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Maj. Brent Taylor returns home
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Major Taylor’s body returns to the US

AP Photo

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Delaware (AP) — The body of Major Brent Taylor, a Utah mayor and Army National Guard member who was killed in Afghanistan, has been returned to U.S. soil.

Military officials said the 39-year-old husband and father of 7 was shot to death Saturday by an Afghan commando he was training.

His widow Jennie Taylor was there as his remains were returned in a dignified transfer to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

She spoke to the media at 6 a.m. Eastern time, 4 a.m. Mountain time, in remarks carried live on KSL Newsradio.

She said her heart was shattered.

“And yet, to deny the sacred honor that it is to stand that close to some of the freshest blood that has been spilled for our country would be absolute blasphemy,” she said.

“It is a timeless and cherished honor to serve in our country’s armed services. That honor has been Brent’s to serve in the Utah National Guard for the past 15 years. And it has been mine for just as long as I have proudly stood by his side,” she said, “And it has been and will continue to be the great honor of our 7 children for the rest of their lives – and I pray for many generations to come.”

“Brent may have died on Afghan soil, but he died for the success of freedom and democracy in both of our countries,” she said referring to her husband’s final post on Facebook, in which he urged Americans to exercise their “precious right to vote.”

“It seems only fitting,” said Jennie Taylor, that her husband “has come home to US soil in a flag-draped casket on our Election Day.”

Taylor was a military intelligence officer with Joint Force Headquarters. He served two tours in Iraq and was on his second tour in Afghanistan. It’s expected that his body will return to Utah later this week. Funeral arrangements are still pending.