Hillsborough County Commission honors fallen soldier - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough County Commission honors fallen soldier

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Retired Major General Officer Robert Steel and his wife remember their son. Retired Major General Officer Robert Steel and his wife remember their son.
Air Force Captain James Steel, died April 3 in an F-16 accident in Afghanistan Air Force Captain James Steel, died April 3 in an F-16 accident in Afghanistan
Air Force Captain James Steel, died April 3 in an F-16 accident in Afghanistan Air Force Captain James Steel, died April 3 in an F-16 accident in Afghanistan
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Retired Major General Officer Robert Steel has comforted dozens of families after losing their loved ones. He served in the military for decades. He rallied around his Air Force family whenever they needed it. He never imagined he'd be the one needing support someday.

"Throughout my career I've seen numerous tragedies," the General said. "This was like a stab in the heart. When it happens to you and the door opens and you're being told it's unreal."

His son, Air Force Captain James Steel, died April 3 in an F-16 accident in Afghanistan. Father and son were both F-16 pilots.

"He quite often saw his father coming back from the aircraft and being received and climbing out of the aircraft and I think that stuck with him. He wanted to do it," Steel said.

The Hillsborough County Commission honored James at their meeting Wednesday morning and gave the Steel's a plaque. His name is also engraved on a monument at the Veterans Memorial Park and Museum in Tampa.

"Days like this are nice because we have a lot of memories of James but this is a good reminder for the community," Steel said. "It's more than just a moment of silence and moving on."
   

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