Community raises over $20,000 to bring Combat Engineer veteran home after he suddenly  passes away

After a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) veteran suddenly and unexpectedly passed away while overseas, friends, family, and strangers have rallied together to generously donate upwards of $20,000 to cover the costs of bringing the veteran home and cover medical bills and funeral fees.

Cpl. (ret’d) James Butler passed away on Oct. 9 at the age of 28 while in Thailand with his fiancee.

He is survived by his parents, Karl and Cindy; his brother and sister-in-law, Kyle and Vanessa, and their two daughters, Peyton and Cali; and his sister Erika.

Cpl. (ret’d) Butler was a Combat Engineer with the 2 Combat Engineer Regiment. In 2010, he deployed to Afghanistan with the 1st Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group.

Cpl. (ret’d) Butler was also a Combat Diver and served with 2 CER Dive Team until 2015. He later made a Voluntary Occupational Transfer to the Navy Clearance Diver occupation.

The veteran is described as someone who was “the most caring and loving guy anyone could ever know. He was equal parts comedian, humanitarian, warrior and all around great guy”

After his retirement from the military, he went on to give back to the community as a life coach working with veterans.

After his sudden passing in early October, a GoFundMe page was started to help raise funds for the family. It was expected that bringing the Corporal home would cost upwards of $5,000, not to mention covering the cost of medical bills in Thailand and funeral fees in Ontario and British Columbia, where he would be put to rest.

The collection exceeded the $20,000 target by nearly $3,000.

“It is at this time I want to send the most heartfelt thank you to all those who have donated to this loving family. This fund speaks volumes to who James was and the generous people he had in his life,” stated the GoFundMe Page.

Any extra funds collected will be donated to Wounded Warriors and to his fiancee’s coaching business which empowers women.

To donate click here .


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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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Canadian Military Family Magazine