NBC-2: Naples Brigadier General on quest to honor heroic pilot

Besides a shared bond as boxing teammates, Jim Demarest and Steve Phillis weren’t close friends when they attended the U.S. Air Force Academy. But Jim has spent years going to remarkable lengths to honor the man he considers a hero.

“I want my son and daughter to know what a real hero looks like,” Jim, now an Air Force Brigadier General, said. “Steve is a hero because of what he did on February 15th of 1991.”

On that date, Steve lost his life while helping save fellow pilot, Rob Sweet. The two were on a mission attacking Sadaam Hussain’s elite republican guards in Iraq when an air missile hit Rob’s plane. As hundreds of Iraqi troops shot at him from down below, Steve lingered in the air for nearly four minutes trying to aid a search-and-rescue mission for Rob.