Powered By Christian Gifts

Monday, July 23, 2007

Posts: June 19 to July 20, 2007

Coming Soon
Friday, July 20, 2007 4:58 PM

Coming Soon!!!

Do The RIGHT Thing

at a new location.

Final touches to the new site

will be done soon.

I thought about changing the

name from the current name

to Troll-Free blogging,

but decided to

Do The Right Thing!


Email It | Print It | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0) | Flag as Offensive
Link to Pictures of SSG Michael Bechart's Funeral Procession
Sunday, July 08, 2007 12:39 AM

Click on the link below to view the 74 pictures my wife took before and during the funeral procession for SSG Michael Bechert.

you're invited to view Ed's photos!

SSG Michael Bec... Funeral
74 photos

Ed says...
Click on this link and if you run slide show it is really cool!

God Bless the memory of this fallen hero!


Email It | Print It | Comments (24) | Trackbacks (0) | Flag as Offensive
What If His People Prayed!
Saturday, July 07, 2007 11:42 PM

I am beginning a new series of messages on Prayer with this song as an inspiration. It is performed by the group Casting Crowns. If you haven't heard it - you need to! Read the words, they are awesome!

What if His People Prayed?

Verse 1
What if the armies of the Lord
Picked up and dusted off their swords
Vowed to set the captive free
And not let Satan have one more
What if the church for heaven's sake
Finally stepped up to the plate
Took a stand upon God's promise
And stormed hell's rusty gates

Chorus 1
What if His people prayed
And those who bear His name
Would only seek His face yeah
And turn from their own ways

Verse 2
And what would happen if we prayed
For those raised up to lead the way
Then maybe kids in school could pray
And unborn children see light of day
What if the life that we pursue
Came from a hunger for the truth
What if the fam'ly turned to Jesus
Stopped asking Oprah what to do

Chorus 2
He said that they would hear
His promise has been made
He's answered loud and clear yeah
If only we would pray

Misc 1
If My people called by My name
If they'll humble themselves and pray
If My people called by My name
If they'll humble themselves and pray


Email It | Print It | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0) | Flag as Offensive
Where I've Been and Where I'm Going
Saturday, July 07, 2007 10:54 PM

I've not made a new post on here since June 26th. Where have I been?

Well, it's like this: June was a very tough month for me personally. I attended 6 funerals, 2 of which I preached and the other 4 I went to support family, friends, or the pastor doing the funeral.

Some might say, don't you rejoice when people go to Heaven? My response is, "of course I do when I believe the person was ready". That being said, it doesn't mean that there is not mourning to do, and surprise, surprise - preachers mourn for people just like everyone else.

So Pastor Ed, you've taken a couple of weeks off to mourn???? Well, yes and no. I did need to lighten up just a little, but that isn't the only reason for not blogging for 2 weeks.

I am in the process of evaluating my purpose in blogging and seeking God's guidance for where to go from here. I believe that blogging can be a very good tool for ministry. I also believe that arguing with trolls, is not what I am called to do.

Also, with this process of evaluation, I am looking for a new site so that I can moderate comments myself. Call me self-righteous or whatever you like, but I will no longer have a site where people comment with rude, nasty, or hateful remarks. I don't blog to argue, I blog to do God's work, and motivate the Silent Majority to not allow satan to rule things in our great country.

This coming week my wife and I will be working at Teen Camp. The timing is good, as it gives me some more time to continue my evaluation. If you have comments or suggestions, I welcome them (if they are not rude, nasty, or hateful). Let me know, how is it that I can best minister to my online "congregation".

I love you all (Right or not), and say a prayer for us as we are with teenagers who will have the opportunity to change their lives for all eternity.

Pastor Ed

I'm going to post a link to the pictures from the funeral procession for the "Fallen Hero" who was buried here in our town, and I'm going to post something on the new Sermon Series I'm starting tomorrow.


Email It | Print It | Comments (63) | Trackbacks (1) | Flag as Offensive
Fallen Hero Laid to Rest!
Monday, June 25, 2007 1:04 AM

Today SSG Michael A. Bechert was laid to rest! This is a little snipet from the early online reports of the funeral. My wife took some amazing pictures of the day's crowd, and I've never seen anything like it in our small town.

I will post the pictures as soon as I get time to download them (hopefully Monday night)! In the meantime, I want to say how proud I am 1) of the sacrifice made by SSG Bechert, 2) of our small town turning out in mass to recognize this hero, when no one I have talked to knew him or his family. The respect given was just that - true respect for an American hero, 3) of the awesome show of support from the Patriot Guard Riders. I will give more details in a future post, but I got a chance to talk to dozens of these fine men and women (and yes I hugged one for you Margot), and I believe without exception when I thanked them for being here, they said "it's my honor".

I'm anxious to get the pictures out to you, unfortunately my schedule won't let me get it done early on Monday, and it's too late to do tonight. Here's the snipet, and their picture.

Soldier laid to rest in Hope

Sgt.(SSG) Michael A. Bechert, a U.S. soldier fatally wounded in Iraq, was laid to rest Sunday in a quiet, tree-lined spot in Hope Moravian Cemetery.

Bechert was not from Bartholomew County and most recently lived in Germany with his wife, Daniela, and their 20-month-old son, Brandon, but he chose to be buried in Hope next to his mother's grave.

Area residents responded with an outpouring of support and respect as they lined Hope's Main Street between Norman Funeral Home and Hope Moravian Church.

Staff Sgt. Michael Bechert is carried out of Norman
Funeral Home in Hope Sunday prior to the procession
to Hope Moravian Cemetery.

Photo by Joel Philippsen


Email It | Print It | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0) | Flag as Offensive
Sunday Sermon
Monday, June 25, 2007 12:32 AM

I got the title for this sermon from a line in a funeral message that I attended a few days ago. My dear friend and minister David Burnett, used this line about making it to heaven and I said to myself, "Self, that line would be a great sermon title" and I decided to use it for a communion service today.

Please understand that these outlines are just that, and that I tie things together during the preaching.

God Bless each one of you who reads this, and God is Good! All the Time!!!!

It’s Not What You Know, But Who You Know!

I. The Pharisees Didn’t Know Jesus

Matthew 12:38-40

38 Some of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law came to Jesus. They said, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you." 39 He answered, "Evil and unfaithful people ask for a miraculous sign! But none will be given except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 Jonah was in the stomach of a huge fish for three days and three nights. Something like that will happen to the Son of Man. He will spend three days and three nights in the grave.

II. The People of Nazareth Didn’t Know Jesus

Matthew 13:53-58

53 Jesus finished telling these stories. Then he moved on from there. 54 He came to his hometown of Nazareth. There he began teaching the people in their synagogue. They were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom? Where did he get this power to do miracles?" they asked. 55 "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary? Aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren't all his sisters with us? Then where did this man get all these things?" 57 They were not pleased with him at all. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not honored in his hometown. He doesn't receive any honor in his own home." 58 He did only a few miracles there because they had no faith.

III. Peter Knew Jesus

Matthew 16:13-19

13 Jesus went to the area of Caesarea Philippi. There he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" 14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist. Others say Elijah. Still others say Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." 15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ. You are the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah! No mere man showed this to you. My Father in heaven showed it to you. 18 Here is what I tell you. You are Peter. On this rock I will build my church. The gates of hell will not be strong enough to destroy it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. What you lock on earth will be locked in heaven. What you unlock on earth will be unlocked in heaven."

IV. You Too Can Know Jesus

Matthew 26:26-30
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread. He gave thanks and broke it. He handed it to his disciples and said, "Take this and eat it. This is my body." 27 Then he took the cup. He gave thanks and handed it to them. He said, "All of you drink from it. 28 This is my blood of the new covenant. It is poured out to forgive the sins of many. 29 Here is what I tell you. From now on, I won't drink wine with you again until the day I drink it with you in my Father's kingdom." 30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.


Email It | Print It | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0) | Flag as Offensive
Welcome Patriot Guard Riders!
Saturday, June 23, 2007 12:07 AM

Looks like there will be more of the "Good Guys" in town on Sunday. I know I sure appreciate the presence of the Patriot Guard Riders, and my thanks to solo for hooking me up with this link.

Patriot Guard Riders Forum

17 Jun 2007 6:40 PM
Updated 19 Jun 07

Final Itinerary: SSgt. Michael A. Bechert New Castle Indiana

Date: Sunday June 24

Staging Time: 1:00 pm

Directions: From I-65 take exit 80 go east on IN 252 approximately 10 miles to IN 9 south 5 miles to Hope. The zip code for Hope is 47246 for mapquest purposes.

Staging will be in front of Moravian Church. We have been given permission to park on either side of Main Street (IN 9). The service will be grave side directly behind the church. Michael's final resting place will be on top of a hill in the Southwest corner of the cemetery. The cemetery has narrow gravel roads and everyone will walk to there positions. The hearse will leave Norman Funeral ( 2 blocks north) at 1:45 and enter the cemetery off Main street onto Seminary Rd. into the cemetery. Chief of police Randy Baily will close Main Street at 1:45. He has given permission for us to park along the street directly in front of the church/cemetery. There probably will be a media presence and with Camp Atterbury near there will also be a military presence also. The community will also be out in force to show there support for this hero. (and that's a fact - Pastor Ed) The family would like to line Main Street at the entrance and the narrow road leading to Michael's final resting place with us and our flags. I was contacted by Camp Atterbury and advised that they had 30 people coming to assist (hold flags) and show their support. The weather for Sunday looks good. Ride Safely!


Email It | Print It | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0) | Flag as Offensive
A Tribute
Friday, June 22, 2007 10:09 PM

Expecting a huge crowd on Sunday. These articles in the newspaper, and I've been spear-heading the local church drive to put people on the streets.

All 4 of these posts are from The Republic newpaper in Columbus, IN.
www. therepublic.com

Hope will be final home for soldier

IF Lou Broering has his way, family members of Sgt. Michael Bechert will feel as if they’ve come home Sunday afternoon.

He’s hoping that dozens of people, waving small American flags, will line Indiana 9 between the Norman Funeral Home and the entrance to the Hope Moravian Cemetery as the soldier and his family are driven past.

In a way, Sgt. Bechert will be coming home. Home will be a grave in the Hope Moravian cemetery, right next to his mother who died when he was a child.

But, so far as is known, neither Sgt. Bechert nor members of his surviving family ever lived in Hope.

His final resting place was in accordance with his wishes. He wanted to be buried alongside his mother in a large family plot in one of the older sections of the cemetery.

The lack of a personal connection to Bartholomew County is of no concern to Lou Broering, a Hope resident.
It also doesn’t matter that he has no personal connection to Sgt. Bechert or his family.

What does matter is that Sgt. Michael Bechert was a soldier and he died in the service of his country from injuries suffered in Iraq.

When Lou read of Sgt. Bechert’s death and plans for burial in Hope, he thought of a box he had been keeping in storage and an old friend.

“I have 24 dozen small American flags that Jim (Griffin) had purchased for special occasions,” Lou wrote. “It occurred to me that it would be fitting to line the road with people (waving those flags) leading to the entrance of the Hope Moravian Cemetery on Sunday.”

Fitting is an understatement in these circumstances.

It’s a wonderful way to recognize a fallen soldier, show compassion for his family and remember another very special person.

That would be Jim Griffin, a man who served his country in an earlier conflict.

Jim Griffin’s name is fairly recognizable around these parts.

This year‘s SALUTE! concert at the Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans was dedicated in his name.

Jim, a former commander of the local American Legion Post and the county’s veterans affairs service officer, threw himself into supporting the concert and other observances recognizing the contributions of those in uniform.

He came by that spirit in painful fashion.

As a Vietnam veteran who served “in-country,” Jim came home to a nation deeply divided by an unpopular war.

The treatment accorded him and other veterans was troubling. He wasn’t abused or spat upon or reviled by anyone who protested the war.

It’s just that no one acknowledged what he and hundreds of thousands of others had done for them.

It was as if the country wanted to forget there was ever a war in which than 50,000 of their countrymen had died.

That nagged at Jim over the years, but he had more important things to deal with, such as supporting a family and living his life.

SALUTE! support

Unlike many of his Vietnam peers, he became involved in local veterans organizations and when the SALUTE! concert was started, he became one of its biggest supporters.

One of those means of support was to buy (with his own money) hundreds of flags to distribute through the SALUTE! audience for people to wave and show their support for the troops.

The response energized the Columbus man. He wept when he saw the way this community embraced young soldiers in training at Camp Atterbury, especially at the concert.

He died suddenly and unexpectedly last year but he left behind a lot of things to remember him.

At this year’s concert, hundreds of small American flags waved throughout the performance. They had been left over from the huge collection of flags Jim had purchased the year before.

And there is also that box of flags that Lou Broering has been waiting to use.

They’ll be put to use Sunday.

“I think Jim would have been very happy to see it happen,” Lou said.

Harry McCawley is associate editor of The Republic, e-mail harry@therepublic.com.

Harry McCawley

Associated Press
Residents of South Bay look at members of a motorcycle club known as Patriot Guard riders as they follow a funeral procession June 1 for Cpl. Joseph Anzack while it travels to South High School’s football stadium in Torrance, Calif., for a public memorial. Lou Broering hopes for a smiliar turnout Sunday in Hope when Sgt. Michael Bechert is buried.


Email It | Print It | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0) | Flag as Offensive
Flag-Waving Residents to Line Procession Route
Friday, June 22, 2007 9:12 PM

Hope to honor slain soldier

Staff Reports

The funeral for Staff Sgt. Michael A. Bechert, 24, will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Hope Moravian Cemetery.

Bechert, who was serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army, was injured during a Humvee attack near Baghdad on May 30. He was one day away from his 25th birthday, when he died from severe burns June 14 in a hospital in San Antonio.

Bechert will be buried next to his mother, who died when he was a young boy.

Local residents have been asked to honor Bechert by lining the route on Indiana 9 from Norman Funeral Home to the cemetery entrance.

The funeral party is scheduled to depart from the funeral home at 1:45 p.m. and proceed to the cemetery.

Flag distribution

Participants have been asked to report first to the shelter house in Hope Town Square by 1 p.m. to get a free American flag to wave as the procession passes.

Organizers have invited the public but asked that anyone arriving by car park in the church parking lot.


Email It | Print It | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0) | Flag as Offensive
Form Letter Sent to Local Soldier's Wife
Friday, June 22, 2007 8:48 PM

This is another local troop that hits especially close to home for our church. This soldier is on our church prayer list, as one of our families is related to him. His 8 yr-old nephew is very close to David, and I've hugged the nephew several times as he shed tears worried about "my uncle in Iraq".

Soldier’s family gets job-termination letter

By Kirk Johannesen


GREENSBURG — David Veerkamp has worked at the Delta Faucet plant here for 15 years, but on Saturday a letter arrived at home stating that his employment would be terminated. For the last year, Veerkamp has been in Iraq with the Indiana National Guard.

Veerkamp’s wife, Misty, read the letter and became upset that the company would terminate him while he is serving the country.

However, the help of the Army National Guard’s Family Readiness Group and Indiana’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve led to a resolution, and David Veerkamp’s keeping his job.

Misty Veerkamp and the couple’s three girls are staying with her in-laws, Jerry and Sue Veerkamp of Greensburg, while David Veerkamp, 34, is away. His wife read the letter after sorting the day’s mail.

The letter, dated June 13 and written by Jim Funcheon, resources manager for Greensburg operations, stated:

“Your employment with Delta Faucet is being terminated for the inability to return to work after 1 year on being on a leave of absence.”

The letter quoted the company handbook for further explanation, and said David Veerkamp’s leave of absence began June 13, 2006.

“At first I cried and then I got angry. I wrote a letter so people would know what happened. I sent it to family and friends,” Misty Veerkamp said.

She contacted the FRG, which in turn contacted the ESGR, which handled the situation.

Veerkamp said Roger Peterman, chairman of the ESGR in Indiana, assured her that her husband wouldn’t lose his job because it’s illegal for employers to terminate employees who are serving on active duty.

She learned Tuesday that his job was secure, and the problem had been resolved.

She said he was immediately made aware of the letter and at first was confused, thinking the National Guard had fired him. When he learned the letter was from Delta Faucet he assured her he couldn’t be fired.

Renee Backmeyer, vice president of human resources for Delta Faucet, issued a statement apologizing “for the misunderstanding of our intent and our policy.”

She said it is Delta’s policy to welcome employees back after serving in the military, and the company wishes for David Veerkamp’s safe return.

“We sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding generated by a poorly written letter. We did not mean to cause any additional anxiety for the family of those serving in the military,” Backmeyer’s statement said.

Misty Veerkamp said she received calls from employees at Delta Faucet in support of her husband.
She’s satisfied with Backmeyer’s statement, but not with Funcheon.

“Maybe a little explanation,” she said. “I’m tired of hearing it was a simple form letter.”


Email It | Print It | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0) | Flag as Offensive
Local Soldier Injured
Friday, June 22, 2007 8:37 PM

This young man is from the city where I grew up (about 12 miles from Hope) and we spend a large amount of time there. Lots of stories on local troops in today's paper. I will post them all.

North grad hurt in Iraq explosion

Roadside bomb kills 3;

Archibald only soldier in Humvee to survive blast

By Chris Schilling cschilling@therepublic.com

KIRKUK — A roadside bomb rocked a Humvee and killed three U.S. soldiers, but the driver, U.S. Army Pfc. Tanner Archibald, 23, of Columbus, is recovering from his injuries. Archibald suffered smoke inhalation, burns and an 8-inch gash on the right side of his scalp that runs from front to back, according to his family.

Archibald, a 2001 graduate of Columbus North High School, was the lone survivor of the explosion in Kirkuk, Iraq, his family said.

He was driving a Humvee, June 14 when the bomb exploded, said his mother, Debbie Taylor.
“He said it completely turned the vehicle over,” Taylor said.

About a day later, Archibald called his mother from an airplane as he was being flown between hospitals.

Taylor said she was at work when she received the 1 p.m. phone call.

She knew immediately that something was wrong.

Usually, her son starts a conversation with “Hey Mom,” but this time he simply said “Mom” and followed up with, “I haven’t had the best day.”

“He was upset and still in a little shock from what he had seen,” Taylor said.

Archibald is at a hospital in Qatar for three weeks. He is expected to make a full physical recovery, his mother said.

Archibald is assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry regiment, 3rd Brigade Infantry Combat Team, 25th Division out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

His duties include combat, searching for explosives and helping train Iraqi police officers.

He has been serving in Iraq for almost a year and is expected to return home in October for a 30-day leave.

His Columbus relatives also include his father, Ron Archibald; sisters Meghan Archibald and Jennie Moon; stepsister Ashley Taylor; and stepfather Chuck Taylor.



Email It | Print It | Comments (51) | Trackbacks (0) | Flag as Offensive
Bauer on Islamic Activity
Thursday, June 21, 2007 5:42 PM

Bauer backs federal monitoring of

Islamic activity in prisons, mosques

Jim Brown
June 21, 2007
A former Republican presidential candidate who is concerned about pro-terrorist activity is praising the Justice Department for recommending that prisons monitor Islamic religious materials and "worship areas" being used by inmates.

Three inmates at the federal prison in Otisville, New York, recently sued prison officials for removing some Islamic books from the prison's chapel library, claiming their constitutional rights had been violated by the action. U.S. Attorney Brian Feldman says the Bureau of Prisons was responding to the Justice Department's concern that prisons "had been radicalized by inmates who were practicing or espousing various extreme forms of religion, specifically Islam, which exposed security risks to the prisons and beyond the prisons to the public at large."

American Values president Gary Bauer says the apparent crackdown is encouraging. "Inevitably they'll be lawsuits -- and there are already some filed -- but it seems to us that this is the sort of prudent thing that ought to be done at a time when we're facing very violent radicals, extremists that already attacked us once and would like to attack us again," he warns.

Likewise, Bauer says if there are mosques being run with Saudi money and preaching a radical form of Islam, then Americans need to know what is being said in them. It is just as important for the government to keep tabs on the activities of "the extremists who are not behind bars," says Bauer.

"We do have freedom of religion in this country -- but freedom of religion, like all of our other rights, is not a right that dominates everything else," he claims. "That is, in the process of exercising your freedom of religion, you can't be advocating or promoting violence against the United States and our people, or otherwise inciting people to riot, or to destroy or break the law."

Bauer says he and most Christians do not fear someone from the federal government sitting in their church and listening to a typical sermon, so mosques should not be bothered by it either.


Email It | Print It | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0) | Flag as Offensive
Another Bush Veto
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 9:31 PM

I know that our President has not lived up to most of our conservative standards for a little while now, but I personally am thankful that his stand on pro-life has not wavered. And even if you are upset with GWB, please don't forget to pray for him!


Bush Vetoes Embryonic Stem-Cell

Bill, Promotes Ethical Research

by Wendy Cloyd, assistant editor

President said he wants HHS to pursue alternatives.

President Bush announced his veto today of S.5, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, passed by Congress this month. The legislation would have forced taxpayers to pay for research using stem cells taken from destroyed human embryos.

During the ceremony in the East Room of the White House, he also issued an executive order directing the Department of Health and Human Services to promote research that does not destroy life.

Bush said his duty as president is to ensure that stem-cell research is ethically responsible, such as using adult stem cells.

"This careful approach is producing results," he said. "It has contributed to proven therapeutic treatments in thousands of patients with many different diseases. It's opening the prospect of new discoveries that could transform lives."

He said his executive order will make it more likely that such advances continue and will support his policy of advancing stem-cell research "in a way that is ambitious, ethical and effective."

"Congress has sent me a bill that would overturn this policy," Bush said. "If this legislation became law, it would compel American taxpayers – for the first time in our history – to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos.

"I made it clear to Congress and to the American people that I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line. Last year, Congress passed a similar bill. I kept my promise by vetoing it. And today, I'm keeping my word again: I am vetoing the bill that Congress has sent."

Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, was at the White House ceremony.

"The quote that really caught my attention was, 'I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line,' " Daly related. "He was very forthright about it -- very staunch, no equivocation. I think it really shows, on the core issues, this president really gets the pro-life agenda."

Dr. James C. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family Action, said President Bush has proven once again he’s a man who deeply cherishes the sanctity of all human life.

"His veto today of a bill that would have led to dissection of young innocents in the name of suspect science solidifies his already-strong record as one of our nation’s most pro-life presidents," Dobson said. “More than just saying ‘no’ to using taxpayer funds as an incentive for destructive embryonic stem-cell research, though, Mr. Bush also signed an executive order to further encourage the development of ethical stem-cell therapies."

Thank President Bush for taking a strong stand for life. If you are a CitizenLink Daily Update subscriber, click on the blue "Take Action" button in the e-mail to be automatically logged in to our Action Center. Otherwise, click on this link.

A transcript of the president's remarks is available on the White House Web site. You'll also find links to the executive order on stem-cell reserach and other information.


Email It | Print It | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0) | Flag as Offensive
Fallen Hero - Obituary
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 5:21 PM

Michael A. Bechert - Germany

SSG/USA-AD Michael A. Bechert, 24, most recently of Hammelburg, Germany, where he served in the U.S. Army, died at 4:05 p.m. Thursday, June 14, 2007, at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, one day before his 25th birthday. He was injured May 30 in an attack just outside Bagdad, Iraq.

Born June 15, 1982, he was the son of Michael L. Bechert and Angela Sue Patterson. His mother died when he was young. He married Daniela Baderschneider, April 24, 2003, in Schweinfurt, Germany. They have one son, Brandon Andrew, 20 months.

He served his country well in the 118th Infantry. He grew up with George Bechert, his grandfather and best friend, who taught him many of his skills in fishing and patriotism.

Surviving with his wife and son are grandparents, George and Doris Bechert; a sister, Teri Bechert of New Castle; his father, Michael L. Bechert of Morocco; a half brother and a half sister.

A celebration of life and full military graveside rites will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday at Hope Moravian Cemetery with Father Clem Davis officiating. There will be no calling prior to the service.

Arrangements were made by Norman Funeral Home at Hope.


Email It | Print It | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0) | Flag as Offensive
Additional Information on Fallen Hero
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 3:36 PM

Sgt. earned 2 Purple Hearts

By Brian Blair

A soldier to be buried in Hope just earned his second Purple Heart and was one day away from his 25th birthday when he died from severe burns Thursday in a hospital in San Antonio.

Army Staff Sgt. Michael A. Bechert of Schweinfurt, Germany, was awarded the honor for his actions when his vehicle struck an explosive device on May 30 in Baghdad, according to grandmother Doris Bechert.

“I hope he will be remembered as a hero,” she said, breaking into tears as she spoke by phone from her home in Inverness, Fla.

Bechert was serving his second Iraq tour. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, according to the Associated Press.

Doris Bechert said her grandson had his arms amputated at a hospital in Germany because of the burns. In San Antonio, parts of each leg had to be amputated in an attempt to save his life.

She said he knew the risks, especially after earning his first Purple Heart in 2004 in Iraq. She and her husband George, who raised him after his mother died, sorely wished he didn’t have to return to the battlefield there.

“But he was the one saying, ‘Hey, they need me. So I’ve got to go,’” said grandma.

Bechert’s sister, Teri Bechert of northern Indiana, and the soldier’s wife decided he should be buried at Hope Moravian Cemetery, though he never lived in Hope. His mother and an uncle are buried there.

Hope’s Norman Funeral Home is handling arrangements, which are incomplete.

Bechert also is survived by a 20-month-old son.