From serving our country to serving Habitat for Community

Local News

The falling of Veterans Day on a Sunday this year gives yet another chance to honor those who serve on the federal observance of the holiday, Monday. 

Undoubtedly there are countless veterans in East Tennessee who go from serving our country to serving our community, Electricians Mate Second Class Tim Butler, of the U.S. Navy, is one of them. 

First, serving our country in Navy, Butler now serves East Tennessee as a Knoxville-Habitat Construction Crew Leader and has done so for the last 13 years. 

Throughout his role with Habitat, Butler teaches and leads thousands of volunteers through various tasks on Knoxville-Habitat build sites.

For the past two years, Butler has taken on a second volunteer role, serving in appliance testing and repair making sure the appliances are good to go before being put out on the sales floor, and he does so alongside several fellow veterans. 

“It’s nice to be able to see the results of your either donations or efforts and a lot of time people just write a check and that’s it – that’s the last time you interact with them. So it’s really great especially in the construction side of it because you get to meet the homeowner and their families,” said Butler. “It gives you a good feeling to know that you have a good life and your family has a good life and you’re helping other people.”

Butler says there’s a lot more happening now, post-9/11, which has brought the service itself to the forefront of many minds.

When first getting out, Butler says it wasn’t the most exciting thing to talk about, most people didn’t ask, know or really care that you were in the service… but he believes that’s changed for the better in recent years. 

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