Recently, Cell Phones For Soldiers lost an amazing volunteer. Earl “Scotty” MacKenzie, A true patriot, he dedicated his life to veterans. He was a World War II veteran, serving honorably in the U.S. Army. He received the Purple Heart award, among many other awards and recognitions. He was very proud of his military service. Scotty, we will miss you and your compassionate work for your fellow military members.
A few years ago we wrote the below blog highlighting Scotty’s many achievements.
Purple Heart Veteran and Cell Phones For Soldiers Volunteer – Sept. 2012
Cell Phones For Soldiers wouldn’t have been able to provide more than 168 million minutes of free talk time for our servicemen and women without the support of volunteers from all across the United States. One of those dedicated volunteers is 87 year old wounded World War II veteran, Scotty MacKenzie.
MacKenzie, a Private First Class, was a machine gunner for the United States Army and was deployed three times to the South Pacific. On his last deployment he was on patrol in enemy territory when he was shot multiple times.
He knows firsthand how important it is for our servicemen and women to communicate with loved ones back home. When asked about communication options when he was serving in the military, MacKenzie said, “the only thing you could talk to was a coconut tree.” He also shared that most letters from home never caught up with him since his unit was constantly on the move. Sometimes he wouldn’t receive the letters until months after he returned home.
He has fostered relationships with large-scale organizations including Ace Hardware, Texas Roadhouse and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Collectively his cell phone collection outreach efforts have resulted in more than 2.1 million minutes of prepaid talk time for men and women in uniform. In 2011 alone, MacKenzie’s drop-off locations collected 5,715 unwanted cell phones.
Mackenzie shares his words of encouragement with fellow commanders within the Military Order of the Purple Heart. “If I can do this at 87….then you can do this at 37.”
MacKenzie continues to spend an average of two to three hours a day working on the Cell Phones For Soldiers campaign out of his home in Wyoming. He attributes his commitment to the charity to the Bergquist family.
“I think it’s one of the greatest projects I’ve ever been involved in and I bless the family and those children.”