Thursday, February 01, 2007

Army Pfc. Kenneth T. Butler

Remember Our Heroes

Army Pfc. Kenneth T. Butler, 21, of East Liverpool, Ohio

Pfc. Butler was assigned to the 57th Military Police Company, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Pacific, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; died Feb. 1 in Baghdad of injuries suffered from a vehicular accident. Also killed was Pfc. David C. Armstrong.

Tribune Chronicle -- EAST LIVERPOOL — The news spread quickly through the community Friday morning. A young man from East Liverpool had been killed in Iraq, apparently the first local fatality from that war.

Pfc. Tyler Butler, 21, a 2004 graduate of East Liverpool High School, died Thursday when the Humvee in which he was a passenger went out of control and overturned in the ravine off a stream or river in Baghdad, according to what his parents were told in person by Army officials Friday morning.

He was a military policeman with the 57th M.P. Company, based at Camp Liberty, Iraq, his parents said. He was deployed to Iraq last June 26 and he had been due to come home on leave this Sunday to meet his newborn son.

At 6 a.m., two soldiers knocked on the door of the Sherwood Avenue home of Kenneth and Laura Butler with the bad news. They were told that their son’s wife, Ashley, was being given the news at the same moment at her home in Traverse City, Mich.

Ashley had given birth to their first child, Austin Tyler Butler, on Jan. 23.

The Butlers were told their son’s close friend was driver of the Humvee and also perished in the accident.

The Department of Defense had listed two soldiers killed in a vehicle accident at Camp Liberty on Thursday, but Butler’s name was not among recent fatalities as of Friday evening.

At East Liverpool High School, principal Linda Henderson announced the news on the public address system after confirming Butler had been killed. He said she remembered as a quiet student with a good sense of humor and a competitive spirit on the football field and wrestling mat.

‘‘I had him as a freshman in theater class,’’ teacher Dawn Moore said.

‘‘He was a quiet, unassuming student. However, he had a wicked sense of humor and was quite the actor in class.’’

Dave Long, teacher of the school’s criminal justice program, said, ‘‘I had him for two years. He was a really great kid, quiet, laid back, a good participant.

‘‘The kids who knew him were highly upset,’’ Long said.

A picture of Butler was posted in Long’s class along with other former students. He said the young man had talked to him about going into the military with the objective of becoming a police officer after Army service.

Henderson said she will work with the student council at ELHS to find an appropriate way to memorialize Tyler Butler.

At American Legion Post 736 in Glenmoor, where Butler was a member, post Commander Steve Tatgehorst said, ‘‘We are taking it pretty bad. He just had a new baby on the 23rd. He never got to see him.’’

Tatgehorst said a piece Butler wrote for the East Liverpool Review in November touched a lot of veterans who had seen combat.

‘‘I’m a combat veteran. People don’t realize unless they have been there, the cry and needing help. He had been there. We were looking forward to talking to him when he got home.’’

The parents were told their son’s body is to be returned in seven to 10 days. His widow is en route to East Liverpool to be with the family.

Army Pfc. Kenneth T. Butler was killed in action on 02/01/07.

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