Skip to comments.The ‘Incredible’ Thing an 8-Year-Old Boy Did for a Soldier Will Be Remembered For a ‘Lifetime’
Posted on 03/05/2014 7:49:12 AM PST by Altariel
Like most 8-year-olds, Myles Eckert was already dreaming up ways he could spend a $20 bill he had just discovered laying in a Cracker Barrel parking lot earlier this month.
I kind of wanted to get a video game, but then I decided not to, the child recounted to CBS News.
Thats because Eckert saw Lt. Col. Frank Dailey enter the restaurant. The man in uniform changed his mind.
Because he was a soldier, and soldiers remind me of my dad, Eckert explained to CBS.
(Excerpt) Read more at theblaze.com ...
Thank you for posting this.
That’s the most moving story I have ever read in many years.
All choked up on that one. Thanks for the link, and thank you veterans!
Not a soldier (US Army), the LTC is in the Air Force. I know that kids don’t differentiate but the headline could at least be accurate.
Prayers for them all.
This boy’s father Sgt Andy Eckert seems to have been a fine man in his own right and a worthy role model for his son:
Purple Heart hero touched many lives
BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
With recordings of his wife’s messages to him ringing love and hope throughout the sanctuary of the Calvary Assembly of God Church, photo after photo of a smiling Gary “Andy” Eckert flashed on screens yesterday behind his flag-draped coffin.
There were photos of the Army Reserve sergeant with his friends, photos with his wife, Tiphany, photos of him holding his daughter - not quite 2 years old - and his newborn son.
And there were photos of Sergeant Eckert in uniform, serving alongside his fellow soldiers in Iraq, where he was killed May 8 near Bulad after an explosive detonated near his vehicle.
Sergeant Eckert, 24, was the first member of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 983rd Engineer Battalion in Monclova Township killed in action since World War II.
It was his second tour overseas, the first one ended after he sustained injuries for which he received the Purple Heart.
Crowded into the church with the flag at half-staff outside, nearly 650 people gathered yesterday - with tear-stained cheeks and wrists adorned with red bracelets proclaiming “COURAGE” - to say good-bye.
“Andy didn’t have to go back to war. He came back a Purple Heart recipient,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Beasley, commander of the Army’s 88th Regional Readiness Command.
“He wanted to go back to serve our nation, with our soldiers. He served after the birth of [his daughter] Marlee Freedom. He served knowing [his son] Miles Manning was on the way,” General Beasley said.
“He was a wonderful soldier and a brilliant patriot. He was someone who taught us a whole lot about wearing a uniform, about being a father, about being a husband, and about being an American.”
The two-hour church ceremony was a tribute to the young man’s short but full life. Family and friends spoke of his love of sports and his competitive nature.
They recalled times when, although a huge University of Michigan fan, he spent afternoons cheering for the Ohio State Buckeyes with his friends.
They also spoke of the love story that evolved when he met his wife. The two were married four days after he was called to active duty on Feb. 24, 2003.
“I was going to write a letter, but I couldn’t find the words. But Andy taught me that actions speak louder than words. The biggest action he ever showed me was love,” Mrs. Eckert said yesterday. “Because God gave Andy to me, I know what it is to be cherished.”
Sergeant Eckert grew up in Whitehouse and graduated from Anthony Wayne in High School in 2000.
Yesterday, his body was interred with a military ceremony at Whitehouse Cemetery, complete with a gun salute and a flyover by an air ambulance helicopter.
Members of the 983rd Battalion who have not been deployed or are home on leave honored their fellow soldier with a salute.
Members of their families were each given a Gerber daisy - “Andy and Tiphany’s flower” - to place on his coffin, said Jackie Kidd-Lutzmann, family program coordinator for the battalion.
Mrs. Kidd-Lutzmann said it was touches such as the flowers, the bracelets, and the red, white, and blue magnets proclaiming “Freedom Isn’t Free” that were attached to vehicles in the procession to the cemetery that Mrs. Eckert requested to make her husband’s funeral special.
Family members of the 983rd soldiers all wore pink, she said, to celebrate with “Andy and Tiphany’s color.”
“He was the only guy who could wear pink and still look macho,” Mrs. Kidd-Lutzmann said. “He was a very, very special young man.”
Sergeant Eckert’s military experience began March 6, 2003, when he left for training. He arrived in Iraq on May 19, 2003.
He was originally with the 983rd Battalion, but transferred for a time to the 244th Engineering Battalion, based in Fort Collins, Colo. It was when the 983rd was mobilized in the summer of 2004 that Sergeant Eckert decided to return to Iraq with his battalion.
Sergeant Eckert was awarded several medals for his service, both before and after his death. Among them the Bronze Star for valor and his second Purple Heart - this time for giving his life to his country.
“This has been a very, very sad time but we’re also very proud of Andy. It’s incredible what he accomplished in his life,” said Bret Howland, a close friend who said he thought of the young soldier as a son.
“We’re never going to let his children forget who their daddy was. That’s the goal from now on: to keep the spirit alive of Andy Eckert.”
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