Pfc. Sarina N. Butcher, 19, of Checotah, OK, formerly of Crossett and with family ties to Blevins was a casualty of war on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, in Paktia Province, Afghanistan.
The Department of Defense announced Wednesday the deaths of two soldiers, including one from Crossett, who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died Nov. 1, in Afghanistan of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device. They were assigned to the 700th Brigade Support Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma National Guard, Tulsa, Okla. Also killed was Spc. Christopher D. Gailey, 26, of Ochelata, Okla.
Born November 13, 1991, in Crossett to James William and Dana Karen Terrell Mills, she was assigned to Company F, 700th Brigade Support Battalion, 45 IBCT in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Survivors include her mother, Dana Bailey and husband Howard of El Dorado; her father, James "Jamie" Mills and wife Cheryl of Checotah, OK; her daughter, Zoey Alexis Nicole Butcher of El Dorado; her paternal grandparents, Clayton and Martha Mills of Checotah; her maternal grandmother, Betty Terrell of Hope; a brother; Anthony "Tony" Mills of Ely, NV, and his fiance, Raechelle Drayton and niece, Kaylie Griggs; a sister, Hana Richelle Bailey of El Dorado; and a host of other family and friends. Sarina was preceded in death by her maternal grandfather, Alvin Terrell.
Funeral service, with full military honors, was at 2 p.m., Friday, November 11, at the chapel of Brazzel/Cornish Funeral Home of Prescott. Burial followed at the Friendship Cemetery in McCaskill. Online guest book at www.brazzelfuneralhomes.com.
U.S. Congressman Mike Ross of Prescott issued a statement in response to the passing of Pfc. Butcher. He noted that Butcher was born in Crossett and her mother and daughter both live in El Dorado. Her father lives in Oklahoma.
Ross said, "Another American hero was tragically taken from us in the line of duty. Private First Class Sarina Butcher was a mother, daughter and a brave and dedicated solider who put her life on the line in service to her country. We will be forever grateful for her selfless sacrifice. My thoughts and prayers are with her mother, father, daughter and the rest of her family and friends during this very difficult time. As we approach Veterans Day, we must remember the sacrifices our troops make every day in service to this great country and thank them for what they do."
Butcher was the first female Oklahoma National Guard soldier to be killed during wartime and the youngest Guard member to die in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Oklahoma National Guard announced. She joined the Oklahoma Guard in April, 2010, and was an automated logistical specialist.