7-year-old pays tribute to fallen soldier - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

7-year-old pays tribute to fallen soldier

On Tuesday Leslie Butler met the little boy who paid tribute to her son with a special note. (Source: WECT) On Tuesday Leslie Butler met the little boy who paid tribute to her son with a special note. (Source: WECT)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

On Tuesday, Leslie Butler met the little boy who paid tribute to her son with a special note.

Her son, Sgt. TJ Butler, was killed in Afghanistan in 2012, and Leslie visits his grave in Wilmington National Cemetery often. 

On Memorial Day, 7-year-old Mason Lee and his family put flags on the graves at the cemetery. His mother, Sarah Lee, said she found Mason sitting by Butler's headstone, and began asking questions. 

“Mason had a lot of questions. He wanted to know if he had a son and a family, and wanted to know more about him,” Lee said. “It was really touching because you could tell he was really soaking it all in. That this was somebody’s son, somebody’s daddy.”

A year later the group returned to put out flags, but Mason wanted to do something special for Butler. He drew a picture with an American flag and a shield, just like the one on Captain America's arm, at Butler's grave. 

“It must have made a huge impact on him to be that young and remember something like that,” Lee said.

Leslie said she was touched by what Mason gave her family, and wanted to give Mason something in return. On Tuesday, she gave Mason a Captain America toy of his own. 

“TJ’s teachers all his life called him a social butterfly. So I’m thinking he still is a social butterfly,” Leslie said. “For Mason’s age, I thought it was very special that he came down and visited TJ.”

Mason said he plans to put flags out next year, and that Butler's will be the first grave he visits. 

"As long as Mason is here, he’ll place his flag here I can be happy that I know that Mason’s going to give TJ his flag,” Leslie said.

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