United States Army OIF/OEF Veteran, Army Reservist
|Residence:||West Springfield, Massachusetts|
Bech is a member of the Rotary Club of West Springfield. He is a volunteer at the Hampden County House of Corrections in Ludlow, Massachusetts. He is also a member of Cottage Hill Church in Springfield, Massachusetts.
In 2013, Bech successfully organized a campaign in his hometown of West Springfield, Massachusetts to prevent the establishment of a gambling casino there by the Hard Rock Corporation. Though vastly outspent, Bech's grass roots campaign was successful with 55% of voters voting 'No'. He continues to be active with the statewide effort to Repeal the Casino Deal in Massachusetts which will be voted on by Massachusetts voters on November 4, 2014.
Bech grew up in the predominantly Hispanic North End of Springfield, Massachusetts. His family moved to West Springfield when Bech was ten years old. Bech completed the requirements for a high school diploma in three years and spent his fourth year of high school studying in India as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. Bech graduated from West Springfield High School in 1992.
Bech is a graduate of Colgate University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science in 1999. Bech has also studied Middle Eastern languages, cultures and history at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and at other schools across the region. He completed his Master of the Arts Degree in Middle Eastern Cultures and Religions from Jerusalem University College in 2014.
Bech joined the U.S. Army Reserve two days before his eighteenth birthday. It was in the military that Bech learned Russian, mostly at the Defense Language Institute. After ten years of combined service in the Army Reserves and the Massachusetts Army National Guard, Bech was selected for and graduated from Officer Candidate School.
Bech then served on active duty with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York. His first deployment was to Afghanistan along the Pakistan border with the 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon returning, Bech served at Fort Drum as a company executive officer until he volunteered for his second deployment, this time to Iraq. Due to his Russian language skills, he was deployed as a liaison to the 13th "Shavnabada" Light Infantry Battalion of the Republic of Georgia. The Republic of Georgia's Ministry of Defense made Bech an honorary member of that battalion for his work with Georgian troops in Iraq.
After leaving active duty and spending several years in the Individual Ready Reserve, Bech rejoined the US Army Reserves in 2009 as a Civil Affairs Officer. He deployed to Afghanistan again, this time serving as a Civil Affairs Team Chief in Kandahar. He and his team members oversaw project development in coordination with Kandahar city officials and USAID representatives in order to promote the legitimacy of the US-backed Afghan government there. Bech's projects included the successful construction of a Nursing and Midwifery Institute for the Afghan Ministry of Health with the goal of training midwives in order to reduce the high Afghan death rate of women and children during childbirth. Bech's fourth deployment was to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, Africa. There he oversaw project development by Civil Affairs Teams throughout many countries in the Horn of Africa.
Bech was the 2008 Republican Party candidate for U.S. Congress from Massachusetts's 1st congressional district. He ran against then incumbent John W. Olver, an Amherst Democrat, who has since retired. The seat is currently held by Rep. Richard Neal, a Springfield Democrat. Bech is one of eighteen Iraq War veterans who ran for congress in 2008.
Campaign for state representative
Bech was the 2014 Republican Party candidate for State Representative in the 6th Hampden District of Massachusetts which includes all of West Springfield, Wards 2A, 3A, and 4A in Chicopee, and Ward 2E in Springfield. Bech's motto was "Putting People First." He describes his campaign and political efforts as an approach "to put the interests of voters and tax-payers ahead of party politics." His stated goals are "to defend families and small businesses from runaway taxation and legislation that favors Boston insiders rather than the people who elected them." His political priorities include; "eliminating waste in the state budget, reducing unemployment, strengthening public safety, improving healthcare and education, and returning integrity to the State House."
- "Bech challenges Olver". Archived from the original on 2008-07-06. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
- "Swift Endorses Bech for Congress - / iBerkshires.com - The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information". Archived from the original on 2008-07-06. Retrieved 2008-07-06.