Project to honor America’s fallen heroes inspired by Toledo boy - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Project to honor America’s fallen heroes inspired by Toledo boy Eckert

Posted: Updated:
Myles Eckert removes the soil from his father's resting site Myles Eckert removes the soil from his father's resting site
WHITEHOUSE, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Nine years ago Thursday, Sergeant Andy Eckert was killed in Iraq.

"It seems just like yesterday. But sometimes it seems like it was really a long time" says Eckert's widow Tiffany.

On this solemn anniversary, friends and family gathered at Eckert's grave site in Whitehouse to remember him and be part of a special event.

"Charismatic. Outgoing. Comedic. A natural leader. Good guy," said to Jeremy Lanaham, who served in Iraq with Andy.

The gathering was a first for the Patriot Soil Project. The organization will collect soil from final resting places of fallen heroes like Eckert in all 50 states so a Patriot Tree can be planted in that soil at the White House.

"I'm really excited about being part of something that brings recognition that a lot of families would not have otherwise," said Tiffany.

Founders of the Patriot Soil Project were inspired by a TV news story they saw about Eckert's son Myles. The nine-year-old youngster famously paid it forward at a local restaurant by gifting a serviceman $20 he found in a parking lot. It also included a note about Myles' dad and what happened to him.

"It became very inspiring. We thought it would be a wonderful family to reach out to and ultimately meet," said Patriot Soil Founder Gary Robinson.

They did meet at the Whitehouse Ohio Cemetery to help plant a tree at the White House someday as a living memorial to soldiers like Eckert.

Myles' stories can be found:

Toledo boy turns 20 dollars into priceless gift

Myles Eckert awarded for kind act to soldier

Follow Toledo News Now:

Mobile users, click on the "video" button in the app to watch this story. Download our app here.

Copyright 2014 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Project to honor America’s fallen heroes inspired by Toledo boy EckertMore>>