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Honoring the fallen
Raymond G. Estelle III, 22 months, touches a photo of his father, Maj. Raymond G. Estelle II, during a building dedication at MacDill Air Force Base Fla., Jan. 16, 2013. Estelle was one of nine people killed in action April 27, 2011 and served at MacDill AFB from 1999-2001. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Melissa Paradise)
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Honoring a fallen hero

Posted 1/24/2013   Updated 1/24/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Senior Airman Melissa Paradise
6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


1/24/2013 - MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., -- The men and women of MacDill Air Force Base paid tribute to Major Raymond G. Estelle II, who served as the 6th Communication Squadron chief of maintenance support for the from Feb. 1999 to Jan. 2001, with the Jan. 16 dedication of a new Consolidated Communication Facility.

Raymond Estelle was one of nine people killed in action April 27, 2011 by an Afghan Air Corps pilot during a deployment with the 838th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group where he served as the communications advisor for the Afghan Air Force.

Raymond Estelle enlisted in the Air Force in Oct. 1989 as an aerospace ground equipment technician. He spent the first six years of his career at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. While there he attained his bachelor's degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, later receiving his commission as a 2nd Lt., in Dec. 1998.

Estelle is survived by his wife, Maj. N'Keiba Estelle, United States Central Command deputy chief acquisition management branch, and his two children, Shayla Estelle, 10, and Raymond Estelle III , 22 months.

"He loved being an Airmen, his blood was Air Force blue" said N'Keiba Estelle. "He lived by the belief that everyone should strive to be the best that they can be."

On June 1, 2012, at the request of the 6th Air Mobility Wing Lt. Gen. Robert Allardice, Air Mobility Command vice commander, approved the new building to be named after Raymond Estelle.

"Maj. Estelle was an exemplary communications -cyber officer and set the standard for others to follow. Dedicating the new communications facility would be a great tribute to his service to the United States Air Force" Lt. Col. Samantha Ray, the former 6th Communication Squadron commander, wrote in the dedication package request.

A year and eight months after Raymond Estelle's dignified transfer occurred at MacDill, and on what would have been his 42nd birthday, the CCF was officially dedicated to this hero.

"They, [the Estelle family] have always been so proud of Ray and I think that having 'Estelle Hall' here where he started out as a lieutenant is such an honor and [we] are very appreciative that the Air Force has decided to recognize him in this way" said N'Keiba Estelle. "Being here today I think [we] gained a greater understanding of exactly what this means."
However, this is not the end of the story for the Estelle family -- it's more of an evolution.

"I have three missions in life now," said N'Keiba Estelle. "The first is to take care of my children, the second is to take care of myself so I can take care of my children and the third is to take care of [Raymond Estelle II] and a part of that is ensuring his legacy is out there not only for my kids but also for everyone else so they can be inspired by his life and his sacrifice."



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