Father honors son, casualty of Iraq War, in book - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Father honors son, casualty of Iraq War, in book

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WELLSVILLE, KS (KCTV) -

The Fourth of July holiday celebrating America's freedom will have special meaning for a father whose son gave his life for this country.

Army Sgt. Jacob Butler of Wellsville, KS, was one of the first casualties in the war in Iraq. Now his father, Jim Butler, has written a moving story about his son and the truth of what exactly happened the night of his death.

It was a nine-year labor of love that came out of a staggering loss as Jim Butler's son became a casualty of war at the age of 24.

"Jake was pretty much a patriot and if it wasn't for the men and woman like that in this country, we wouldn't have the freedoms we have today," Jim Butler said.

It was those freedoms Sgt. Jacob Butler was fighting for on April 1, 2003, when his unit came under attack. His father's only means of emerging from the depression plaguing him in the aftermath of the tragedy was to write.

"I guess it was kind of like a therapy or something for me, to help get things out, you know," Jim Butler said.

But it was the encouragement of former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, himself a vet, that kept Jim Butler committed to the project.

"He had read something on it and wrote me a letter and told me, ‘Keep telling your story,'" Jim Butler said. 

Now, Beyond Honor is slated to hit bookshelves soon. Jim Butler has kept busy promoting the book at local events and included an advanced copy to those buying fireworks at a location in Edgerton, MO.

"I would hope that he would be honored to be honored," Jim Butler speculated about what his son would have thought of the book.

Jim Butler said the book isn't just about his son, it's also about his family, his four brothers and his upbringing. It's expected to be in bookstores later this month.

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