Houck joined the U.S. Army in May of 2013. He was stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky until he was deployed to Peka Valley, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan as a forward observer in the 101st Airborne Division. On June 10, 2017, Houck and two other soldiers were attacked and killed by an Afghan soldier. Houck had just two months left before returning home. He was only 25 years old.
Houck graduated from Perry Hall High School where he met his wife, Samantha, when he was 15. They had two children: “EJ” and Violet.
Discussing why Eric chose to join the army, his father, Mike, stated, “He could probably have achieved anything he wanted to, but he felt this was his way to take care of his family.”
Houck posthumously earned the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge and Army Commendation Medal with a second oak leaf cluster for his end-of-tour awards.
Houck’s mother, Lisa, touched on the impact of losing her son and becoming a Gold Star parent.
“Sometimes I honestly still feel like we are alone, but when people like you and your organization decide to honor Eric, that makes me feel like we’re not alone. I don’t want to say that it’s upsetting, but people can just go through their normal day. It’s hard to go through our normal day because it’s a loss, it’s a heartache that will never heal. You try to find things that make you happy and it’s really hard to because you’re just missing such a love that was a part of you. It will never heal…but Eric’s alive in us, because we have him in our heart.”
The Gary Sinise Foundation will receive this month’s donation on behalf of Eric and the Houck family.
NFM Salute not only recognizes our soldiers and veterans, it also makes a donation on behalf of every NFM Salute to one of the following non-profit soldier or veteran charities.