KABUL, Afghanistan — Major Brent Taylor, the mayor of North Ogden, was killed Saturday while serving with the state National Guard in Afghanistan.
American military officials have called the incident an apparent “insider attack,” but have released few details surrounding Taylor’s death. Governor Gary Herbert will hold a press conference addressing the specifics at 12 PM Sunday with Major General Jefferson S. Burton, the adjutant general of the Utah National Guard.
In a press release, Herbert wrote “I am heartbroken at the news that we lost one of our own today in Afghanistan and feel completely humbled by the service and the ultimate sacrifice offered by this brave and selfless soldier. The entire Herbert family mourns with this soldier’s family and we pray that their burdens may be lifted, and that the hearts of all Utahns will reach out to comfort them in their grief.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, posted his thoughts on Twitter, writing “Brent was a hero, a patriot, a wonderful father, and a dear friend. News of his death in Afghanistan is devastating. My prayers and love are with Jennie and his 7 young children. His service will always be remembered.”
A friend of the Taylors has set up a gofundme account to raise funds for Taylor’s wife and seven children. It can be found here.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
UPDATE 7:30 PM: In a press release issued Sunday, Utah National Guard public affairs officer Major D.J. Gibb said Taylor was killed while serving in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel. He was a part of the Special Operations Joint Task Force. An investigation of his death is still underway, but Gibb said that Taylor’s attacker was a member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces who was killed by other Afghan troops after using small-arms fire on Taylor.
Taylor’s family issued a statement to media via Kate Taylor Borden, who wrote about the family’s appreciation for “the outpouring of love and support during this unspeakably difficult time.”
“As one of many, many military families to give the ultimate sacrifice, we also want to express our love for this great nation and the pride that we feel knowing that Brent gave his life in service to his country—the country he and Jennie both love so much,” Borden wrote.
According to Gibb, Dover Air Force Base will clean and dress Taylor’s body when it returns from Afghanistan. The plan to return Taylor’s body to Utah is still under development. More details will be posted when they become available.
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