Sgt. TJ Butler was killed in action in Afghanistan last month.
"We'll miss him...we'll miss the smile, and the way he said mom," said his mother, Leslie Butler.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - For the first time since her sons death, Leslie Butler spoke publicly about Sergeant TJ Butler. The Topsail High School graduate was killed in action in October.
"We'll miss him...we'll miss the smile, and the way he said mom," said his mother, Leslie Butler. On Saturday, the Human Wall organization held a fundraiser for her family at Courts and Sports.
"I don't really know how, if, we'll ever recover," she said. "I know we will never be the same."
She says while the pain will never go away, the support of her army family has made it more bearable.
Two-thousand people stood by her side on the day of her son's funeral, forming a human wall to block out the Westboro Baptist Church, a group known for protesting the funerals of servicemen.
"I had never heard of them before the funeral, but I took it as that's one of the reasons TJ is over there: to give them the freedom to protest," said Butler. The organization has grown, and now has 14,000 members.
"I will be the wall myself one day," said Butler. "When I am stronger, because I believe in what they do."
For more information on the Human Wall organization, visit: