Indiana's Most Decorated Soldier dies

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Hobart, Ind. - Decorated war hero, William E. Butler, 77, passed away early Monday morning at St. Mary Medical Center.   

A long time Army Airborne Ranger, Butler was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame on Wednesday, October 4, 2000, after a career of 33 years of faithful service to his country. Many of those years, he served in Airborne, Ranger, and Special Forces units.

He began his career in 1946, at the age of 16, when he attended basic infantry training and ended his career in the active Army in 1989, at the age of 59, performing his last parachute jump, at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.

Some of Butler's awards include the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf cluster, Indiana Distinguished Service Cross, the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Soldiers Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Korean Service Ribbon with two stars, Vietnam Service Medal with three stars, Indiana Long Service Medal as well as many others. His badges and tabs include Combat Infantryman Badge with Star (Second Award), Master Parachutist Badge, Glider Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Jungle Expert Badge, Ranger Tab, and Special Forces Tab.

Upon his return to Indiana from Vietnam in 1969, Butler was recognized as being Indiana's Most Decorated Soldier. Upon his retirement, he was inducted into the Indiana Hall of Heroes and recognized by Governor Evan Bayh as a Sagamore of the Wabash.

Other career highlights for Butler include his service as a Deputy Sheriff of Marion County. He also owned his own construction company in Indianapolis for several years.

After relocating to Star City, Indiana, he served as the Pulaski County Surveyor and was involved in the trucking industry for a number of years. Active in the community, he was a member of the VFW and Teamsters Union.

Butler was to be honored at a ceremony at Ft. Benning, GA on August 29, 2007, culminating with the dedication of the National Guard Warrior Training Center in his name. Camp Butler will be dedicated in honor of his unwavering loyalty, dedication to duty, and accomplishments as a U.S. Army Ranger.