Veteran speaks to Democrats
Lynn Eckert spoke at the May meeting of Tehachapi Mountain Democratic Club to explain why recognizing veterans is so important to her.
Veterans have sacrificed many years of their life and risk to themselves to serve America. Our country has come a long way in honoring veterans, yet much improvement needs to be made.
They need to receive more than a simple “thank you for your service.”
Eckert described her years of growing up in a dysfunctional family where drugs, alcohol, and abuse were prevalent. She began using drugs and alcohol as an escape. One day as she contemplated her future, she felt something drawing her to a recruiting office where she was warmly greeted. On impulse, she joined the Marines and served during the Vietnam War.
“That was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Eckert said. “The Marines made me feel respected, valuable and loved.”
Eckert gave up drugs and alcohol and will soon celebrate “clean” for 50 years. After five years as a Marine, she attended college in Taft and Bakersfield, receiving degrees to qualify her to become a counselor and therapist. In 2007 she married and moved to Tehachapi. She is now retired and has dedicated herself to serving veterans who need help.
An experience that helped Eckert feel truly welcomed and appreciated for her service was the Honor Flight, a trip to Washington, D.C., to view the war memorials and bond with other veterans.
She told several heartwarming stories that have occurred on such trips. She wants veterans to take advantage of these flights.
She urged veterans to contact the local American Legion, a family-oriented organization for veterans. They host a family breakfast on the last Saturday of each month at Christian Life Assembly
Church at 8 a.m. for a social hour with breakfast served at 9. The Legion can also advise vets about connecting with services provided by the Veterans Administration.
Tehachapi Democratic Club meets the first Thursday of each month at Kelcy’s
Restaurant. The social dinner time is at 5 p.m. and the meeting begins at 6. All Democrats are invited to attend. More information is available at tehachapidemocrats.com.
Phyllis Belcher is a member of the club.