MONTICELLO, Utah (ABC4 News) – On Thursday, hundreds of people lined the streets of Monticello to welcome home a fallen hero.
Thursday would have been Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler’s 28th birthday.
“I expect a broken heart again. He’s coming home, on his birthday,” said his mother, Laura, before his body arrived.
Around noon Thursday, a plane carrying his flag-draped casket arrived at Monticello’s airport. Monticello is Butler’s hometown.
“We love Aaron, we support Aaron, and we’re proud of him,” said Michael Holyoak, Butler’s 3rd grade teacher.
On Thursday afternoon, Holyoak’s elementary students got out of school to watch the procession honoring Butler.
“He was a great kid,” said Holyoke, holding back tears.
Kim Barton brought her two children to watch the plane touch down Thursday.
“I’m just thankful for people that are willing to sacrifice,” said Barton.
“We have what we have because of people like Aaron,” she added.
The casket, transported inside a hearse, went through Monticello Thursday as hundreds of people held signs and flags to show their support.
On Saturday, Butler will be laid to rest.