Photo Information

051103-M-2607-001 - Marines from Company E place the down-turned rifles into the sand bags during the Nov. 3, memorial service for the fallen Marines and sailor of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment.

Photo by Pfc. Christopher J. Ohmen

Company E remembers loss of fellow Marine

3 Nov 2005 | Pfc. Christopher J. Ohmen

He had many good qualities that he shared with his fellow Marines, one of the most important was he always made time for the ones he loved. Second Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 8, said goodbye to five excellent Marines who were lost in the line of duty, Oct. 21 and 29. One of them, Lance Cpl. Kenneth J. Butler, a 19-year-old Rowan, N.C., native, was a good friend and a good brother. Upon learning of Butler’s passing, the Marines of Company E were left speechless. Despite the tragic loss of a good Marine, all that knew him agree that he has moved on to a better place. The Marines from the company gathered in the battalion’s Motor Transportation building along with friends and guests from other units aboard Camp Fallujah. At one end of the building, emblems were placed in memory of Butler. As the Marines’ Hymn played, an M-16A4 service rifle with bayonet was inserted by one Marine into a small pile of sand bags. A second Marine placed a Kevlar helmet on the butt stock of the down-turned rifle and hung a set of dog tags from the pistol grip. The last emblem to be placed was a pair of boots at the base of the sandbags. Following the invocation by Navy Lt. Teddy L. Williams, the battalion chaplain, Lt. Col. James J. Minick, the battalion’s commanding officer, continued with comments about Butler. “We honor these men who answered their county’s call and selflessly gave their lives so others may live in peace,” said Minick. “Thomas Paine said in 1776: These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” “Honor, courage, commitment, loyalty, selfless service. Marines and sailors of Company E and Task Force 2/2, these are the words I hear from you,” stated Capt. Timothy S. Brady, Butler’s company commander. “Listening to you speak of your brothers in arms, I know of their character and of their heart.” As the words of Brady lingered with the Marines, Lance Cpl. Robert P. Backus, Butler’s friend and fellow member of the company, stepped up to the podium to say goodbye to his comrade in arms. “Jay was like a brother to me, as I am sure he was to many of you,” Backus stated. “He was a good Marine and an even better friend. What we must do now rather than drown in our sorrows at the loss of a friend; we should honor him by living every one of our lives the best that we can. This is what Jay would want. He will be missed.” Following the kind words of Backus, Company E first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Dalton V. Pinnock called role with three Marines answering ‘Present!’ Then he called Bulter’s name. “Lance Cpl. Butler…Lance Cpl. Butler…Lance Cpl. Kenneth J. Butler!” There was no reply. “Present Arms!” commanded Brady to the company. The rest of the Marines saluted, as “Taps” was played to honor their fallen comrades. “Dismissed!” commanded Brady. The Marines quickly formed a line to say personal farewells to Butler before the emblems at his memorial. Many of the Marines snapped a salute and touched his Kevlar helmet to show their respect. “They embodied everything it means to serve your fellow Marines, your unit, and your country. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to serve amongst such men,” Brady stated.