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Thomas J Butler IV

Thomas J Butler IV

Wilmington, North Carolina

October 1, 2012

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
25 Army Sgt

514th Military Police Company, 60th Troop Command

Winterville, North Carolina

 Killed in Khost, Afghanistan, when an insurgent detonated a suicide vest while they were on dismounted patrol.

Thomas J Butler IV

Soldier killed in Afghanistan to be buried

The Associated Press

WILMINGTON, N.C. ó A funeral will be held for a member of the North Carolina National Guard killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Thomas J. Butler IV of Leland is scheduled to be buried Friday at the Wilmington National Cemetery. The internment will follow a funeral service at the city's First Baptist Church.

The 25-year-old soldier was killed Oct. 1 with two other members of the Winterville-based 514th Military Police Company when a Taliban suicide bomber rammed a motorcycle packed with explosives into a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol in Khost, Afghanistan.

Butler joined the Guard in 2007 and was on his first combat deployment.

A funeral service for Staff Sgt. Donna R. Johnson of Raeford is scheduled for Saturday. Sgt. Jeremy F. Hardison of Browns Summit was buried Thursday. Both also were killed in the incident.
From WWAY ABC TV 3 wwaytv3.com 07/13/13:

Building named after fallen soldier
Submitted by Christina Anthony on Sat, 07/13/2013 - 6:20pm.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- This weekend, the National Guard named the Armed Forces Reserve Center off Carolina Beach Road after fallen soldier Sgt. Thomas J. Butler IV.

Butler was killed in Afghanistan less than a year ago after his patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber. Left behind is his legacy that will be honored through walls as strong as him for years to come.

"I told them that I might call once a day to hear my sonís name, since they have to answer the phone and say his name," said Butler's mother, Leslie. "They said it will be all right. I told them I would keep it to once a day."

Butlerís family and friends shared stories about him at the ceremony.

"He was never too proud to bend to his knee for someone in need," said Leslie Butler.

The stories brought on tears as everyone remembered not only the soldier who earned countless medals for his service, including the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, but also the man who loved helping others and joking around with his friends.

"I said alright, tell us what you like about us Thomas," said a fellow soldier and friend. "He started spitting out some stuff. He said, Snyder, you have pretty eyes, pretty teeth."

The pain is still very real for those close to Butler.

"I donít know who grieves moreÖme as his mom, Thomas as his dad, Adam as his brother, Holly as his soul mate, or his son little Thomas who will never have TJís arms around him."

But they are happy his name, Sgt. Thomas J. Butler IV, will survive as long as the building stands.

From US Army army.mil 07/22/13:

"Say my baby's name" Wilmington Armed Forces Reserve Center memorialized in honor of local Soldier
July 22, 2013

By Sgt. 1st Class Joel Quebec 
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- "We are gathered here today not to celebrate, not to recognize brick and mortar and construction, but we're here to recognize the name which it will bear." These were the words of Pastor Jim Davis in his opening invocation at the memorialization and renaming ceremony for the Sgt. Thomas J. (T.J.) Butler IV Armed Forces Reserve Center in Wilmington, N.C., on July 13.
A well-known and respected member of the Wilmington area, Butler was killed in action on October 1, 2012 in Khost, Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives amid their patrol. He had deployed with the 514th Military Police Company of the North Carolina Army National Guard.
Well over 350 family members, fellow Soldiers and community members were in attendance as a number of speakers spoke about Butler's short life and the contributions and positive impact he made in his community.
Maj. Gen. Gill Beck, the commanding general of the 81st Regional Support Command, talked about the strength that comes from strong family and community. "This is a reminder and in many ways it's a celebration of the strength of our Army," he said. "Even when we have a Soldier that we lose, we can draw strength from that particular incident. We don't grow weaker but we grow stronger." 
Beck encouraged the audience to use Sgt. Butler's story as encouragement as the need arises. "One of the things that we can do with regards to this memorialization; we can use this as an opportunity to gain strength for the future, so that when Soldiers come into this building they can be inspired by Sgt. Butler's example. They can know that what they are doing makes a difference, what they are doing matters." 
Congressman Mike McIntyre of North Carolina's 7th District read a congressional proclamation and then presented it to Butler's widow, Holly, along with a commemorative congressional coin.
"A memorial such as this does several things," said Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, Adjutant General for the North Carolina National Guard. "We pay tribute to a very deserving individual, one that gave the ultimate sacrifice, but in so doing we also pay tribute and recognition to so many others who unfortunately have given the ultimate sacrifice. More importantly to me, we set into place an opportunity that allows us and the future generations to reflect back on what it means to serve. They did not set out to be heroes that day."
Numerous others in T.J.'s life, fellow Soldiers, teachers, coaches and church friends, all spoke along the same theme; he was a great friend, a highly contributing member to his family, community and country who made a positive impact on everyone he met. 
His squad leader, Staff Sgt. Ty Braxton said, "I don't know if he knew this, but as his squad leader, I saw that he made everyone around him better."
His team leader, Sgt. Kyle Snyder said, "T.J. never came across anybody he didn't like. He touched everybody in one way or another."
He had even met his wife volunteering at a homeless shelter, according to Mr. Bill Harris who is the coordinator of a downtown ministry that helps needy people in Wilmington. Harris said that people at the ministry also know T.J.'s legacy of service.
When T.J.'s mother, Leslie Butler, stood to speak, she thanked her new Army family and said, "We all came here for the same reason, to gather more memories of T.J. and when I see you I see him. I see T.J. in every one of your faces."
"He was family to everyone at the 514th, just as he was to us," said Robin van Houten, T.J.'s aunt. "He was a hero. My T-man was a hero to everyone in the United States, not just here in Wilmington."
The Wilmington facility is home to Army Reserve Soldiers and Navy Reserve Sailors who will all know of a young man's sacrifice.
"It kind of makes them timeless," Lusk added. "It freezes them in time. That picture of Thomas Butler here in this facility, it will be the face that it was last year, and it will be that way for many decades."
"It's just surreal to know that other people will be saying my son's name," Leslie said. "It's just an honor." 
Whenever anyone working at the center answers their phone, they will say the new name of the building and that remembrance is all Leslie says she can ask for. "Say my baby's name." She feels that whenever her son's name is spoken, he will not really be gone.

From WECT TV NBC 6 wect.com 10/12/12:

Hundreds fill the streets to pay respects to Sgt. TJ Butler
Posted: Oct 12, 2012 4:39 AM PDT
Updated: Oct 16, 2012 7:55 AM PDT
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT/AP) Ė Hundreds of people lined the streets in Wilmington Friday to watch as a horse drawn carriage carried a member of the North Carolina National Guard who was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

People were wearing red, white and blue and held flags to pay their respects during the funeral procession for Sgt. Thomas J. Butler IV.

People from all over the area made the drive early Friday morning to be sure they could get to Andrews Mortuary with their flags, before the family arrived. People from Bladenboro, Surf City, were only a few of the long drives in to Wilmington.

Some people cried, others smiled. Some knew Butler, while others did not. Regardless, everyone was proud to be an American Friday morning.

The crowd of supporters moved up and down Market street as Sgt. Butler's funeral procession went from the funeral home, to the First Baptist Church, and finally to the National Cemetery.

Butler, 25, grew up in Pender County and was one of three National Guard members killed from North Carolina. A Taliban suicide bomber rammed a motorcycle packed with explosives into a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol in Khost, Afghanistan.

Butler joined the Guard in 2007 and was on his first combat deployment.

A funeral service was held for Butler Friday morning at the First Baptist Church in Wilmington. He will be buried at the Wilmington National Cemetery.

Butler leaves behind his wife, Holly, and their 6-month-old son, who was named after him.

A funeral service for Staff Sgt. Donna R. Johnson of Raeford is scheduled for Saturday. Sgt. Jeremy F. Hardison of Browns Summit was buried Thursday.

From Toraradical Com Network toraradical.com 10/06/12:

Blue to Gold: ARMY Sgt. Thomas J. Butler IV
ARMY Sgt. Thomas J. Butler IV, twenty-five, of Wilmington, NC, died October 1, in Khost, Afghanistan.

Holly Butler fell in love with her future husband when they were seniors at Topsail High School. The two married in 2008. On Monday, Holly Butler's husband of just shy of four years, Thomas J. Butler IV, twenty-five, was killed while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Khost City, Afghanistan.

Butler was one of three North Carolina National Guard soldiers killed in the attack. Sgt. Jeremy F. Hardison, twenty-three, of Maysville and Sgt. Donna R. Johnson, twenty-nine, of Raeford, were also killed in the October 1 attack, according to the Department of Defense.

The three soldiers, all of whom were deployed with the 514th Military Police Co., 60th Troop Command out of Winterville, died from injuries suffered when an insurgent detonated a suicide vest while they were on dismounted patrol. Three other soldiers were injured in the attack, according to the North Carolina National Guard Public Affairs Office.

On Friday, Holly Butler released a statement about her husband, calling him "the most proud and devoted husband and father, and a loving brother and son. He was the truest friend and would do anything he could for anyone. He is not only our hero, but a hero for this country he so bravely and proudly served."

The following is Holly Butlerís statement, provided by the public affairs office of the North Carolina National Guard:

Family was very important to T.J. His mother, Leslie, and father, Thomas, beam with pride when talking about their son. He enjoyed spending time with his younger brother and strived to be the best role model for Adam. 

T.J. and I first met in 2006 towards the end of his senior year at Topsail High School, and we were married in November of 2008. He was such a true blessing in my life and I have always said what a dream it was to be able to marry my best friend. T.J. is and always will be the love of my life and my soul mate.

After high school, T.J. set his eyes on his dream of becoming a law enforcement officer, serving and protecting our family and all those in the community where he would work. He attended Cape Fear Community College and joined the Army National Guard in hopes that this would pave the way to his future career.

T.J. loved to play every kind of sport. Whether he was fishing, golfing, playing basketball or bowling, he was just happy to be playing something. He strived to become the best at everything he did. He especially loved bowling, and this was something we enjoyed doing together, as well as with our family and friends. T.J. bowled several 300 games and an 809 series.

While T.J. was passionate about reaching his goals and his dream career, nothing was more important to T.J. than our family. More than anything he wanted to provide for us and give my son and me a good life. Anyone who knew T.J. knew that he was proud to serve his country and was so very thankful for the opportunities being in the service had given us. T.J. truly enjoyed life and was a joy to all who knew him. He always had a smile on his face and wanted to make the most of every minute he had with me and with our son. 

There are not words to express how greatly T.J. will be missed. T.J. will forever be with us, and our son will always know what a brave hero his father was, how he gave everything to whatever he put himself into, and how deeply he loved us. 

The family and I would like to thank everyone for the thoughts and prayers that have been conveyed to us. 
Posted by Kim Hedum at 11:35 

Sgt. Thomas J. Butler IV, 25, of Wilmington, N.C., died Oct.1, in Khost, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when an insurgent detonated a suicide vest while they were on dismounted patrol. The soldiers were assigned to the 514th Military Police Company, 60th Troop Command, Winterville, N.C. Sgt. Thomas Jefferson "T.J." Butler, IV, 25, of Leland, NC, was killed in action while serving with the U.S. Army N.C. National Guard in Khost, Afghanistan. 
Sgt. Butler was born June 19, 1987 in Washington, D.C., son of Thomas Jefferson Butler, III and Leslie Thornton Butler. 
T. J. grew up in Hampstead, graduated from Topsail High School in 2006, and joined the N.C. National Guard in June 2007. He and his wife, Holly, were married November 29, 2008, and their seven-month-old son, Thomas Jefferson Butler, V, was born March 6, 2012. Sgt. Butler deployed to Afghanistan in August 2012. 
In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife, Holly Gause Butler and their son, Thomas Jefferson Butler, V; two brothers, Adam O'Brien Butler and Michael William Thornton; grandmother, Lavola Coombs Whisenhunt; Holly's' parents, Lacy Kent Gause and Cynthia Marjanna Gause; three sisters-in-law, Tammy Weddington and husband, Michael, Jennifer Benjamin and husband, William, and Jessica Willis; and several uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews. 
The family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Thursday, October 11, 2012, at Andrews Mortuary Market Street Chapel. 
A funeral service will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, October 12, 2012, at First Baptist Church, 411 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401, with Dr. Jim Everette officiating. Interment will follow in Wilmington National Cemetery with full military honors. 

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