The statement from Sgt. Butler's wife, Holly, follows in italics:
Sgt. Thomas Jefferson Butler, IV, TJ, was the most proud and devoted husband
and father, and a loving brother and son. He was the truest friend and
would do anything he could for anyone. He is not only our hero, but a
hero for this country he so bravely and proudly served.
was very important to TJ. His mother, Leslie, and father, Thomas, beam
with pride when talking about their son. He enjoyed spending time with
his younger brother and strived to be the best role model for Adam.
and I first met in 2006 towards the end of his senior year at Topsail High
School, and we were married in November of 2008. He was such a true
blessing in my life and I have always said what a dream it was to be able to
marry my best friend. TJ is and always will be the love of my life and my
After high school, TJ set his eyes on his dream of becoming a law enforcement
officer, serving and protecting our family and all those in the community where
he would work. He attended Cape Fear Community College and joined the
Army National Guard in hopes that this would pave the way to his future career.
loved to play every kind of sport. Whether he was fishing, golfing,
playing basketball, or bowling, he was just happy to be playing
something. He strived to become the best at everything he did. He
especially loved bowling, and this was something we enjoyed doing together, as
well as with our family and friends. TJ bowled several 300 games and an
TJ was passionate about reaching his goals and his dream career, nothing was
more important to TJ than our family. More than anything he wanted to provide
for us and give my son and me a good life. Anyone who knew TJ knew that
he was proud to serve his country and was so very thankful for the
opportunities being in the service had given us. TJ truly enjoyed life
and was a joy to all who knew him. He always had a smile on his face and
wanted to make the most of every minute he had with me and with our
are not words to express how greatly TJ will be missed. TJ will forever
be with us, and our son will always know what a brave hero his father was, how
he gave everything to whatever he put himself into, and how deeply he loved
family and I would like to thank everyone for the thoughts and prayers that
have been conveyed to us.