An LDS solider who was killed in action Aug. 16 in Afghanistan was remembered by those who knew him best as a brave patriot, champion athlete and loyal friend who gave his life defending others.
U.S. Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Aaron Butler — a member of the elite Green Berets — died clearing a booby-trapped building in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province.
A native of Monticello, Utah, Butler, 27, was laid to rest Aug. 26 in his hometown following funeral services in the meetinghouse he grew up attending. The building was filled to capacity by loved ones, friends and military associates.
Butler was proud of his small town roots and was beloved, even as a child, for his energy, intelligence and fun-loving spirit. His dedication to country was demonstrated in his choice to join the military.
“From his early days to his last day, Aaron’s greatest desire was to serve his country,” said his mother, Laura Butler, in a Deseret News report of the funeral services.
From 2004 to 2008, Butler won four consecutive state wrestling titles at Monticello High School before enlisting in the Army. He served as a missionary in Ghana from 2009 to 2011 and then continued with his military career, becoming a Green Beret last year.
Butler’s fiancée, Alexandria Seagroves, said in remarks at the funeral that the man she planned to marry often left tender messages for her in his military journal, the Deseret News reported.
“Aaron will live through me; I will honor him. And every day that I do, anyone I come in contact with will know who he was, and what he did, and how much he meant to everybody,” she said.
Butler’s father, Randy Butler, said his faith in Jesus Christ assures him that he will see his son again.
“When I look at my dear family, I find great comfort to know we all have that potential,” he said.