Ecksteins plant roots in Vicksburg

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 5, 2015

After 30 years in the U.S. Army Col. Jeffrey R. Eckstein retired and his family is putting down roots in Vicksburg.

Eckstein, his wife Adrienne and their three children, Luke, Adrienne and Adam have been a blessing to our community since their arrival in 2009.

Eckstein’s military career in Vicksburg cam full circle Monday when Commander for the Mississippi Valley Division Brig. Gen. Michael C. Wehr officiated his retirement ceremony. Ironically Eckstein became the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District, during a change-of-command ceremony Dec. 15, 2009 replacing then Col. Michael C. Wehr.

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During the ceremony Eckstein told the approximately 100 people in attendance of his wife’s decisions to forgo her career in order to advance his and of his children’s exemplary behavior and achievements reflecting positively on being a military family.

Eckstein and his wife Adrienne, a former Lt. Col., managed to raise a family while both serving on active duty. Over the years the Ecksteins have traveled with their three children to all seven continents.

“I want to begin by thanking everyone for what we’ve accomplished in our lives and family. In a 30 year career there a lot of people who help guide you,” Eckstein said. “I did this once before at a change of command thanking everyone and got all the way to the end and forgot my wife.”

“So first up thank you very much for our 25 years of marriage and it was truly a team effort,” he said. “At one point they were going to send me to Korea and her to Japan and that would be close enough. I said no way, but we always ended up together.”

Entering active duty in May 1985 following his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Eckstein’s career took him all over the world with the final two assignments in Vicksburg — first at the Vicksburg District, and then at ERDC.

Eckstein vowed to remain in Vicksburg and become an advocate for ERDC and its core mission.

We couldn’t be prouder of their decision; it’s a testament to the direction our community is heading. It’s great to be able to say “I’m from Vicksburg.”