Sunday, January 14, 2018

James T "Smeds" Butler - Thanks

November 10, 2017

Thank you James T. "Smeds" Butler.

 Welcome home.

Went to a luncheon in Tampa yesterday to celebrate the Marine Corps’ birthday which is technically today, Nov. 10. It has been organized for the last 30 years by a fellow Marine Helo pilot and dear friend, Jim Butler, who flew in Vietnam the same time I did but I never met him til ten or fifteen years ago. Had 150 – 200 old Marines there, two who fought on Iwo Jima. One was 95 years old who flew the North American P-51 in combat. Part of the ceremony was to have each Marine stand and tell a “war story.” Some of them were funny, some gruesome, some brought tears. Many of them could hardly stand and some had old scars and limps clearly gained from their war experiences. Took about an hour to hear all. It became very clear listening to their stories that they were all just regular people deeply and forever marked by the experience, but also brought together as brothers for all days. Heroes unsung.

Jim Butler flew 988 combat missions and was awarded 56 medals: 1 Silver Star, 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 2 Single Mission Air Medals, 49 Strike/Flight Medals, 2 Presidential Unit Citations, 1 Vietnam Service Medal, 1 Combat Action Ribbon, and 1 Navy Accommodation with Combat V Medal.

Thank you again James T. "Smeds" Butler.
Happy Birthday Marines.
Semper Fidelis

James T. "Smeds" Butler

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