Spc. James A. Butz, U.S. Army, was laid to rest after deadline today with
military honors at Chesterton Cemetery.
Spc. Butz, a Porter resident and a combat medic with the 82nd Airborne
Division, died on Sept. 28 in Afghanistan of wounds received in the blast of
an improvised explosive device. He died a hero, while rushing to the aid of
two Marines injured in a previous blast. All three men perished.
On Monday, some 900 Dunelanders bid Spc. Butz farewell as the family
received friends at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
Throughout the wake—from 1 to 8:30 p.m.—an honor guard of Porter and
Chesterton police officers and firefighters maintained a vigil at the casket
in quarter-hour shifts.
Today, Jim Love of White-Love Funeral Home expressed his gratitude to those
police officers and firefighters and told the Chesterton Tribune that
Duneland’s emergency responders have provided invaluable logistical support
at a difficult time and have done so with great dignity and tact.
Love also thanked the riders of the Patriot Guard for escorting Spc. Butz to
White-Love after the wake and then back to Bethlehem Lutheran Church this
Funeral services were scheduled for 11 a.m.
At Monday night’s meeting of the Chesterton Town Council, members expressed
their condolences to the Butz family, father and mother John Jr. and
MaryJane, brothers Will and John, and noted that the Duneland community
feels their loss.
Member Jim Ton, R-1st, speaking of Saturday’s procession through Porter and
Chesterton, thanked this “caring community” for “coming together and
honoring” Spc. Butz.
“We do what’s right for our own,” added Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th.
“What we saw on Saturday was amazing,” said Member Nick Walding, R-3rd. “I
want to thank the Butz family for their sacrifice and for Spc. Butz’s
sacrifice. He put himself in harm’s way to protect our freedom.”
Police Chief Dave Cincoski, for his part, made a point of thanking all of
the police and fire departments from neighboring jurisdictions for the
“assistance, vehicles, and manpower” tasked to Saturday’s procession,
Monday’s wake, and today’s funeral service. “We would not have been able to
do it without their involvement,” Cincoski said.
Saturday’s procession, Cincoski noted in particular, was 2.5 miles long and
a “very powerful demonstration of public support. The family was very