Flags to be lowered Saturday to honor Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler, killed in Afghanistan

Aaron Butler. Photo: Utah National Guard

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 24, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Gov. Gary R. Herbert has ordered the lowering of the flags of United States and of Utah to honor the life and service of Staff Sgt. Aaron Rhett Butler, who will be laid to rest on that day.

Butler, 27, was killed in action on Aug. 16 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, when he was attempting to clear a booby trapped building. Eleven others, also Utah National Guard 19th Special Forces group members, were injured in the operation.

Herbert released a statement:

“Jeanette and I were heartbroken to hear of the passing of one of Utah’s best, Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler. Tonight, we join all Utahns in grieving for him, and honoring his sacrifice — the ultimate sacrifice. Our hearts ache for his family, friends and loved ones, and they will long be on our minds and in our prayers.

“We pray also for the 11 members of his group who were injured in the explosion. May their healing come swiftly, and may they find comfort and strength through the coming weeks and months as they work toward recovery.

“It truly isn’t possible to offer adequate thanks to those who put their lives on the line day after day in the defense of freedom around the world. May God’s greatest blessings graciously fall upon those brave men and women who are dedicated to the service of their fellowmen.”

Flags will be flown at half-staff at all state facilities and public grounds from sunrise until sunset on Saturday, according to a news release from Herbert’s office. People and businesses are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time, the statement said.

Funeral services for Butler will begin at noon Saturday at the Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


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