While reflecting on the service of military men and women this Veterans Day, remember fellow residents like Capt. Candace Eckert who serves in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Ms. Eckert serves as a Navy Fleet Support Officer responsible for supporting the sailors and officers in the northwest region by leading the qualification program for Navy Reserve Commanding Officers; mentoring reserve leaders; and supporting events preparing sailors for overseas deployment and recognizing their return home, according to a press release.
A resident of Phoenix, she is a 1978 Oakdale High School graduate and native of Oakdale, California. She also earned a degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1982 as a computer science major.
Reservists support and aid military missions while continuing to lead their own lives in the civilian world, according to the release.
“It’s difficult to balance my civilian life with my Navy service,” said Ms. Eckert in a prepared statement.
“There are important life events that I’ve missed due to Navy obligations, but my family and my employer both support my service. This support is critical, as none of us could do what we do without support from our families and employers.”
As a Navy reservist, she serves with Navy Region Northwest Reserve Component Command responsible for providing oversight, comprehensive support and guidance to 16 sites across 11 states, from Alaska to Minnesota, the release said.
“My Navy experience has strengthened my leadership capabilities, provided a deeper understanding of different places and people around the world, and given me more confidence to stand up to things that are not right. It has allowed me to challenge myself, grow and be part of something bigger than just my own career,” Ms. Eckert said.
She is proud of her work while deployed to Iraq and receiving the Bronze Star, the release noted.
“I was deployed to Mosul, Fallujah and Ramadi, Iraq, and served with soldiers, Marines and civilians to improve judicial transparency by establishing terrorism courts in the provinces,” said Ms. Eckert.
“This involved working with the Iraqi Judiciary to provide security and facilities to enable them to conduct trials and deliver verdicts in safety. Prior to our efforts, the Iraqi criminal justice system had collapsed because judges and their families were targeted and killed by terrorists.”
Serving in the Navy runs in the family for Ms. Eckert. She has family members who previously served in the military and is honored to carry on that family tradition, the release said.
“My husband, James "Skip" Lind served in the Navy and my father served in the Army Air Corps,” said Ms. Eckert.
“Serving in the Navy is deeply meaningful for me.”