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
  • Cass Co. jobless rate falls again Cass County unemployment fell once again to 5.6 percent, state workforce data indicates, mirroring state trends of a growing workforce and what one economist suggests is growth in full-time jobs. State unemployment data released this week indicates t

    August 22, 2014

  • Police blotter: Aug. 22 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 22, 2014

  • 5-year-old boy's bathtub death under investigation MONTICELLO (AP) — State police say an investigation is underway into the death of a 5-year-old northern Indiana boy who reportedly was found not breathing in a bathtub. Sgt. Kim Riley says Ian Davidson died Thursday at an Indianapolis hospital, where

    August 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT082114 WWII Ship 2.jpg Return voyage: Logansport veteran to crew WWII ship A Logansport man and U.S. Navy veteran is getting a chance to sail on a military vessel again.Starting at the end of this month, Rex Mitchell Ashby will spend about three weeks working in the engine room of LST-325, the last fully operational World W

    August 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • AP for free? Yes — for low incomes The U.S. Department of Education awarded $28.4 million dollars Aug. 12 to schools across the nation for Advanced Placement test costs for low-income students.Indiana received just under $500,000 from the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program. That amou

    August 22, 2014

  • Round Barn Festival canceled ROCHESTER — A 44-year-long festival will end its run in downtown Rochester indefinitely, according to the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce. Executive Director Diane Spore and the chamber of commerce’s board of directors met Wednesday to discuss and

    August 22, 2014

  • Twelve Mile farming contractor files counter-suit TWELVE MILE — A local farming contractor has filed a counter-suit against a farming company that accused him of defrauding them of millions of dollars over the course of several crop seasons.A lawyer for Chad Rudicel, the Twelve Mile contractor named

    August 22, 2014

  • Police Blotter: Aug. 21, 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 21, 2014

  • Firefighters investigate smoke downtown Firefighters investigate smoke smell downtown

    Firefighters with the Logansport Fire Department responded to a call of a smell of smoke in a downtown office building.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT082114 Opera House Now.jpg Dreaming the old dreams over DELPHI — “To dream the old dreams over is a luxury divine.”That line from the late local poet James Whitcomb Riley was mentioned several times Wednesday at a celebration in Delphi. Those who quoted the line said it was a fitting description for one o

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

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
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
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

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
eEdition