow or another. My parents divorced when I was three years old, it was quite traumatizing… 1985, I remember that… I lived with my Mother for almost a year before she gave me back to my Father! From then on I lived with my Dad, and quite happy to do so! My Father got remarried in 1987, I was in Kindergarten. My Dad remarried to one Monica S. Martz, now Holmes of course and became my maternal role model. Visitations were supposed to be every other weekend with my Mother, but that didn’t happen on a regular basis, don’t really know the true reasons behind that, but my Mother remarried to a man named Mark Harnish, henceforth my Mother’s name is now, and even though she is divorced Harnish. Then in 1989 was a momentous year for me! I got a little sister: Kaitlin Aileen Holmes! We lived downtown Elkhart, on Indiana Avenue. I was going to Roosevelt Elementary School, and I was not in the prep program… But a year after Kaitlin was born, my Godparents sent me to Trinity Lutheran Elementary School. There I was a misfit, because I didn’t know how to be around people that were nice on a constant basis! I learned, and finally made some really good friends whom I am still very good friends with some today: Dave Fleisher, Kara Price, Dan Magnusen, and Nathan Martin. Fifth grade there was a new addition to the sibling rivalry between me and Katie: Kyle was added to the mix, on August 6th, 1992. I graduated from Trinity Lutheran and went on to North Side Middle School, back to public schools… I learned the joys of football at that school, and the pains of breaking a bone for the first time in my life!
Now high school was joyous times for me, however, ask me if I would ever want to do it again and the answer will always be “NO! Not a chance in hell!” It was fun times but it is finished and I am happy with being out of school. But I learned a lot of lessons in school. One is that I am not the best athlete in the world, but I am definitely an athlete. I went to Elkhart Central High School, located just outside of downtown Elkhart, Indiana. I started in 1996 my freshman year and graduated in 2000. But while there I played football (broke more bones), wrestled, and tried out for the baseball team several years in a row, where every year my friends said that I should have made the team, but didn’t. But it was a learning experience and I learned from it. While in high school I made some great friends whom I am still very good friends with even to this day: Brock Bowers, Justin Schmidt, Gabe Ritchie, Josh Barker, Jimmy Oelslager, Josh Hobday, and Brandon Hamlin. Oh yeah my sophomore year in high school I got another gift from my parents, a new sister! Rachel Kristen Holmes was born!
The United States Army was my calling… On October 31st I was on the plane to Atlanta, Georgia. From there I was bussed to Fort Benning, GA to the 30th AG Reception Center. I was there for almost 3 weeks before I got sent down range to A Co 2/58 “House of Pain!” I was in second platoon and I was a “Dominator!” It didn’t take long for me to learn that maybe I had made a wrong choice because everywhere we turned, we were getting yelled at. But I made it through! Then after basic training I went on to some specialized training, which makes me smarter than the average Infantryman – well that is what makes me feel better anyway! LoL! I went to TOW School at Lee Field, placed in C Co 2/58 for three more weeks! Learned the ins and outs of the TOW Missile System, and the .50 caliber machine gun, and the MK19 automatic grenade launcher! I graduated from that school and I was no longer a 11B, now I had joined the ill fated 11H’s! Straight from that school I went to Airborne School… The most prestigious school in the United States Army! Airborne – All the Way! Not to be confused with the hardest school in the Army, quite the contrary. But something happened there, to me, I had an Airborne Instructor come up to me on the day of my last jump (which I was already harnessed up) and said, “Private Holmes, I have never seen this before, I have never seen orders come through changed for a private anyway. You did have orders to go to Fort Richardson, Alaska an airborne unit, but your orders got changed to Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Sorry.” I was shocked they were sending me to Alaska, so my dream of being in the 101st was shot.
Alaska… The Last Frontier… My opinion it should stay that way. After a stint doing hometown recruiting, and then having leave on top of that, I finally went to Alaska. Fairbanks, Alaska. My new home for the next four years… I was sent to the reception battalion and from there they decided where I was going to be sent. I kept hoping to get out of Fairbanks, and into Anchorage, never happened. I was sent to HHC 2/1 Infantry TOW Platoon! Where I would stay until the 11H MOS was phased out. Which was in late 2003. From there I went back to being a 11B, but I wasn’t placed in the line right away, I was given the glorified job of master driver. It was my duty to make sure that all 65 trucks of B Co 2/1’s was in tip top shape and mission capable! I was there for a while then the Army decided it was time for me to become a line infantryman for the first time in my life. I was made a team leader right away. And I was in A Co 2/1 3rd Platoon. I was only there for a little while, because I was getting out of the Active Duty Army and moving on to smaller but better things: College, and the Indiana National Guard!
November 3rd, 2004: On the freedom bird back to South Bend, Indiana! Where I was greeted whole heartedly by my Dad, Mom (Monica), Grandma, and all my siblings! The first thing we did was go to Applebee’s and I got a pint of beer with my Dad, the first one we were able to share legally! We talked for hours and hours. I think we ended up leaving right before they closed! But that was the start of that part of my life: I was now officially a civilian! I didn’t have to report to the National Guard for another two months! And let me tell you I lived it up! I became a regular at a bar in Goshen, Indiana that my cousin Mike introduced me to The Dembufsky! I quickly got into good favors with the bar manager and became the web designer for that bar, and I got one free drink a night and half off all my drinks! That was the best arrangement at the time! Well until school started for me in January where I was using my GI Bill for a degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Electronic Media at Indiana University South Bend. I also started going to drills to at the Elkhart National Guard Armory, where I was once again a TOW Gunner! Now I admit I came into the Guard and I was shocked, I was shocked by what I thought of it as an atrocity: extremely undisciplined soldiers… I guess I was expecting Active Duty standards, in a weekend warrior platform. What a shock that I was in! So I, as I do a lot of the time, stuck my foot in mouth once I opened it.
Shortly thereafter I was befriended by a few people, my now team leader, Timmie Mangrum, an old friend from church Hunter Maclean, Tristan Gour, Marc Nicols, and Matt Herr. And those are the people I hung around.
Through all of this I was going to school and still doing the party scene pretty heavily (drinking only). I was still learning how to make a better website, through this site you are looking at now. Holmes1350.info has had many overhauls and makeovers, and this is surely not going to be the last. But since I was still in school, I only did a try one enlistment… I decided that it would be a good thing for me to reenlist that way the Guard would keep paying for my college. So that is what I did, Timmie and I reenlisted for another six years.
This brings me to the Iraqi deployment, the absolute worst year of my life. During that year I was roomed with the two most unclean people in the battalion; however, I made the best of it and got the most room out of everyone in the company! I also made sure to buy a lot of air freshener to make sure that the room smelled great! And I kept the air conditioner on full blast to make sure that the air didn’t ever stir and make a scent other than the Lysol that I was throwing on their clothes every time that they left the room! But throughout all of that time overseas, over 70 combat missions, God blessed me to come home!
I came home, but just as it is in the movies – unfortunate and cliché as it is – the war was not over for me… I still had to put up with the stupidity of my National Guard unit… I have been putting up with the threat of being kicked out of the Army for the last three years now, but finally have gotten it so that I will be “medically retired!” They broke me so they have to compensate me! At any rate I am jumping ahead of myself in the story.
I jumped back into life after getting back from Iraq. Jumped right into being a drunk… I couldn’t cope with my emotions of being back alive; even though there was many times which I should have been killed overseas. I tried my hardest to be on the sly about it and was often drinking more than I knew I was, it was okay thought I was living and experiencing something that I had never known before – FREEDOM! I went down to West Lafayette for a few days to visit my friend Adam, whom at the time lived down there! We went out to eat at Applebees, but along the way we stopped and picked up one of his fiancé’s friend, Sarah M. Bechtol. Honestly when we picked her up from her house, I was playing with one of my new toys, Nikon D60, and I just said “Hi,” without even looking up. Then I took a picture of her with my camera while on the road and it was like – WALAH! LoL!!
At Applebees, the conversation came around to religion; Sarah said that she was a Lutheran. I, being a Lutheran too, told her so. She said, “Nooooooo your-rrr not!!!” I didn’t say anything to her other than take my dog-tags off and throw them to her, which reads as follows:
Holmes Kenneth L. xxx-xx-xxxx A pos. Luth. Ch. Mo. Sy
For those that don’t know Luth. Ch. Mo. Sy = Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. She was dumbfounded. See, her friend told her that I was a womanizer, which is quite honestly the farthest from the truth – I was a drunk. (Remember alcoholics go to meetings.) But from then on she and I were talking and then all of a sudden we were dating! The first date that we went on was to Famous Daves BBQ. I couldn’t find her church so her parents dropped her off with me at a movie theatre parking lot. I was very respectable, except the way I looked… I was not exactly dressed for success. I was still wearing the clothes that I had on from my run. Still sweaty, too! LoL!
Later, her Father told me he thought I looked like a bum! But now we are great friends! Six months after that day, I went and talked to Roger Bechtol to see if I could have his daughters hand in marriage. Sarah’s mom, Christi Bechtol, was grinning ear-to-ear the moment that I knocked on the door – I think she knew what I was going to ask – I think her dad did too; which explained the shotgun in his hands – Okay I kid about that, but they both knew and/or at the very least suspected. And you know what! He said yes!! I sometimes wonder if it was the bottle of wine that I brought over!! LoL! No, like I said Roger and I are very good friends and we get into a lot of trouble at the dinner table with our wives!
Six months, after I proposed to Sarah, we were getting married at Trinity Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Elkhart, Indiana. We went on our honeymoon to Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Three months later we got the biggest surprise of our life – Sarah was pregnant. Nine months later, a long battle with some banks to buy a house, our son Kenneth William Lee Holmes was born to us. 9lbs 3oz.
Kenneth William Lee Holmes is the light of my world; I could not ever live without him now. His first birthday was a blast and now we are on to Christmas! My boy is the best little boy in the whole wide world and I do not think that anyone can top my son in awesomeness! I guess that is the way parents think about their children! Now we are all but caught up! Remember to follow the blog for stories that I left out of the Biography and for more future things that may be added here someday!