Pharos-Tribune

Local News

May 13, 2013

Dream come true

Marine returns home to restored car.

INDIANAPOLIS — A Logansport native serving in the marines was welcomed home Saturday by local businesses, citizens, family members and friends — who presented him with his restored classic car that was being worked on while he was overseas.

U.S. Marine Corps E4 Cpl. Braxton Eckelbarger, born and raised in Logansport, recently returned home from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina after finishing his second tour in Afghanistan.

More than 30 of Eckelbarger’s relatives and friends welcomed him with handshakes and hugs in the parking lot of NAPA Auto Parts Saturday morning where they presented him with his restored 1965 Ford Mustang, which had broken down on him shortly before he was shipped off for his second tour.

Through a project dubbed A Warrior’s Dream spearheaded by family friend Russell Anderson and supported by donations of local businesses and citizens, Eckelbarger’s car now has a rebuilt motor, rebuilt transmission and new brakes, audio system, seats, shocks and steering.

The 21-year old Eckelbarger has been a Marine for the last three and a half years, something he described as “a lifelong dream.”

“It feels good to be back,” he said, not minding the uncharacteristically chilly May morning. “It lets me know people really do care. They show it in different ways. It’s really nice. I really don’t know what to say, it feels really good.”

When the cover was lifted from the restored car, the feelings got even better.

“This speaks louder than words,” he said, beaming, adding he would often hear from his fellow service members that no one back home cared about what they were doing. “This proves that wrong.”

Anderson, who started working on the car in January with the assistance of his 11-year-old son Seth Roland and friend’s 15-year-old son Cameron Gebhardt, said it would not have been possible without help from the community.

“A lot of people from this community put in a lot of love and a lot of time,” he said.

Anderson said he didn’t know Eckelbarger much at all other than from seeing him and his family at the church they attend, Revolution Community Church, which is headed by Eckelbarger’s brother, Pastor Anthony Cozzello. He said he wanted to help fix Eckelbarger’s car to not only show him that he cares about his service, but that the entire community does as well.

“My outreach was, I didn’t want personal attention,” Anderson said. “I wanted him to see it wasn’t just one person, it was the whole community. I believe in this community. I believe in Logansport. It was an affirmation that we’re a tight-knit community, we do help each other.”

Terry Snyder, owner of NAPA Auto Parts in Logansport, recalled the day Anderson came in to tell him about the project.

“He was really pumped,” Snyder said. “He was talking a mile a minute.”

Snyder responded to Anderson’s proposal by offering to do some of the Mustang’s motor and transmission work at discount.

“He’s done a fantastic job,” Snyder said of Anderson. “He’s done something very great for this young man. It’s not every day someone comes along and wants to redo a classic car for you. It’s a very good feeling.”

Other local auto shops assisted with endeavor, including Dishon Transmission, Allen’s Stainless Exhaust and Osborn Auto & Trim. Several local businesses donated money toward the project as well.

“We’re so glad he’s home safe,” said the Marine’s mother, Joyce Eckelbarger, as he pulled out of the lot for a spin around the block. “We were praying for him every day. So many of the guys didn’t come home safe. I’m so glad he did.”

Eckelbarger’s car will be featured in The Joe Robison Memorial Car and Bike Show, which starts at 8 a.m. Saturday at Revolution Community Church, 3324 E. Market St. A free hog roast will be a part of the event as well.

Eckelbarger said he’s not sure whether or not he’ll be staying in the Marines or pursuing another career.

“No one wants me to stay in, but I like it a lot,” he said, adding that he’s still working on a decision.

Whatever he decides to do, he’ll be getting there in his 1965 Mustang.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Police Blotter: Aug. 1, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    August 1, 2014

  • Miami County struggles through computer shutdown PERU (AP) — A northern Indiana prosecutor has harshly criticized other officials in his county for not adequately dealing with computer problems that have effectively brought some business to a halt. Prosecutor Bruce Embrey said Miami County governme

    August 1, 2014

  • NWS-PT080114 Bow Fishing.jpg Man vs. fish: Niche sport takes bows, arrows to the water In the fight against Asian carp, local outdoors enthusiasts are increasingly turning to bowfishing — in which you don’t wait for the fish to come to you. You send an arrow straight to them.Bowfishing has become an increasingly popular sport according

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2nd annual bike ride slated Saturday WINAMAC — Dozens of bike riders will take over the Panhandle Pathway Saturday for the second annual Down and Back bike ride.The 44-mile trail begins in Winamac and extends all the way to near France Park in Kenneth. Kelly Hines, spokesperson for the

    August 1, 2014

  • Trial dates moved in Wagoner clinic drug case KOKOMO — Trial dates for seven of the eight people charged in the Wagoner Clinic prescription drug case have been moved to Oct. 3.Several of the suspects, including Marilyn Wagoner, the wife of Donald Wagoner, the former head of the clinics, were set

    August 1, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 31, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 31, 2014

  • NWS-PT073114 Hopper2.jpg The right track: Logansport boy advocates railroad crossing safety

    It's not uncommon to see 12-year-old Ethan Hopper sitting in a lawn chair near his father's business on 18th Street in Logansport, his cell phone pointed at a locomotive heading down the nearby tracks. The engines make up a fascination modern technol

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Cass Co. Community Foundation eligible for grant

    The Cass County Community Foundation is eligible to receive half a million dollars from Lilly Endowment Inc. as a matching grant at some point over the course of the next couple of years.Lilly Endowment announced the sixth phase of its Giving Indiana

    July 31, 2014

  • Locals: EPA delay request too late Logansport officials say while they appreciate a state executive’s request to delay new rules on coal power plants, its timing still requires pursuing a new power plant for the city.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published last month its Cl

    July 31, 2014

  • Supreme Court observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking of next chief INDIANAPOLIS — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure in the leadership post.Another surprise may be in store when his replacement is named.A seven-member panel of

    July 31, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should the U.S. impose a travel ban on three West African nations in response to a growing Ebola virus outbreak?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
eEdition