Damien Holmes always knew he wanted to join the military and be a soldier.
He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in November of 1992. Even though people told him that he was taking the easy way out, Holmes felt he did it to find a sense of direction in his life.
He was in a dead-end job, hanging with the wrong crowd, and was already a father at just 18-years-old.
“I pissed away a full ride scholarship for football, had my first child in high school, and, on top of that, married the wrong woman,” said Holmes.
Boot camp was easy for Holmes, since he had grown up in a “yelling, abusing environment,” but it was after boot camp where he struggled more.
Holmes was in the infantry unit for his first four years as a Marine; he received weekly training on how to operate ground weapon systems. The job had him traveling all around the world on different assignments, from places like Somalia to Japan.
After serving four years, he decided to change his job to be closer to his wife and child at the time.
He also didn’t like that the assignments abroad made him miss important holidays and birthdays.
However, he came to regret the decision. He was going through a divorce and was not happy with his new job as a Stinger gunner, where he was trained to shoot down any type of aircraft.
After receiving an honorable discharge, Damien joined the National Guard, and was deployed to Iraq after the first wave of soldiers. Working as a vehicle commander, Holmes and his unit would escort anything from weaponry, to diplomats, ambassadors and other soldiers.
His most memorable moment from Iraq was three months after being deployed. His unit was escorting an inspector to the middle of nowhere on a very hot day. When the unit couldn’t stand the heat anymore, they began having a water fight in the middle of the desert.
After coming back from Iraq, he moved to Utah with his now wife, Angela. He has been going to Salt Lake Community College for the past two years and is majoring in communications, TV and radio broadcasting.
In his spare time, Holmes has his hands full.
Two months ago, he started coaching the Utah Blitz women’s professional football team. He himself is part of a semiprofessional men’s football team in the Utah Tackle Football League.
He also started his own record company, Maddog 160 Records. His wife is currently the CEO and President of the label, allowing him to focus on creating music. He has been rapping for 10 years with more involvement in the past six years.
To hear some of Holmes’ music, visit his Facebook page or his SoundCloud profile.
You can also hear Holmes on his own SLCC Radio show called Certified, Underground, and Uncensored every Friday at noon. Listen to it live here.