WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The body of a Wilmington soldier killed in Afghanistan is back on American soil. Sgt. Thomas J. Butler IV’s body arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware last night. Fellow service members made what the military calls the dignified transfer in the rain. There is no word yet on when Butler’s body will return to Wilmington.
We reached out to the casualty assistance officer assigned to the Butler family. We were told the family does not want to talk right now, and no other information is available for release. A spokeswoman said the CAO will be in contact if and when the Butlers decide they are ready and willing to share details of the fallen solider.
The North Carolina National Guard confirms Butler and two other North Carolina-based soldiers were killed in an attack Monday when a suicide bomber drove a motorcycle into the market area in the city of Khost in eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.
“We are still grieving for these soldiers, their families and their unit members still carrying on with their mission,” said NC Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Gregory A. Lusk. “They were the embodiment of citizen Soldiers who put everything on hold to go in harm’s way for all of us. They will be remembered and sorely missed.”
Butler, who attended Topsail High School and Cape Fear Community College, leaves behind his wife Holly and their young son also named Thomas.
A family friend said Sgt. Butler had been in Afghanistan for 11 days before he was killed.