Under an Indian summer sun, beneath trees going scarlet and gold, Spc. James
A. Butz, U.S. Army, was laid to rest on Tuesday at Chesterton Cemetery.
The ceremony was dignified, solemn, and very sad.
In attendance, a contingent of Spc. Butz’ fellow paratroopers of the 82nd
Members of the U.S. Army Special Forces, which had been operating, with the
82nd’s support, in the Helmand Province when Spc. Butz was killed by an
improvised explosive device while rushing to the aid of two injured Marines.
Riders of the Patriot Guard.
The Pipes and Drums of the Lake County Sheriff’s Police.
And representatives of Duneland’s combined fire service—Spc. Butz was a
Porter Fire Department cadet—and of its law enforcement agencies.
As the Pipes and Drums played “Minstrel Boy,” six Airborne pallbearers
placed Spc. Butz’s flag-draped casket at the grave.
Pastor Jane Aicher of Bethlehem Lutheran Church then read selections from
Scripture, including Job 19:25—“I know that my Redeemer lives and that in
the end he will stand upon the earth”—and Psalm 23—“The Lord is my shepherd,
I lack nothing.”
An Airborne chaplain, Lt. David Meyer, spoke of the great responsibility
entrusted to Spc. Butz as a combat medic, and the terrible hazard which he
readily accepted, to care for comrades under fire and at peril of his own
Seven Airborne riflemen then fired three volleys, a bugler played Taps, and
while the Pipes and Drums piped “Amazing Grace” the pallbearers folded the
flag on Spc. Butz’s casket to present to his family.
The ceremony concluded with the drum-beat withdrawal of the Pipes and Drums.
Spc. Butz was 21 when he died on Sept. 28 in Afghanistan.
He was within days of re-enlisting.