Alaska Sporting Journal correspondent Dennis Musgraves shared the following:
I had a buddy of mine not make it back from Iraq, SSG Jason Butkus (died, Aug. 30, 2007). He loved fishing in Alaska. We used to go out during lunch and fish at a small lake for stocked rainbows, which was directly across the street from our barracks on Fort Wainwright. ADFG used to put about 25 brood stock trout (averaging about 24 inches) in the lake for a kids fishing derby held once a year. Of course Jason and I would be out there feverously trying to catch one has soon as they put them in (I know – we were afflicted with fishing; what can I say?).
Well, he managed to land one of them one year – lucky guy. I an still hear him talking smack about catching the big fish. I tried many afternoons trying to catch one of those fat fish out of the lake, and never did.
Not only was he a great fisherman, he was a super soldier, and a awesome leader – a typical square-jawed, flat-bellied, take-no-sh%t-type. He was a proud paratrooper and was honored to serve our country in the military. He was also a terrific father. Although separated from his wife, he did his best to be all about his son.
His final resting place is at Arlington, surrounded by many heroic people just like him.
I promised myself to always share stories about people I served with in the Army with others, because they can no longer share for themselves – I will never forget).
And here is the Arlington National Cemetery release on Jason’s memorial service from 2007. It’s a must-read.
Rest in peace, Jason, and thank you.