Holly Butler during special ceremony at Topsail High School football game
PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – At the Topsail High School football game Friday night, Sgt. TJ Butler's alma mater remembered his life and honored the community's military men and women.
Butler was killed in Afghanistan last week. Family, friends and strangers attended Butler's funeral on Friday morning.
The tribute to him continued during a special ceremony during halftime of Friday's game. The school's athletic director presented a football to Butler's wife, Holly. They also gave her donations of food and money collected from members of the community at the game.
She gave a small wave as the crowd cheered for her and thanked the athletic director.
Members of the athletic department wanted to give her a football that she can pass it down to her son once he's old enough to play. Butler's son is 6 months old son.
Those who know the family said Holly showed strength in attending the game. They told us that she felt she just had to be there.
There were a lot of tears tonight among the cheers for Topsail High School. Many members of the faculty and staff remember TJ from when he was a student at the school.
To show the school's appreciation for our soldiers, all active and retired members of the military were admitted into the game for free and received free popcorn from the concession stand.
Also, their names were read during halftime of the game and they received a standing ovation.