Stafford Supervisor Tinesha Allen (left) joins Marshal Boutchyard in presenting a wreath at the Armed Services Memorial Friday in honor of Marvin Boutchyard, a WWII veteran who died in Normandy. (Photos by Suzanne Carr-Rossi)

Photo gallery: Boutchyard families honored in Stafford Memorial Day service

by | May 24, 2024 | ALLFFP, Military, Stafford

Stafford’s 2024 Memorial Day Ceremony was a poignant tribute to the 80th Anniversary of D-Day, a day that holds deep meaning due to the sacrifice of the Boutchyard family.  

Marvin Boutchyard survived the storming of Omaha Beach, and his brother Mercer fought in the Battle for Okinawa. Both lost their lives in service to their country. Their cousin, Marshal Boutchyard, an MP in the Army National Guard, presented a wreath in their memory. Rolling Thunder Chapter VA 3 were special guests. 

“Marvin Boutchyard’s mother lost one son in Normandy and one a year later in the Pacific,” said chairwoman of the Stafford Board of Supervisors Meg Bohmke. “With the 80th Anniversary of D-Day this summer, we thought it important to honor and recognize the incredible sacrifice of families like the Boutchyards.” 

Benjamin Brands, historian with the American Battle Monuments Commission, gave the keynote address. Brands, a Ph.D. candidate in history at George Mason University, specializes in the history of the United States Army in the 19th century. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary in 2004 and his Master of Arts from George Mason University in 2015. From 2015 to 2017, he served as an assistant professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, where he taught courses on military history and the American Civil War.

Brands has also taught American and European military history for Oregon State University’s Ecampus. He previously served as an infantry officer in the United States Army. He worked at the U.S. Army’s Center of Military History, helping to write the official history of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Since 2019, he has been employed full-time as a historian for the American Battle Monuments Commission, an agency of the U.S. federal government responsible for the care and administration of America’s overseas military cemeteries and monuments. 

Marvin Boutchyard is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery and Mercer Boutchyard in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The American Battle Monuments Commission administrates the Normandy American Cemetery. 

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