To Capt. Butcher ‘From A Grateful City’

Air Force Capt. Jack M. Butcher who a few years ago was playing “Hail To The Victors” as a member of the University of Michigan Marching Band, heard that fight song played in his honor Saturday afternoon.

Ann Arbor’s first prisoner of war to return from Vietnam was welcomed home at ceremonies held in the University’s Ray H. Fisher Baseball Stadium.

Local, state and campus dignitaries including U-M President Robben Fleming appeared on the speaker’s platform to tell the 26-year-old pilot they were glad he was finally home.

Hugh P. Gaston, an Eastern Michigan University professor and former Ann Arbor postmaster, introduced the speakers, noting that he felt a tie to the Air Force flier, having been, like Butcher, a member of the Michigan band when a student here.

Gaston introduced Dawn Butcher, who had been married to the Air Force Captain only two years when he disappeared while on his 11th combat mission over Laos two years ago last month. Also introduced to the crowd were Capt. Butcher’s mother, Mrs. Aline Butcher, a teacher at Forsythe Junior High School; his sister, Mrs. Judi Huber; Mrs. Huber’s husband, Charles, and the captain’s brother, James, an Eastern Michigan University student.

The invocation was given by Dr. Fred Wasser of the First Presbyterian Church, who married the Butchers in 1968.

Ann Arbor Mayor James Stephenson presented the captain with a gold key to the city which he said “represents so many things…courage, patriotism, freedom, pride, joy…”

“This key is given as a token from a grateful city,” the mayor told Capt. Butcher.

Peter Fletcher, prominent Republican from Ypsilanti, referred to Mayor Stephenson’s mention of representing Ann Arbor’s 100,000 people when he said: “Not to upstage your mayor but I represent 9,000,000 — the state of Michigan. I want to welcome you home, Capt. Butcher.

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