Brent Taylor, the mayor of North Ogden, Utah, and a father of seven, was killed Saturday as a member of the National Guard Army during a service in Afghanistan.
Taylor was killed in an obvious insider attack after a member of the Afghan security forces opened fire in a base in Kabul where foreign troops train Afghan forces. The attack injured another US service member.
The news of Taylor's death shocked the city of Utah, where he served as mayor since 2013 and before that as a city councilor.
"I hate that." I fight for words, "wrote Lugh Gov. Spencer Cox on Saturday." I love Mayor Taylor, his amazing wife Jennie and his 7 sweet children, Utah crying for them today, this war has given us back the best of blood We have to gather around his family, thank you for your sacrifice, my friend. "
In a statement, Governor Gary R. Herbert (R) said he was deeply hurt by the news of Taylor's death.
"[I] Feel completely humbled by the ministry and the ultimate sacrifice that this brave and selfless soldier has commanded, "wrote Herbert. "The whole Herbert family mourns with this soldier's family, and we pray that their burdens can be lifted and that the hearts of all Utahns seek to comfort them in their grief."
Herbert said he plans to hold a press conference on Sunday afternoon to give more details.
Taylor announced his deployment to his constituents via Facebook Live in early January and said he had been called to support the training of Afghan commandos after President Trump increased the number of US troops in Afghanistan.
"There are three great loyalties that have determined my life and everything in it: God, family and land," said Taylor. "Although I'm far from perfect in this regard, I have given my life to serve all three of these allegiances whenever and however I can. And right now it takes my experience and skills to serve in our country's longstanding war in Afghanistan. "
He reckoned his assignment would take 12 months and assured North Ogden citizens to leave the city in good hands.
In the past 10 months, Taylor has regularly posted updates of his Afghanistan service on Facebook. In September he celebrated with his wife Jennie Taylor from a distance his 15th birthday. In their marriage, they separated five years from each other during four of Taylor's missions to Iraq and Afghanistan, he wrote. This month, he saw his youngest child learn to play Skype.
"[Jennie] is really the center of our home and the center of our whole life, "wrote Taylor. "I am the second Winston Churchill who said," My most brilliant performance was. , , to convince my wife to marry me. "
In his last Facebook post, Oct. 28, Taylor Franklin D. Roosevelt quoted: "In the truest sense of the word, freedom can not be conferred; it has to be achieved "- and spoke with pride of the fact that in Afghanistan, despite threats of violence, the first parliamentary elections took place for eight years.
"If the US chooses to vote in our poll next week, I hope everyone at home will exercise their valuable suffrage," Taylor wrote. "And whether the Republicans or the Democrats win, that we all remember that we are far more than Americans who unite us, as we separate. "United we stand, divided, we fall." God Bless America. "
On Twitter, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) named Taylor "a hero for us all, "
"Brent was a hero, a patriot, a wonderful father and a dear friend," wrote Hatch. "The news of his death in Afghanistan is devastating. My prayers and my love are with Jennie and his 7 young children. His service will always be remembered. "
In less than a day, a GoFundMe supporting Taylor's family had raised more than $ 100,000.
The motive for Saturday's shooting – the second insider attack on a base against foreign troops in less than two weeks – was not immediately clear. The Taliban praised Saturday's attack, saying it was led by a "reasonable" Afghan.
Sayed Salahuddin contributed to this report.
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