Father Tim Butler was the priest in my diocese (St. Elizabeth’s) growing up in Acton, Massachusetts. He was also in the Air Force Reserves, and sometime after I graduated from high school, he went active duty and started traveling the world as a chaplain in the Air Force.
When my wife and I got married in 1997, Father Tim was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland — just around the corner from where we married (Alexandria, Virginia). I dropped Father Tim an e-mail and asked if he would participate in the wedding, and fortunately he was available. It was fun to see him (at that point, it had been 8 years since the last time I’d seen him), and over the years we’ve kept in touch.
The last I spoke with him was right after my youngest son was born, nearly three years ago. I was excited to find this article about him from last month — he figured out a way to make the tents troops worship in appear a bit more sacred. He’s currently at Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan, and from the sounds of it, doing a wonderful job.
In other news of friends in the military, Capt. Kevin Kuwik arrived in Iraq last night. I swapped e-mails with him this morning, he’s trying to settle in and get the job done. Read his journal for some remarkable first-hand accounts of what the troops are going through to outfit their equipment. I don’t know why it surprises me that two soldiers need to drive an hour to Kuwait City to a True Value to get a bolt that they can’t find anywhere else, but it does.
Keep up the great work, Father Tim and Kevin; thanks to both of you for doing your duty (and then some).