EAGLE, Idaho – SSG. Aaron Butler gave his life for our country fighting with US Army Special Forces in Afghanistan, each year Aaron is remembered in a memorial run.
“It means the world to me and my family to know that his sacrifice does not go unnoticed,” said Adam Butler, Aaron’s brother. “You are here to sweat, laugh and cry with us.”
Aaron Butler was a four-time Utah state wrestling champion, practiced mixed martial arts, and served his country. Aaron died aged 27 while fighting in Afghanistan.
“When I met him he was protecting gold mines in Africa, then we were part of a team going to Afghanistan,” said Wren Murray, another special forces soldier. “He’s just a tough Charger, he was always at the front of the patrol, we always led the assault he always wanted to lead after, just an All-American.”
Dan Nelson started the Aaron Butler Memorial Purple Heart Run which gives people the option of a 5k, 10k or unknown distance as people come together to celebrate the freedoms our fallen heroes fought for and to make sure people embrace the crap.
“I feel like Dan has this culture of veterans, not victims,” Murray said. “So people can come out and support other fallen veterans, be proud of what they’ve done, and be proud of their loved ones.”
This event also honors law enforcement and first responders. Every year we meet Kevin Holtry and his former family Boise Swat, Holtry was shot five times in 2016 while in the line of duty leaving him paralyzed, he just received the Idaho Medal of Honor from the governor.
“I rode with the High Mountain Bobcat team from Bellevue, Idaho, we came down from Blaine County,” Holtry said. “A five or a 10k is nothing compared to what those who made the ultimate sacrifice did, so you just have to do it.”
But anyone who takes on this challenge gets a little extra motivation down the stretch, as the course is lined with photos of Idaho heroes who gave their lives for our country.
To have so many people come for the fourth edition of this race means the world to veterans and those who knew Aaron Butler.
“To see people stepping up, remembering and caring about those who have fallen, those who have gone on to serve our country, makes me happy,” Murray said.
The Aaron Butler Memorial Foundation raises funds to organize community events like the Memorial Run, this non-profit organization aims to ensure that their sacrifice is not forgotten.