U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 647-07
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 23, 2007, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their unit in Ramadi, Iraq. They were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.
Staff Sergeant Steve Butcher Jr., 27, of Penfield, New York. He died in Ramadi, Iraq.
Private First Class Daniel P. Cagle, 22, of Carson, California. He died in Balad, Iraq.
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Steve Butcher Jr. knew the meaning of love.
The former Penfield resident sacrificed his life to protect his family, his fellow soldiers and his country.
On Saturday, about 150 people gathered at New Covenant Christian Fellowship in Penfield to remember Staff Sergant Butcher, 27, who died on May 23, 2007, in Ramadi, Iraq. He and another soldier — Private First Class Daniel P. Cagle, 22, of Carson, California — were fatally wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated near their unit. Staff Sergeant Butcher, who joined the Army about five years ago, was on his third tour of duty in Iraq.
Friends and family members described Staff Sgt. Butcher, a 1997 graduate of Penfield High School, as a loyal, loving and caring man who led by example. As an infantry squad leader, he supervised 10 men in combat.
“My son often told me about his concern for his men,” his father Steve Butcher Sr. said during the service. “He told me he’d do anything to keep them safe — that he’d bend the rules to protect them.”
Jarrod Kunze, who served with Staff Sergeant Butcher on two tours, fought back tears as he recalled his friend’s ability to add humor to any situation. He described him as the “go-to guy” to settle debates, diffuse arguments and repair just about any broken item.
Michael Lee Oates, Commanding General for the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, said Staff Sergeant Butcher was well-loved and well-respected and was known as a “true leader.”
“We aren’t told how many days we get to live, but we get to decide what to do with them,” Oates said. “I am humbled by his actions.”
Liza Voos shared several memories of her big brother — how he took her to his senior ball instead of his girlfriend and how, as a child, she often snuck into her brother’s room and begged him to read her a bedtime story and he’d always fabricate one especially for her.
“Steve was more than my brother, he was my best friend,” said sister Angela Butcher , who is 13 months younger than her brother was, and said the two of them were raised more like twins. “He wasn’t perfect, but he tried harder than any man I know.”
During the service, Oates presented Staff Sergeant Butcher’s parents, Steve Sr. and Dianna of Irondequoit, with a crisply folded American flag that had moments earlier adorned their son’s coffin. Oates also gave the family a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, two awards that reflect Staff Sergeant Butcher’s actions in combat. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
“My son frequently referred to me as being his hero,” said Steve Butcher Sr. “But the truth is known by the whole country — he is the hero.”
It was a show of support this weekend for the family of a Penfield soldier who died while serving his country.
Staff Sergeant Steve Butcher, Jr., 27, was killed during a security mission last month.
He leaves behind a six-year-old daughter Molly. That's why some friends and the Butcher's fellow church members at the Glad Tidings Church in Henrietta decided to get together to help out. They put together a car wash to raise money for Molly's Trust Fund.
“It's been amazing the support from the soldiers’ families who have come into our home,” said Steve’s mother Diana Butcher. “It’s been awesome and to have heard from them what our son was like was humbling and very rewarding.”
“I felt it in my spirit to do this,” said event organizer Andrew Sabarese. “Just to help build this trust fund grandpa set up. This child's going to need all the help she can get.”
The money raised will be used for Molly's education. Steve's mother says it's also important for the American troops overseas to know they have our support here at home regardless of how you feel about the war.
BUTCHER, STEVE JR
SSG US ARMY
DATE OF BIRTH: 07/27/1979
DATE OF DEATH: 05/23/2007
BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 8631
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard