An East Tennessee native who died while fighting a wildfire in South Dakota was remembered Tuesday for his bravery.
Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal was in a C-130 last week when it crashed.
Tuesday, his fellow airmen, family, and friends remembered
Lt. Col. Mikeal and the three other airmen in a special memorial service.
It was a moving ceremony in Charlotte, the home base for the four airmen.
The service was filled with descriptions of all four men and how they died doing something they loved.
Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal was assigned to the 156th Airlift Squadron as an evaluator pilot with more than 20 years of service.
He grew up in East Tennessee. His family told 10News last week, he was a hero. He moved after graduating from Clinton High School.
Lt. Col. Mikeal leaves behind a wife and two kids.
The four airmen, Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal, Maj. Joseph McCormick, Maj. Ryan David and Senior Master Sgt. Robert Canno, left a week and a half ago to fight fires in the west in a C-130.
They crashed on July 1st near Edgemont, South Dakota.
Tuesday, a friend of each of the men shared stories about their lives and how much they will be missed.
A friend said this about Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal, "He exuded excellence in eveything he did as an aviator, friend, and family man. I had the pleasure of seeing Paul excel in all three areas. Paul inspired me to be a better aviator. He loved flying, but better than that, he loved instructing."
Also on Tuesday, the names of the four airmen have been etched on a permanent memorial at the base.