2nd Platoon, C Company, 4th/47th, 2nd Brigade Long An Province – July 11, 1967
Letter from Barbara Shields to Bill Reynolds, dated January, 28, 2002…
I am a family member of Butch and have the need to share some things with you. My sister has already e-mailed you, but I just need to share also.
My mother and I sat and read your account of what happened to Butch and it was so upsetting. We read it and cryed. It still hurts after all these years. My mother was a sister to Butch and so that makes him my uncle. But Butch was only 7 months older than me. We were very close. We went to school together, we double dated. He was my protector. We went to prom and many places together. He was so very special and we still miss him.
Reading this brings some closure for us though. We had always had some hope that he was still alive. The funeral was a closed casket and so we never got to really see that it was really him. So that left a little hope that maybe he was a prisoner, or something.
I always wished that Butch had made it back. I wished that he could have known all my kids and Grandkids. He loved kids. He had a rough life. He lost his mother to a brain hemmorage when he was about 8 or 9 years old and then his Dad died by the time Butch was a young teenager. Butch was born in Missouri though, not Edelstein, Illinois. He went to Illinois after his graduation from high school and was working at the Caterpillar Plant when he was drafted.
My mother has a book made up completely of pictures of Butch and a lot of things about him so my sister Brenda borrowed it to send you some more information. I am sending you a picture of the tombstone of the family cemetary where Butch was buried. He was buried in Millersville, Missouri at the family cemetary. He was buried there with his Mother and Dad and other family members.
I am married and have three children and six Grandchildren and one more on the way in March. I am so blessed. I just pray that Butch had accepted the Lord before he was killed because I have the promise of seeing him again in Heaven. Mom always had to make him go to church. He didn’t want to go one time and I guess Mom had to chase him down with the belt. Ha!
Butch had this guy write to me. He was wanting us to meet. His name was Roland Gangler. We wrote a few times, but we never really pursued it after Butch was killed. I guess his name is Rollie. I saw his name on some page I was looking at on the Web Site. He wrote me the nicest letter right after Butch was killed and I kept it all these years. But I guess I have misplaced it somewhere. I was looking for it to reread it, after reading your information and I couldn’t find it. I know I had it up until a couple of years ago, but I don’t know what I did with it.
After all these years, finding this out is like grieving the loss all over again. I told several people about the information and you telling this story and I break down every time I try to tell it.
Were you and Butch good friends?
I know so many have come back from that with so many problems. I pray that life is good for you and all your Platoon.
Thank you so much for what you are doing.
Feel free to keep in touch and any information that you may need. We would really like to see a Memorial page for Butch.
I have the flag that was on Butch’s casket. I fly it, as a reminder of what he died for.
God Bless you.