Rotary speaker details his passion of ‘Paying It Forward’

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Special to Dorchester Banner/Hubert Wright Rotary President Judy Prahl, left, is pictured with US Army CPT Ferris Butler (Retired) and Vice President Trevor Carouge.

CAMBRIDGE — US Army CPT Ferris Butler (Retired) recently spoke to the Rotary Club of Cambridge about his deployment to Iraq with the 10th Mountain Division, the bomb that destroyed his HUMVEE seriously injuring his legs; his 2 years at Walter Reed Hospital; Laura, the volunteer who would become his wife and the transition to his life mission and passion of “Paying It Forward.”

Returning from a mission, his HUMVEE ran over a bomb, destroying the vehicle and seriously injuring both of his legs. Not realizing the severity of his injuries, CPT Butler continued issuing orders to secure the area. Because of his injuries, he ended up at Walter Reed Hospital for 2 years. After several surgeries and rehabilitation, CPT Butler made the decision that amputation of his legs would provide him with a better quality of life than what he was going through. His medical team agreed. During his stay, at Walter Reed Hospital, he me a volunteer, Laura. As their friendship grew, in 2009 they married and Laura became a devoted military spouse and caregiver.

Captain Butler said, “they credit their successful transition into civilian life to the countless nonprofits that have supported them throughout their journey, such as “Homes For Our Troops.” They were the recipients of one of the homes the organization provided for severely injured OEF/OIF Veterans. The homes are specially adapted and mortgage free for the veterans, which helps to restore freedom and independence on the path to rebuilding their lives. The “Paying It Forward” spirit led them to volunteer with several nonprofit organizations and ultimately forming their own organization, “Blasting for the Brave” to help raise funds for the nonprofits they support.

In 2014, Captain and Laura Butler held their first “Blasting for the Brave” event at Pintail Point, raising over $70,000. More than just a clay target experience, the event is a family affair. Food, fun and games for everyone. The event was so well received and successful, the Butler’s and their organization are holding the second annual “Blasting for the Brave” experience Sept. 19. Anyone interested in more information can contact Captain Butler at www.blastingforthebrave.org.

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