NORTH OGDEN, UTAH — Brent Taylor, the mayor of North Ogden since 2013 and father of seven children, was slain during an apparent insider attack in Afghanistan while serving with the state’s National Guard. Taylor died Saturday in Kabul, the country’s capital, and military officials said a second American service member was hurt during the attack.
Gov. Gary Herbert said in a statement Saturday night that he was “heartbroken” and felt “completely humbled” by Taylor’s service and sacrifice. Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox wrote on his Facebook page that the news was “devastating.”
“I hate this. I’m struggling for words,” wrote Cox. “I love Mayor Taylor, his amazing wife Jennie and his seven sweet kids. Utah weeps for them today. This war has once again cost us the best blood of a generation. We must rally around his family.”
Taylor, 39, deployed in January with the state National Guard. He was to serve a 12-month tour of duty, according to The Associated Press. Taylor was an officer and had previously served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. In announcing his deployment, Taylor said he was contributing to President Donald Trump’s order to boost the number of soldiers and grow the capabilities of the Afghan units, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
“Serving as the mayor of North Ogden city has been one of the greatest honors of my life and the highlight of my civilian professional career,” he said. “Service is really what leadership is all about.”
Taylor graduated from Brigham Young University in 2006 with degrees in political science and military science. He later got a master’s degree from the University of Utah in 2012 in public administration and was a PhD candidate for international relations.
Taylor was elected to the City Council in 2009, then as mayor four years later. The Salt Lake Tribune reported he was kliled in an apparent insider attack. Afghan Forces killed the attacker immediately thereafter, the newspaper reported.
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch tweeted that Taylor was a “hero, a patriot, a wonderful father, and a dear friend.”
“News of his death in Afghanistan is devastating,” wrote Hatch. “My prayers and love are with Jennie and his 7 young children. His service will always be remembered.”
North Ogden is about 46 miles north of Salt Lake City.
Photo credit: North Ogden City
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