Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor: Legislation to Honor Fallen Tampa Hero USAF Maj. O'Keeffe Passes Congress

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Washington, December 17, 2018 | comments
The Town ‘n Country post office is one of the busiest in the region and soon customers will be visiting a building named after a homegrown American hero.
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The Town ‘n Country post office is one of the busiest in the region and soon customers will be visiting a building named after a homegrown American hero.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) announced today that her legislation honoring the life and service of Air Force Major Andreas “Andy” O’Keeffe passed both chambers of Congress and is on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law.  U.S. Rep. Castor’s bill will rename the Town ‘n Country post office in honor of Maj. O’Keefe, an important step in honoring his life and service to our community and his ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

“In dedicating a cornerstone of the Town ‘n Country community, I hope to honor Maj. O’Keeffe’s life serving our country and rescuing people around the world,” U.S. Rep. Castor said, joined by his parents, friends and even former teachers from Incarnation Catholic School.  “He was not just a community hero but an American hero –  he chose to serve something bigger than himself and he gave the ultimate sacrifice for America.”

Members of Congress have the ability to pass legislation to rename certain federal buildings to commemorate and express public gratitude for distinguished individuals.

Maj. O’Keeffe graduated from Tampa Bay Tech High School, attended USF, completed law school and answered the call to serve.  He was deployed to Iraq three times, to Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and Texas during Hurricane Harvey.  Maj. O’Keeffe was killed at age 37 on March 15, 2018, while serving during Operation Inherent Resolve, when his helicopter crashed in western Iraq.

Tampa City Councilman Luis Viera also attended today’s announcement: “We’re here today to honor a great American who gave it all.  Actions like this here today makes us more aware of sacrifices – from the everyday sacrifices of the families to the larger sacrifice.  Thank you U.S. Rep. Castor for working on this important issue.”

“As a veteran, I know we hear ‘thank you for your service’ a lot to the veterans and military members – but to the family, I think our service is defined by their sacrifice as well,” said Mark Fetterman from Mission United, which represents Tampa Bay’s nonprofits that serve veterans.

“Maj. O’Keeffe and his family have given so much for this country,” U.S. Rep. Castor continued.  “While we can never be able to fully honor what they have sacrificed, it is important that they know we recognize and appreciate the service of Maj. O’Keeffe and this post office will serve as testament to that.  Our community and country will miss him.”

Tampa is a patriotic community and home to MacDill Air Force Base, the 6th Air Mobility Wing, U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) – two of the Armed Forces’ most important military command outposts – and the busiest VA Hospital in America, James A. Haley Veterans Hospital.  U.S. Rep. Castor serves as Vice Ranking member of the powerful U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee and earlier in her tenure served on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.


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Tags: Military