CHESTERTON | A 2009 graduate of Chesterton High School was killed this week while serving in Afghanistan.
Before Friday's football game between Chesterton High School and Lake Central High School, athletic director Garry Nallenweg asked the crowd for a moment of silence in honor of Jim Butz.
Butz, 21, was killed Sept. 28 in the Helmand province in Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device, according to the DOD news release.
Butz was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.
Chesterton High football coach John Snyder, who coached Butz, said he wasn't surprised Butz was headed for the military.
"Jim was just one of those kids that worked his butt off in the weight room," he said. He followed directions, was dedicated and had the personality of someone who would thrive in the military.
Snyder said Butz's younger brother, Will Butz, told him that Jim, a medic, was killed while treating someone who was injured. Their truck hit an improvised explosive device.
Snyder said he texted Butz's younger brother, Will Butz, and told him he should be extremely proud of his big brother.
"It takes a special person to put your life on the line for people you don't know and fight for our freedom," Snyder said.
Chris Joll, who coached Jim Butz on the Chesterton High wrestling team, said Butz had the same hardworking mentality as anyone who joins the military.
"If there's one thing Jim could do, it was work well," Joll said.
Joll, who also coached Jim and Will's older brother, John Butz, said the Butz family is solid and supportive of one another.
"They have a really good family," he said.