WASHINGTON – Today, during the first week of Military Appreciation Month when Congress is in session, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos introduced legislation to rename the U.S. Post Office at 108 D Street in Alpha, Illinois, as the “Captain Joshua E. Steele Post Office.” Captain Steele was an American hero who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 17, 2007 while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom. Bustos introduced this legislation as a way to recognize and commemorate his sacrifice back in his community.
“Capt. Joshua E. Steele was a courageous American hero who led a selfless life dedicated to the love of his family and his country,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “The sacrifice he made to protect our freedoms should never be forgotten which is why I am pushing to rename the Post Office in Alpha, Illinois in his memory. I hope this designation will allow us to honor, today and every day, the life of one of our own fallen heroes.
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 which he applied to his studies. 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, Captain 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.