A Utah National Guard soldier has died in Afghanistan after entering a booby-trapped building that exploded. Aaron Butler’s father, Randy, said in a statement today that the other 11 members of his team were wounded Wednesday in the battle with Islamic State militants.
Bill Boyle, a spokesman for the family in Monticello, says Aaron Butler was a state-champion wrestler through high school and a favorite son of the whole community.
“His father just told me a few hours ago -- he said Aaron lived 70 years in his 27 years,” Boyle recalls. “He was he was full of life and full of energy and enthusiasm and discipline and was really a remarkable, remarkable man.”
His family said Aaron Butler personified the Army ideals of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless-service, honor, integrity, personal courage.” He completed Special Forces training last year. He was a week shy of his 28th birthday.
Butler was a Staff Sergeant assigned to the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Camp Williams, according to a statement released from the U.S. Department of Defense. He was in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel when he suffered injuries from an improvised explosive device. The Defense Department says the incident is under investigation. A statement from the Utah Guard is here. Below is a statement by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.