MONTICELLO, Utah — His fiancee, family and fellow military brothers honored Aaron Butler in an emotional funeral in southern Utah, more than a week after the guardsman was killed in action in Afghanistan.
The funeral in Monticello, Utah, for Aaron Butler was held Saturday at a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints center that was filled to capacity. He was then buried in the local city cemetery.
Butler, 27, a member of the Green Beret Special Forces, was killed on Aug. 16. He died in an explosion at a booby-trapped building in Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan. The blast also injured 11 others.
“Aaron’s death makes us acutely aware that the war on terror” continues, said Shannon Young, Butler’s sister.
The soldier was eulogized as a mischief-loving boy who grew into a determined soldier and patriot dedicated to serving his country.
Although he did not come from a military family, Butler had aspired to be a solider since he was in first grade and stuck to his career path even when his parents and their seven other children tried to talk him out of it, said his parents, Randy and Laura Butler.
At Monticello High School, he won four state titles as a wrestling star and enlisted in the Utah National Guard before graduation. He took a break in 2009 to serve as a Mormon missionary in Ghana. Butler became a Green Beret after graduating from the U.S. Army Special Forces qualification course with honors in 2016.
Staff Sgt. Trevor Bell, who was with Butler in Afghanistan and accompanied his body back to the U.S., was among the dozens of fellow soldiers who attended the service and offered testimonials on how brave and well-liked Butler was.
Butler’s fiancee, Alex Seagroves, wept as she recounted the tender notes he wrote her and the future they had envisioned but won’t ever see. Beside his grave, she clutched a folded U.S. flag and was flanked by loved ones as she sobbed.
“Aaron will live through me,” Seagroves said.