MILITARY

Utah Marine killed in Afghanistan laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery

Sep 24, 2021, 9:00 AM | Updated: 5:44 pm

ARLINGTON, Va. — Utah Marine Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery Friday. He was among 13 U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan in August. 

Utah Marine killed in Afghanistan

A terrorist attack at the Kabul Airport killed 13 U.S. service members and more than 100 Afghan civilians on Aug. 26, 2021. 

The attack was the deadliest on U.S. military members in more than a decade in Afghanistan. 

Utah Marine Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover was one of many service members helping process U.S. citizens and Afghan allies at a crowded gate. 

Sgt. Hoover laid to rest

The American flag draped over Hoover’s casket as it was carried by horse carriage to the graveside service at Arlington.  The band played a somber version of The Marine’s Hymn as fellow soldiers placed the casket into position in front of Hoover’s friends and family.

The chaplain presiding over the services said Arlington “is a place made sacred” by the sacrifices of patriots like Hoover.

He said, “Staff Sgt. Hoover gave his life to the cause of freedom.  Not just ours, but for the freedom of those in foreign lands.”

(Marines removing the American flag from Hoover’s casket before presenting to his family. Photo: Mattox Photography and Video, YouTube)

Hoover was recognized for serving in three different combat units, as officials say he left his Marines with honor, courage and love.

Some extended family members say they never had many real heroes growing up, other than what they would see in comic books, but they say they have a real-life hero in Hoover, now.  Fellow Marine Thomas Manning served along Hoover and says, at first, they didn’t like each other.   However, they were able to work past their differences to become very close friends.

“I was given two minutes to speak, but I can’t sum up my brother’s life in two minutes.  The only thing I can think of is ‘honor, courage and commitment,’” Manning said.

Manning described Hoover as the kind of man who watched over his mother at all times and who deeply loved his fiancé.

He said, “He gave courage in times he didn’t have to.  He could have tucked tail and ran.  He didn’t have to be there.  He chose to stand in front of the devil.”

Manning also said Hoover had a contagious smile and he wouldn’t want his loved ones crying over him.

 “Today, yes, is a sad day, but I’m speaking from Taylor that he would want you to smile and laugh and remember the jokes that he shared with you,” according to Manning.

He was then laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery after a graveside service

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox ordered flags lowered to half-staff Thursday in honor of the fallen Marine’s service to the country. 

The Hoover family requested privacy while they grieve and honor the beloved hero. 

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Utah Marine killed in Afghanistan laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery