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  • Wilmington reserve center to be named for fallen Hampstead soldier

  • An N.C. National Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan in October will be recognized next month for his sacrifice when a military reserve center in Wilmington is renamed in his honor.
  • An N.C. National Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan in October will be recognized next month for his sacrifice when a military reserve center in Wilmington is renamed in his honor.
    The newly dubbed Sgt. Thomas J. Butler IV Armed Forces Reserve Center will be unveiled during a ceremony at 10 a.m. July 13 at the Carolina Beach Road complex, said Lt. Col. Mike Brady, 81st Regional Support Command, public affairs officer.
    The center is home to some 300 Army Reserve soldiers and 190 Naval Reserve sailors.
    Brady said the move to rename the Wilmington facility falls in line with a push within the 81st RSC to rename several buildings within its command in honor of the unit's fallen.
    "We're really trying to honor our fallen heroes by memorializing a center in their names," Brady said.
    Butler, 25, was among three National Guard soldiers killed Oct. 1 in Khost, Afghanistan, when a Taliban suicide bomber rammed a motorcycle packed with explosives into a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol. Eleven others also were killed.
    A native of Hampstead, Butler was a 2006 graduate of Topsail High School and joined the National Guard in 2007. Hundreds of people lined Market Street on the day of Butler's funeral at the Veteran's Cemetery in Wilmington.
    "We are very happy and honored to announce this memorialization," Butler's widow Holly Butler posted on her Facebook page Tuesday. Holly Butler could not immediately be reached for comment.
    In addition to his wife, Butler is survived by his toddler son Thomas Jefferson Butler V, parents Leslie Butler and Thomas Butler III and brother Adam Butler. 

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