On August 29 in Alpha, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) will host a ceremony to formally rename the Alpha Post Office as the “Captain Joshua E. Steele Post Office.” The 10:00 a.m. event will include Captain Joshua E. Steele’s family members, local officials and members of the community to give remarks and honor the life and legacy of this fallen hero.

Captain Joshua E. Steele always stood out as an intelligent, driven and loyal young man. Capt. Steele was raised on his family farm in North Henderson, Illinois. He always had a strong interest in geology and in 2002, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri-Rolla with a degree in geological engineering.

Capt. Steele knew that he wanted to serve from a young age and, in December of that same year, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. After being deployed in Iraq and the Republic of Georgia, Capt. Steele was deployed to Afghanistan in January 2007. At the age of 26, during this deployment, Capt. Steele was killed by a roadside bomb in Panjway, Afghanistan on June 17, 2007, while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom. Capt. Steele was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

"This is a wonderful tribute to an American Hero, Captain Joshua Steele," said Rep. Dan Swanson (R-Alpha). "Captain Steele gave of himself in the most unselfish way-serving and dying for his country. As soldiers, we are all aware of what may lie ahead in battle, but we charge forward knowing that the freedoms enjoyed by our families and all Americans are worth dying to protect and preserve. Captain Steele's memory will live on forever."

To forever honor his service and sacrifice, Congresswoman Bustos passed legislation to formally rename the Alpha Post Office as the “Captain Joshua E. Steele Post Office.”