HERO OF THE WEEK: Jeff Eckstein is about helping and serving others

Published 8:00 am Friday, April 29, 2022

By Vera Ann Fedell | The Vicksburg Post

This week’s Vicksburg Post Hero of the Week is Ret. Colonel Jeff Eckstein, a veteran of the U.S. Army. Eckstein is a Vicksburg resident that has served in the U.S. military for 30 years. He has served all over the world and although retired continues to serve others by volunteering with various organizations. 

What is your rank? 

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I retired as a Colonel.

Which branch of service were you in, and what years were you active?  

I served 30 years in the U.S. Army as an Engineer Officer.

What were the reasons why you joined? 

I attended a college fair at high school and learned about the opportunities at West Point. I wanted to serve my country and West Point started that journey.

What was your job in the military? 

I was an Engineer Officer. The last five years of my career were here in Vicksburg with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I served as the Commander of the Vicksburg District and the Engineer Research and Development Center.

Where did you serve the majority of your time in service?  

I served all over the world. A couple of deployments to Iraq in Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Nicaragua for Hurricane Mitch Disaster Recovery, Somalia to build roads for Humanitarian food delivery, and South Florida after Hurricane Andrew to assist with the cleanup.

How did you imagine military life before you joined? How did your perceptions change after serving?  

I knew it would be difficult moving around and there would be many changes. After serving, I found I have so many memories of the people I served with and the opportunity to help other people. Military service is more about helping others and serving them.

How does your military experience affect your life today?  

The life of myself and my family revolves around service. My wife also served over 20 years in the Army. My three children are in the military as well. We all contribute locally to various organizations as volunteers.

If there is a veteran or active duty member who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to vera.fedell@vicksburgpost.com.