The retired Marine and his wife just moved to Texas, staying in Pinehurst with family friends. They are about to move into a home specially built for them by a charity that serves disabled vets, when their car, which was parked in a quiet neighborhood, was broken into.
Last Saturday, retired Marine Nick Eckley walked out to his car outside the home where he and his family are staying to an unpleasant surprise.
"I opened up the trunk and saw a bunch of bags missing. The pack 'n' play and the bath," he said.
Brand new items he and his wife Madison just bought for their first son, who's due any day, were stolen out of the back of the car.
"My brand new, unborn child, all his stuff -- brand new -- was gone," Madison said.
Nick was awarded the Purple Heart for his service in Afghanistan, where, on his fourth tour in five years, his mounted patrol unit hit a roadside bomb.
"I was the vehicle commander sitting in the front passenger seat, and I woke up in a hospital," he said.
He suffers from severe post traumatic stress, subject to blackouts and walks with a cane. Supporting his family on just his military pension, the theft hits him where it hurts.
"I don't think anyone really budgets for that, you know?" he said. "That kind of thing hurts your heart, you know? Especially close to Veterans Day. I mean, we have Purple Heart plates on the vehicle."
"It baffles me how people can be like that," Madison said.
Nick figures it was about a thousand dollars worth of baby items and clothes for his other two kids. He's hoping whoever took it grows a conscience.
"Just give it back. Have a heart," he said.
The Eckleys filed a report with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, but have not heard back. On the bright side, he and his wife will the keys to their new home later this month.
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