25-year-old US Army Sergeant Thomas J. Butler IV, from Wilmington, North Carolina, was one of three North Carolina National Guard personnel killed on 1st October 2012 by a suicide bomber.
A Taliban insurgent drove a motorcycle packed with explosives into a group of soldiers who were on a patrol in Khost, eastern Afghanistan.
Sergeant Butler served with the 514th Military Police Company, 60th Troop Command, Winterville, North Carolina. He began his military service in June 2007. This was his first deployment to Afghanistan.
His awards and decorations included the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
His wife, Holly, issued this statement: Sgt. Thomas Jefferson Butler, IV, TJ, was the most proud and devoted husband and father, and a loving brother and son. He was the truest friend and would do anything he could for anyone. He is not only our hero, but a hero for this country he so bravely and proudly served.
Family was very important to TJ. His mother, Leslie, and father, Thomas, beam with pride when talking about their son. He enjoyed spending time with his younger brother and strived to be the best role model for Adam.
TJ and I first met in 2006 towards the end of his senior year at Topsail High School, and we were married in November of 2008. He was such a true blessing in my life and I have always said what a dream it was to be able to marry my best friend. TJ is and always will be the love of my life and my soulmate."
The other soldiers killed were: Sergeant Jeremy Hardison and Sergeant Donna Johnson.