HOWARD — Monday’s Navy Seal mission that lead to the death of Osama bin Laden has brought attention to the special forces in the United States military. Across the nation, American citizens, and the world, have been given a small window into the work of these highly trained military weapons.
“People don’t need to know everything that goes on as far as the tactics they use. We shouldn’t advertise that to our enemy,” said Trevelon Lee Butler, a former member of the U.S. Marines 2nd Reconnaisance Batallion. “I just think that [the public] wants too much real time information that is going to do them no good.”
Butler grew up in Howard playing in the woods, shooting guns, jumping off the old bridge into the Kokosing River and off the spillway that fed into Little Jelloway Creek. He loved the adventure and the boost of adrenaline that coursed through his body with each jump. He loved his friends and the bond they formed while simply being outdoor kids in the 1970s.
At the age of 24, he took that same spirit of adventure, that same love and respect for guns, and his ability to forge deep and meaningful friendships and turned them into a humble, yet impressive, career as an elite member of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Reconnaissance team.
“I did not do anything special,” said Butler. “This was fun; this wasn’t like work. This was like going to the bridge and jumping. ‘Let’s go to the spillway and jump off the spillway.’ That’s what it was like every day. And while you are doing that — you’ve got a gun.”
When he decided to join the Marine Corps, he was already married, with two young daughters, and a need for discipline.
“It was basically a challenge for myself, to go somewhere and take orders from someone,” Butler said.