American Legion honors one member for contributions
Special to the Enquirer
Kieron Butler, one of the newer members of the Hartselle’s American Legion Post 52, is already making a huge impact. While the post has been in Hartselle for many years, Butler is bringing new life and vigor to the organization.
Legion members said Butler is putting his motivation and organizational skills – which he honed in service to this country – to work to make the Legion a better place.
Butler praised the American Legion as a time-honored veterans’ service organization with a mission to help other veterans.
“With all the younger veterans coming home from recent wars, there are really very few places for them to gather and spend time with others who know what they have been through,” Butler said. “Learning from the Greatest Generation and Korean War vets, I want to get the younger guys involved and show them that everyone here talks the talk because we have been there.”
Butler said he feels many younger vets don’t know about the American Legion, and others think it is only for older generations of veterans. “Quite the contrary: The American Legion is there for all who have served,” he said.
“We have a place for you to come out, relax and get to know those around who were in your boots, so to speak,” Butler added.
Butler said through the leadership of Mike Ferguson, current commander of Post 52, the Post has placed a renewed emphasis on recruiting new members and reaching out to help all veterans, of all ages.
Butler is a defense contractor in the area and a recently retired U.S. Army senior non-commissioned officer who served more than 20 years. He served not only in the Army but in the Navy as well.
Starting off as a gunner’s mate on the USS Vincennes, a guided missile cruiser, Butler literally got to see the world and spent years at sea. Sailing between the west coast of the United States and the Pacific, he was home ported in Japan and had extensive opportunities to visit foreign lands and experience their cultures.
After his first tour, Butler joined the U.S. Army as a helicopter mechanic and found himself back in the Pacific, this time stationed in Korea. He was then stationed in Fort Campbell, Ky., and was soon thrust into the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.
Butler eventually had five combat tours in the Middle East and grew in responsibility and rank until eventually retiring as a sergeant first class.
Now living in Hartselle, Butler is married to Amy Butler, and they have two children.
Butler’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (5th OLC), the Army Achievement Medal (3rd OLC) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.