Michael Butcher of Tolleson is a combat Veteran and Purple Heart Medal recipient who was compelled to join the U.S. Army after the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on America. He was soon deployed with the 4th Infantry Division, the team that killed Saddam Hussein’s sons in a shootout, and later captured the former Iraqi president.
In September 2003, Michael was on a night patrol in an area between Samarra and Fallujah when they came under attack. They were setting up a barricade when his unit came under attack and a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) exploded next to his head. Michael’s Kevlar blocked most of the shrapnel, but he was thrown against his vehicle and jammed his head into a sharp object. He was hurt, but alive. Michael believes he survived because God was watching over him as shrapnel missed his neck and eyes.
The attack earned Michael a Purple Heart Award, and despite numerous injuries, Michael says he continued to remain on active duty. In 2005, he agreed to get surgery to repair his ankles, but he was unable to regain full motion and he was taken out of battle. He was assigned to Fort Irwin, California, to train soldiers preparing to deploy and later served at Fort Lewis, Washington, serving in I-Corps to take care of the base. Despite his desire to stay in the military, Michael ended his service to our country on August 7, 2012 with a medical retirement.
Since then, he has continued to suffer trauma and pain. Michael copes with a traumatic brain injury, back injury, and other physical pain, but he continues to serve his community. As a hobby, he rebuilt a 1965 Chevy Impala and enjoyed it so much he now helps friends and neighbors rebuild classic cars with full frame restorations, including chrome suspensions and custom paint jobs. He also paints skateboards and tumbler cup at no charge.
Michael and his wife, Lily, are raising their 11-year old daughter, April, who he says is a great listener.
It is no doubt that Michael served and his country and its residents honorably.
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