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    Deployed National Guard Unit Sends Cards to Last Surviving Tuskegee Airman for 100th Birthday

    Deployed National Guard Unit Sends Cards to Last Surviving Tuskegee Airman for 100th Birthday

    Photo By Capt. Joshua Sik | Five out of the 135 Soldiers of the 135th Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC) hold...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Joshua Sik 

    135th Expeditionary Sustainment Command

    Sgt. Victor Butler, the last known surviving member of the Tuskegee Airmen, is about to celebrate his 100th birthday on May 21. His only request is for birthday cards, and the 135th Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC) responded.

    The 135th ESC, currently deployed to Kuwait as part of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command (TSC), wanted to honor Sgt. Butler’s achievement. We sent “135 individually signed birthday cards from the Soldiers of the 135th ESC,” said Brig. Gen. Vickers, the unit’s commanding general. “We are indebted to [Butler] and all the Tuskegee Airmen.”

    Butler was a mechanic for the Tuskegee Airmen, and he was one of the many Black military pilots and airmen who made history while fighting in World War II. On top of those sacrifices, the unit broke barriers and instrumentally contributed to desegregating the United States military.

    All the Soldiers of the 135th ESC were eager to be a part of celebrating Butler’s sacrifices and accomplishments. “He paved the way,” said Sgt. 1st Class Willie Vandiver, one of the 135 Soldiers who sent cards. “If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t be here right now.”

    While the Soldiers of the 135th ESC individually wrote their special messages, others outside the unit were eager to help as well. The American Red Cross of Camp Arifjan graciously donated over one hundred cards. And David Flietstra, a civilian currently in Kuwait working for the Defense Logistics Agency, asked to pay for the package when he heard what the 135th ESC was doing.

    Butler stated that he intends to read every card, and the 135th ESC certainly hopes he does. The unit echoes his request for birthday cards. If you would like to join them and send a birthday card to Sgt. Butler, you can mail it to the following address:

    Victor W. Butler
    C/O Gary Butler
    P.O. Box 3523
    Cranston, RI 02910

    The 135th ESC provides operational sustainment and logistic support and is currently serving as the Operational Command Post for the 1st TSC in its support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield.



    Date Taken: 05.17.2022
    Date Posted: 05.17.2022 15:42
    Story ID: 420927
    Location: CAMP ARIFJAN, KW 
    Hometown: CRANSTON, RI, US

    Web Views: 305
    Downloads: 0