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The Aaron Butler Memorial Purple Heart Run will be held on Saturday August 15th, 2020. Chose to experience the 5K, 10K, or an Unknown Distance Run, all will start at 0900. The event is about community and sacrifice - feel free to wear traditional running attire, or load yourself down with a ruck sack, military/LEO uniform, or boots and body armor for an added degree of awesomeness. Wondering if the "suck factor" may be too high? Ask yourself... What Would Aaron Butler Do #wwabd? Embrace the suck! With beer, music, food, guest speakers and lots to do for kids, it's a lot more than a run. It's an emotional and educational experience.
This is a celebration of all US servicemembers who have given their lives or parts of themselves physically in combat operations around the globe. The after party promises to be epic. We will have local beer, music, food, local coffee, and lots to do for kids. All race proceeds will go to the Aaron Butler Memorial Foundation (a 501C3 nonprofit). This event was created by local Purple Heart recipients, and there will be an opportunity for all participants and supporters to meet and learn from those men and women who have been wounded in combat. The race courses will be lined with pictures and stories about Purple Heart Recipients who gave their lives in the Global War on Terror (since 9/11/2001). Bring out your families, let your children meet and absorb the words of Gold Star families (who have lost loved ones in combat), Vietnam War Purple Heart Recipients, and Purple Heart Recipients from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are among us every day, this in a unique opportunity for all of us to see and hear from local community members who have given more than most for our Nation.
Aaron was born in Monticello, UT. He was the seventh of eight children born to Randy and Laura Butler. He has one sister – Shannon – whom he adores, and six brothers – Shane, Quinn, Nathan, Andy, Chad and Adam – who have been his companions through life.
From the beginning, Aaron has been a very determined, adventurous soul. As a young child, his bright blue eyes were always looking for mischief, which he usually found.
He was so full of life, happiness and endless energy! He loved the outdoor adventures best and could usually be found with a stick or a critter in his hands! He participated in and enjoyed the Boy Scouts of America, eventually earning the rank of Eagle Scout.
Throughout high school he excelled in music, football and his main focus, wrestling. He set a specific goal to become a four-time state wrestling champion.
Through hard work and extraordinary determination, he realized his goal, becoming the first ever in Monticello High School history to achieve this mark and just the 17th wrestler in Utah State history.
In 2009, Aaron volunteered himself for full-time service as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was called to labor in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission in Africa.
For two years, he worked tirelessly, teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Ghanaian people. He served them with a great love and compassion.
He aided them in building and improving homes, wells and made numerous additional efforts in their behalf.
His dedicated service to others in this way highlights a distinct trait in his personality and soul. He cared about his fellowman, their safety and wellbeing. He served others with the love of Jesus Christ.
From a very young age, Aaron became interested in the United States Military. As a first grader, he announced to his family that he would be a soldier when he grew up.
From that time on he never once wavered in that resolve. On April 10, 2008, while still in high school, he enlisted in the Utah Army National Guard, where he laid the building blocks of his military career.
In 2014, he began the grueling Special Forces Training program. On January 14, 2016 he graduated Special Forces Training and donned the Green Beret. He is one of four soldiers to graduate with honors.
Since that day, he has been decorated with additional combat awards.
Aaron died on August 16, 2017 at the age of 27 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered from an improvised explosive device while clearing a booby-trapped building.
Aaron was a natural-born leader. He was determined to become an elite soldier and always led from the front. He wanted to be the ‘tip of the spear’.
He led by example and swift action. He personified the Army’s values in everything he said and did. He was a strength and inspiration to all those around him and a joy to his family.
Aaron was absolutely fearless, selfless, courageous and relentless. In a life that was all too brief, our dear son and brother made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
Aaron is survived by his parents Randy and Laura Butler of Monticello; fiancé Alexandria Seagroves of Cedar Hills, UT; siblings Shannon (Brad) Young of St. George, UT, Shane (Michelle) of American Fork, UT, Quinn (Leesa) of Pleasant Grove, UT, Nathan (Brooke) of Bluffdale, UT, Andy (Tori) of Saratoga Springs, UT, Chad of Bluffdale, UT and Adam Butler of Heber City, UT; grandparents Pat and Marva Butler of Monticello and Stan (Diane) Augustine of Kettle Falls, WA; and 25 nieces and nephews.
Pickup #1: Thursday, August 13th, 4pm-6pm. Shu's Idaho Running Company: 1758 W State St, Boise, ID 83702
Pickup #2: Friday, August 14th, 4pm-6pm. Towneplace Suites Boise West/Meridian: 1415 S Eagle Rd, Meridian, ID 83642
Pickup #3: RACE DAY Saturday, August 15th, 7:30am-9am: Weilmunster Park, Garden Valley, Idaho
We strongly encourage all participants to pick up their race packets at either the Thursday or Friday pickup sites to avoid a cluster on race day!
Questions? Race Administrator - firstname.lastname@example.org
TownePlace Suites Boise West/Meridian is offering rooms for $82 per night!
You will find the information for your online reservation link below (click the logo). If you have questions or need help with the link, please do not hesitate to call (208) 884-8550.
Group rates for the Aaron Butler Memorial Purple Heart Run
Start Date: Thursday, August 13, 2020
End Date: Sunday, August 16, 2020
Last Day to Book: Monday, August 3, 2020
Q: Is your run happening this year?
A: Yes, count on it. We made a promise to honor our fallen brothers on or around August 16th (the anniversary of Aaron Butler’s death in Afghanistan) every year. We will keep that promise.
Q: Do you offer a virtual run option?
A: Unfortunately, no. The ABMPHR is really a lot more than a run. It is a meaningful experience and celebration of sacrifice that we can’t do justice by letting people pay to just run.
Q: Did you guys change venue?
A: Yup! Our event will take place on August 15th at Weilmunster Park in Garden Valley, Idaho.
Q: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?
A: Of course, but we have planned a lot of precautionary measures to ensure our event is safe and comfortable for everyone who voluntarily decides to take part in our event. If you are curious about our COVID-19 safety precautions and plan, please take a look at them here:
Q: Are your trail routes suitable for adaptive athletes or wheelchair athletes?
A: Yes, mostly. We are proud to have Challenged Athletes Foundation-Idaho at our event this year! The 5K route is very accessible. The 10K route is accessible but very steep in parts. There are parts of the Unknown Distance Run route that would be very challenging to negotiate in a wheelchair/GRIT chair.
Q: How far is the Unknown Distance Run?
A: …Not telling. It will not be announced, it will be run and discovered by a hearty crowd. Get comfortable being uncomfortable and inoculate yourself with some uncertainty. Embrace the suck.
Q: Are you guys doing a raffle and auction again this year?
A: You bet! We will be raffling off a wide array of items, from custom woodworked flags to gift certificates to local places. We will be auctioning off some amazing gift items from 2A Armament, Overland Armament, and Hawktech Arms this year. Keep an eye on our socials to see them! Must be present at the event to win!
Q: Where will buses be picking people up from the Boise area?
A: Chartered buses will pick up racers at the TownePlace Suites Boise West/Meridian at 7:00am and from the Optimist Sports Complex at 7:30am. Please don’t be late if you want a free ride, it is first come – first serve. If you don’t make it on the buses, participants will have to find their own method of transportation to Garden Valley (about a 55min drive from Boise).
Two charter buses will pick up participants and volunteers at the Towneplace Suites Boise/Meridian 7:00am.
The buses will pick up participants and volunteers at the Optimist Sports Complex at 7:30am. Park in the west side of the parking lot, nearest to Old Horseshoe Bend Rd.
The bus transportation option is first come, first serve. Once they are full, that's all she wrote. We ask that all bus riders wear a mask while they are on board.
Here's a route for those who chose to drive themselves up to Weilmunster Park in Garden Valley. Once in Garden Valley look for our event and parking signs. It's a beautiful mountain drive that takes a little less than an hour, please drive safe!
Sign up, show up and volunteer! Every volunteer gets a custom ABMPHR Volunteer shirt and other swag! Shifts are available at different locations, bring your sun screen and folding chairs, it's going to be a motivating show as you support our runners!
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