MONTICELLO, Utah -- With a flag behind them, the parents and fiancee of Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler shared memories about the fallen soldier from the Hideout Community Center in Monticello.
“For a man to lay down his life for his friends and his country, you can’t help but love that,” said his mother, Laura Butler.
Staff Sgt. Butler was killed in combat in Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan on August 16. His remains will return to Monticello on Thursday at noon.
“He’s coming home, on his birthday,” Laura Butler said.
Though Staff Sgt. Butler had been on other military assignments, his family said this was his first overseas deployment facing combat. It didn’t seem to slow him down.
“He actually proposed while he was in Afghanistan,” said his fiancée, Alexandria Seagrove.
She said the pair had been talking about their future for a while, well aware of Butler’s commitments to the military. Seagrove said yes but never got the chance to see her fiancée in person again.
“If I only had two minutes, I would spend the two minutes, trying to give him the full perspective of how much I loved him,” said his father Randy Butler.
There are many things the Butler family will never have the chance to say to their lost loved one, but they have a good idea what he would say to them.
“'I don’t want you to live a sad life,' I think he would say, 'You need to go after your pursuits with greater passion,” Randy said.
“I have been tempted not to get out of bed, but I know that would be the tragedy: to allow his sacrifice to affect me in a way that I did not go forward and do something good with the rest of my life,” Laura added.
Staff Sgt. Butler’s funeral is set for Saturday. Fox 13 News is working with the Butler family to meet their wishes for media coverage.
“He has still got a warrior's heart, he’s just on a different battlefield with a higher purpose, and I would want to assure him that we are fine and he needs to go and do what he needed to do,” Laura said.