Candlelight vigil held for Utah National Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan

Posted at 9:39 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 11:41:32-04

CEDAR HILLS, Utah - Family, friends and neighbors of the Utah Guardsman killed in combat last week gathered at Heritage Park in Cedar Hills Tuesday to remember Staff Sergeant Aaron Butler.

While Butler was from Monticello, neighbors said he had just moved to Cedar Hills with his fiancee earlier this year, about a month before he left on deployment.

The 27-year-old was a member of the Green Beret Special Forces, his family said.

Butler was killed in an attack in Afghanistan that wounded 11 others, including eight soldiers from Utah.

On Tuesday evening, more than 150 people showed up to support the family and honor Sgt. Butler.

"We wanted them to know that we loved them," said neighbor Annette Klingler, who organized the vigil. "We told Aaron before he was deployed, that we would make sure Alex was okay."

She said the neighborhood has been helping with meals and whatever else they can to support Butler's fiancee.

"With him being gone, we felt like as a community," Klingler said.  "One, we needed to show our honor and for his sacrifice, but also show support to her and the family."

At the vigil, bagpipes played and the Lone Peak and American Fork High School bands performed.

The Patriot Guard surrounded the candlelight vigil with flags.

Butler's family spoke to the crowd, including his godfather and his oldest brother.

His family said Butler's purpose in life was to be a patriot.

They said he loved his country, his family and his fiancee Alex with all his heart.

The body of Sgt. Aaron Butler is expected to arrive back in his hometown of Monticello on Thursday.

A funeral will take place on Saturday in Monticello at the LDS Stake Center.  Butler will be laid to rest in the Monticello City Cemetery.