OUR TEAM

Richard “Rick” Ecker

Founder, CEO

While serving more than 38 years in public service, Rick has been fortunate to have worked at all levels within the Department of Defense, serving in positions where he was able to learn, advice, and help bring attention to problems which surround our veteran community.

Spending more than 22 years as a United States Marine, he focused most of his career in Public Affairs / Community and Media Relations, working not only with the Marines, but veterans from all branches of the service.

Right after retirement from the Marine Corps, he worked as the Executive Director of the United States Marines Youth Foundation, a nationally based, military focused, youth fitness foundation. He later worked as a government contractor, managing an Air Force Public Affairs contract supporting Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, as well as the Public Affairs Office at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Rick retired as Director of Community Outreach, for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after serving for more than 13-years. Rick has continually been at the forefront of veteran issues. From a national level, he was able to learn; and many times, offer support to an array of organizations focused on veteran issues. From fighting homelessness to keeping a veteran in his home, he was able to experience first-hand “the need” that our veterans face today.

Throughout his career, Rick has always had a concern and a big heart for our veterans, our first responders and their families; and looked for ways where he could give back…Today, the Vets on Track Foundation gives him that opportunity. He created the Foundation with his family to help address critical needs and give our veterans and first responders the support they need!

Together with his wife Lesley, and daughters Brittany and Rileigh, they are helping to honor and support our servicemen and women and first responders. Together, they look to build the Vets on Track Foundation into a nationally focused organization that develops “real” solutions for “real” issues surrounding our veterans, first responders and their families.

Jesse Settle

Director, Fallen Heroes Initiative

Jesse Settle currently serves as a Policy Analyst in the Office of Regulatory Management for Governor Glenn Youngkin. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Media Arts & Design with a Minor in Criminal Justice in 2020, and completed his Master of Public Administration degree in 2022, both at James Madison University.

Growing up in a military and law enforcement family, Jesse understood from an early age the sacrifices that first responder and veteran families make to serve others. He knew that veterans can never be repaid for the trauma and experiences they endure, but he felt compelled to serve them and their families somehow. That is where the Fallen Heroes Initiative (FHI) program began.

With a focus on serving widowed first responder and veteran families, FHI was established to serve the families and honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

ALLEN GEORGE

Director, ARMED FORCES MOTORSPORTS

Allen George Jr. has served as a Retail Store Director for 31yrs. He’s enjoyed managing and developing people to be successful on and off the job. His message is to help people understand that 90% of everything they do in life has to do with one’s attitude towards what it is they are doing.

His love for motorsports racing developed when his son, Devin George decided he wanted to race, and for the last two years has been working to develop Devin George Racing into a competitive NASCAR Legend Series team. Allen enjoys working with Devin on the race circuit and is learning what he can about the racing industry.

It’s his drive and enthusiasm towards Devin’s racing that make Allen a perfect fit for Armed Forces Motorsports. Off the race track, Allen enjoys golfing and playing drums at Southside Church, which he has done for the past 14 years.

EDWIN TALBOT

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Edwin has served in the homeless arena for the past several years.  After experiencing homelessness himself for more than five years, he understands the toll that homelessness can take on an individual.  Edwin was rescued from the streets by Micah Ministries, an agency in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

For the last several years, Edwin worked as manager of Micah’s furniture warehouse, delivering household items to people moving out of homelessness.  Edwin has an incredible sense of urgency, attention to detail and works hard to ensure that the clients he supports has everything they needed to make a successful transition from the streets back into society.

In 2021, Edwin joined the Vets on Track Foundation as their Operations Manager and has helped furnish more than 100 homes since his arrival.

Logan Carpenter

Assistant Director of Operations

A native of Stafford, Virginia, Logan graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in May 2015 before commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. After completing his first assignment with the 62nd Medical Brigade at Fort Lewis, WA, Logan was reassigned to Fort Stewart, GA to join the 3rd Infantry Division as a senior medical planner. Logan deployed to both South Korea and Germany in support of allied countries before leaving active duty in the Summer of 2022 at the rank of Captain.

After leaving active duty, Logan joined the Vets on Track Foundation as the Assistant Director of Operations. As the descendant of a World War II veteran, Logan is passionate about supporting our local Heroes through the work of the foundation.

Fran Cruz

DIRECTOR, Community Outreach & Fundraising

Growing up in El Paso, Texas, my roots within the military community and passion for community service grew deep. Father was a WWII Navy Vet, one of the first Hispanic Divers, helped liberate Guam. Mom was a domestic Engineer. Together, they organized little league football and baseball teams, and were involved in the local Boy Scouts as leaders. I was immersed in scouting and sports, as a Brownie and Girl Scout, playing Softball, Volleyball, and Basketball. Graduated from Austin High School in 1983 and made the move to Burke, VA in November 1985. Married my childhood sweetheart Rigoberto “Chuggy” Cruz in December 1985. Together we have two beautiful, successful daughters – Bianca Hamilton, an accomplished CPA in Austin, Texas and Victoria, a graduate student at James Madison University, Elementary Education – and a brand-new baby grandson.

Currently, the Assistant Deli Manager for Weis Grocer. Spent 15 years in government service, serving the Field Artillery Branch, Pentagon and U.S. Army Materiel Command. From 2009-2014, owned a Curves, woman’s exercise business. Managed 12 stores for Little Caesars. While working for Lowe’s where I coordinated a multitude of community events supporting local first responders, military members, and veterans.

Passionately volunteering, serving the community over the years at Hampton Oaks Elementary School,
HH Poole Middle School & North Stafford High School – Band Booster and donation coordinator, Operation Care, Aid our Vets, and currently Director, Community Outreach & Fundraising for Vets on Track Foundation, as well as Stafford County Sherriff’s office.