KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — East Tennessee is mourning the passing of Carl Stiner, U.S. Army Four-Star General (ret.), on Thursday. The retired general had kept his roots in mind with advocacy work and education through the years long before his death.

“There are so many things you could say about my father General Stiner,” Carla Stiner Reel, daughter of Gen. Stiner, said in a statement sent to WATE 6 On Your Side. “It is hard to pick out anything that could be a fair summary of who he was and what he did. We would like him to be remembered as a man of faith that loved his family and friends and his country. And when reflecting on his military career as well as his personal life, he would say ‘just a country boy trying to do what was right.'”

Gen. Stiner was born in LaFollette, Tenn. in September 1936 and served the United States military for more than 35 years. He served in Korea, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Panama; earning rank promotions from Brigadier General, Major General and Commanding General amongst several operations and deployments. He was then promoted in May 1990 to the rank of General and became the second Commander in Chief of the United States Special Operations Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. As Commander in Chief, he was responsible for the readiness of all special operations forces of the Army, Navy and Air Force, both active duty and reserve. He retired in May 1993.

“I was just serving my country – a country boy doing what I thought was right,” Gen. Stiner said in 2014 at the grand opening of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in LaFollette, for which he had played a big role in bringing the Veterans Affairs health clinic to Campbell County.

According to the Campbell County Veteran Affairs Office, Gen. Stiner was the county’s highest-ranking military member. Gen. Stiner was also a recipient of the Freedom Foundation Award and the Distinguished Alumnus award from Tennessee Tech University and had served as chairman of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

An approximately 10-mile stretch of State Highway 63 between LaFollette and Speedwell, Tenn. is named in honor of Gen. Stiner. The Army ROTC offices at Stiner’s alma mater, Tennessee Tech, were renamed the Carl W. Stiner Leadership Center in his honor. 

He also co-authored the 2002 book, “Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces,” with bestselling author Tom Clancy.

Gen. Stiner’s family says funeral services will take place Saturday, June 11 at First Baptist Church in LaFollette. Cross-Smith Funeral Home confirmed its facility is handling other arrangements.

Congressman Tim Burchett tweeted about Gen. Stiner on Thursday, saying “Hero just doesn’t quite cover it.”

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann also tweeted about Gen. Stiner on Thursday, saying he was “heartbroken.”

“General Stiner was a hero who bravely led our nation’s troops into combat and represented the best of Tennessee, Campbell County, and LaFollette,” Rep. Fleischmann said. “May God bless General Stiner and his family.”