MONTICELLO, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – On Saturday, Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler was laid to rest, as hundreds of people gathered to say goodbye.
Butler, a Special Forces Green Beret, was killed in Afghanistan when an explosion also injured 11 of his fellow National Guard members last week.
On Thursday, his body was returned to Monticello, his hometown.
On Saturday, a procession of vehicles escorted the hearse carrying Butler’s body as flags and crosses lined the road.
"He was born with an abundance of passion," said Randy Butler, Aaron’s father.
Aaron was a state champion wrestler in high school. A born defender, his parents say, who knew that he wanted to serve in the military as early as elementary school.
"I don’t know that he understood fear like the rest of us," said Randy Butler
Butler is the fifth soldier from San Juan County to die in the War on Terror.
"Grief is a lonely road. It’s something that you have to go through on your own, said Terri Winder, a mother whose son was killed in Iraq 10 years ago.
"You cannot help but be grateful for those kind of people," added Winder. "We didn’t raise our sons to be soldiers. We raised them to be Patriots."