Soldiers expected home soon from Iraq die in Humvee crash
Army Pvts. 1st Class Kenneth Butler and David Armstrong were supposed to be home on leave this month from the fighting in Iraq.
Butler, 21, was expecting to see his newborn son for the first time. Armstrong, 21, was looking forward to a long-awaited reunion with the childhood sweetheart who became his wife.
The two soldiers were killed in Iraq on Thursday when their Humvee overturned as they were returning from a mission in Baghdad.
Armstrong, of Zanesville, Ohio, and Butler, of East Liverpool, Ohio, were assigned to the 57th Military Police Company, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, which was located in South Korea until last June.
In September the military police unit was reassigned to Schofield Barracks. The unit will be stationed at Schofield when it redeploys from Iraq later this year.
Butler and Armstrong joined the Army together in March 2005 and were sent to South Korea a few months later.
Armstrong was married to his high school sweetheart, Tasia Warne, his uncle said.
Scott Armstrong told the Bucyrus Telegraph Forum that his nephew played football and baseball in high school, had a black belt in karate and loved to ride motorcycles and four-wheelers. He wanted to go into law enforcement.
"David was a very special young man with a bright future ahead of him," Armstrong said. "Everyone is devastated by his loss. He is sadly missed by his entire family and many, many friends."
Armstrong said his nephew joined the military because it promised the education he needed to go into law enforcement.
Butler was expected home to meet his son, who was born Jan. 23, his wife, Ashley Butler, 19, told the Traverse City Record Eagle.
"He was a very loved person by everybody," she told the Michigan newspaper. "He would do anything for anybody; he was very, very selfless."
The two met when they were stationed in Korea. She left the Army after becoming pregnant.
Butler's father, Kenneth, told the Traverse City newspaper that his son's Humvee jumped a curb and rolled into a canal. "Somehow the Humvee got out of control," Butler said.
"He was supposed to come home this Sunday, and he never made it," he said.
Butler told the newspaper that his son signed up to be a military police officer because he admired several police officers in his hometown. He wanted to become a highway patrol officer in Ohio after he left the Army.