Maj. Brent Taylor, the mayor of Utah who has also been serving in Afghanistan has reportedly been killed when an Afghan commando opened fire on them during Saturday in Kabul. Another service member was also wounded during the attack.
The state’s lieutenant governor, Spencer J. Cox, expressed his shock of Taylor’s death in announcements on both Twitter and Facebook.
“I hate this. I’m struggling for words,” he wrote. “I love Mayor Taylor, his amazing wife Jennie and his 7 sweet kids. Utah weeps for them today.”
A NATO spokeswoman named Debra Richardson said that the gunman in the capital of Kabul appeared to have been a member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
NATO had not released the identities or ranks of the service members or the location of the attack. But United States officials suggested it had occurred at an American special operations forces hub in Kabul that is used as a staging base for missions around the capital and in neighboring provinces.
Major Taylor took it upon himself to join the military after the events of the September 11th attacks while he was attending Brigham Young University. His five brothers also joined the army years after the attacks in 2001.
Jennie Taylor, Major Taylors wife commented that service was important in their lives, and it set a wonderful example for their seven children.
“I hope they know that in our family, we help,” she said. “In our family, we do what we can. If it’s something we can do, and the call comes to serve, we say yes.”
Major Taylor also encouraged others to take action as well during a Facebook post in January, which said that whether “reading to children at a school, or simply helping a neighbor, there are ways all around us to brighten someone’s day.”
And last Sunday, in what sadly appears to be his last Facebook post, he called on all American’s to vote;
“Whether the Republicans or the Democrats win,” he said, and it is important “that we all remember that we have far more as Americans that unites us than divides us.”
Thousands of accolades and words of support poured out for Major Taylor and his family late Saturday across all forms of social media.
“He was the best of men with the ability to see potential and possibility in everything around him,” North Ogden’s website said in announcing his death. It added, “He was patriotic to the core and a shining example of what an American politician should be.”
A message also came from Mitt Romney, who is the 2012 presidential candidate who is now running for the Senate in Utah, stating that he was “heartbroken” to hear the news;