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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The National Guard will rename the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Wilmington this weekend after a fallen soldier.

The building on Carolina Beach Road will be named in honor of Sgt. Thomas J. (T.J.) Butler IV, a Wilmington resident, who served during Operation Enduring Freedom with the NC Guard’s 514th Military Police Company based in Winterville. Butler and two others from the unit were killed in Afghanistan Oct. 1, 2012, after their patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber.

“This is a tremendous honor for one of our service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” NC Public Safety Secretary Kieran Shanahan said in a news release. “I certainly hope this dedication ensures Sgt. Butler’s legacy will live on forever.”

The 81st Regional Support Command will host a building memorial ceremony Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Armed Forces Reserve Center at 3623 Carolina Beach Rd.

Speakers for the event will include Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-7th District), NC National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Gregory Lusk and Maj. Gen. Gill Beck, commander, 81st Regional Support Command.

Butler’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (Posthumous), Purple Heart Medal (Posthumous), Meritorious Service Medal (Posthumous) and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. He is survived by his wife, Holly, their son Thomas Butler V, and his parents Thomas Butler III and Leslie Butler, of Wilmington.


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