Army Staff Sergeant Aaron R. Butler, Utah National Guard’s B Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Special Fo
Remembering the Fallen: on the 16th of August, 2017, Army Staff Sergeant Aaron R. Butler, Utah National Guard’s B Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), died from wounds received when he was caught up in an explosion during combat operations in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. Eleven others were wounded as they were attempting to clear a building which had been wired with explosives.
Staff Sergeant Butler had been a member of the Utah Guard since 2008, and had deployed to Afghanistan in April of 2017 as a Special Forces Engineer non-commissioned officer – the Green Berets were on a mission to reduce the presence of ISIS-Khorasan fighters.
His sister described him as a championship athlete, an avid outdoorsman, a fast learner and a loving brother, a man who accomplished his lifelong dream becoming an elite American soldier. “Bravery was a quality rooted deep inside him,” she said. His brother added, “He showed us how to live.” One of his comrades remarked at his funeral that he wasn’t afraid to stand up to his superiors if he knew something was wrong, and that he was an incredible man, team-mate, friend, and a true warrior.
Staff Sergeant Butler was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Major General Jeff Burton, Utah’s adjutant general, said: “Ultimately, what we do is very dangerous business. Our hearts are broken when we lose one of our own. We know these people personally, they are our friends, we respect them and it’s very painful.”
Aaron, from Monticello, Utah, was 27 years old and engaged to be married.