TOLEDO, OH, US
SGT, C CO, 983D ENG COMBAT HEAVY BN, (CFLCC), MONCLOVA, OH
05/08/2005, BALAD, IRAQ
The Eckert family confirmed that SGT Gary “Andy” Eckert was killed in action in Iraq.
“SGT Eckert loved his family. Anyone who knew him, knew that,” explained Bill Geddes on behalf of the 88th Regional Readiness Command, Minnesota.
SGT Eckert graduated from Anthony Wayne High School in 2000 where he played basketball, according to Principal Robert Slykhuis. Following graduation Andy studied horticulture at Penta Career Center, and history at Owens Community College before enlisting in the Army. SGT Eckert’s first deployment t0 Iraq was in 2003. He served 15 months there when he was hit by shrapnel from a roadside bomb in Tikrit. Because of the wounds he sustained he was awarded the Purple Heart.
Andy next volunteered for service in the Fall of 2004 and returned to Iraq. “Andy was the perfect soldier. He did what you asked. He always had a smile on his face. He was never in a bad mood. Always there to help everybody. He got me through some rough days over there,” said SFC Jams Gyori, Andy’s platoon sergeant for 18 months.
A couple of years ago in 2014, Myles Eckert, SGT Eckert’s son, found a 20 dollar bill in the parking lot outside a Cracker Barrel Restaurant. Myles went into the restaurant to eat with his family. He noticed a Soldier there. And after wrapping the $20 in a note handed it to the Soldier. The note reads: Dear Soldier, My Dad was a soldier. He’s in heaven. I found this $20 in the parking lot when we got here. We like to pay it forward in my family. It’s your lucky day! Thank you for your service. Signed: Myles Eckert a gold star kid.
The Soldier reads the note everyday.
Myles Eckert will continue to inspire those persons he meets and his Dad will live forever through acts of kindness and his son’s love. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9