Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tyler (Kenneth T.) Butler laid to rest

The father of an Ohio soldier killed in Iraq held his 18-day-old grandson in his arms in front of his son’s casket.

Thousands stood in the cold Saturday to line funeral processions for Army Cpl. Tyler Butler in East Liverpool and Navy Hospitalman Matthew Conte in Rootstown.

Austin Butler was only nine days old on Feb. 1, when Butler was killed when the Humvee he was riding in overturned in Baghdad. Butler, 21, was set to come home in eastern Ohio at the end of that week to meet his son. The military police officer was promoted from private first class after his death.

Butler’s wife, Ashley, a former member of the same military police company, now lives in Traverse City, Mich.

Butler’s friends still in Iraq wrote e-mails that were read at the service.

Pfc. Cordell Knapp said he didn’t like Butler at first but soon appreciated his forthrightness, humor and ability to see through people’s insecurities and hang-ups.

“Tyler called your bluff every time,” Knapp wrote. “It was nice to have someone tell the truth even if it wasn’t what we wanted to hear.”

Marine Cpl. Tyler Gaskill grew up with Butler in East Liverpool and said he thinks of Kenneth and Laura Butler as “second parents.”

“I love them and wish that I could be there with them to help them through this,” he wrote.

From the Times Recorder

Related Link:
Tyler Butler reported killed in Iraq