By Brad Avery
MetroWest Daily News Staff
Posted Jan. 30, 2016
After a relapse, he was able to get clean again and had been living in Veterans Administration transitional housing. He had been clean up until the night he died, his parents said.
HUDSON - A soldier, a sports fan, a son and a brother - Matthew Holmes was the kind of person who always wanted to help others. He was the kind of person who would give the shirt off his back - literally. He once tried to use his shirt to put out a brush fire, his parents said.
Matthew Holmes with his sister Rachel at her Hudson High School graduation.Submitted Photo/MetroWest Daily News
Holmes died last week at age 22, losing a years-long battle to heroin addiction.
"He was in the top 2 percent on aptitude tests," said his father. "He could have had any job he wanted and written his own script. He wanted to be the boots on the ground, to be an infantryman."
Holmes lived at Fort Hood and trained as a sniper, but never saw combat. By the time he reached the military, troops were being pulled out of Iraq and the wars in the Middle East were winding down for a period. That's when he started running into problems.
He told his parents that his whole sniper team was getting into a depressive mode, doing busywork during work hours and partying heavily in the downtime. Although he started abusing prescription drugs at 16 at high school parties, his problems grew in the military where he had access to hard drugs. Eventually, as the problem worsened he sought help and was able to receive an honorable discharge.
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