Utahns pay tribute as body of Maj. Brent Taylor is returned from Afghanistan

Flags and local citizens line the path of the procession bringing the remains of Maj. Brent Taylor to a funeral home. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 14, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Utahns lined the roadways Wednesday afternoon to salute a hometown hero who returned home under tragic circumstances.

The body of 39-year-old Maj. Brent Taylor, who also served as mayor of North Ogden, was flown to Utah with full military honors, and loaded into an accompanied hearse for the drive, north on Interstate 15, toward his final resting place in the city he formerly led.

North Ogden resident Susan Holbrook was a friend of Taylor, who helped her find a home for the North Ogden Historical Museum.

“He helped us a lot,” she said. “He’s also been in my ward before.”

Holbrook was out of state when she heard of Taylor’s death.

“I couldn’t even talk,” she said, choking up again at the memory. “I know Jennie and all of the kids. I was surprised to see how young he was. He’s my son’s age.”

Holbrook said she has always been a supporter of those who serve in the military or are veterans.

“This is going to be like no other Veterans’ Day I ever experienced in my life.”

Holbrook said every veteran deserves the public’s support, and all should be told their sacrifice is appreciated. She believes North Ogden will be there to support Taylor’s widow and children.

“If I could, I would let them know everyone is concerned about them. Tell them we love them, and everyone will be watching out for them to take care of them.”

A statement from Jennie Taylor was posted on the Utah National Guard Facebook page:

Thank you for being a part of this important homecoming today as we celebrate the return of our hero, and my husband, Brent. Now, 11 1/2 days after he was killed in action, and 11 1/2 years since his first deployment when he left from this same Utah National Guard hangar, he is finally returning home to be with us.

Brent Taylor. Photo: Facebook

When he left from here on that deployment to Iraq 11 1/2 years ago, he was a young Lieutenant and we had been married only 3 1/2 years. Meagan, our oldest daughter wasn’t quite two, and Lincoln, our son, was only 4 months old. It is fitting that his final homecoming would be to the Utah National Guard Airbase, whereas all his other deployments and military assignments left from or arrived through the Salt Lake international airport.

We wear yellow today to welcome home our husband, our father, our brother and our son. Just as women have done since the days of WWII, I am wearing yellow today as I proudly welcome home my sweetheart.

Today he comes home to Utah escorted by his brother, also a National Guardsman. He returns home to so many of his family members and friends, political colleagues and professional associates. And Maj. Taylor is home to his Brothers In Arms—his fellow Soldiers in the Utah National Guard.

This is a tender day for all of us, and we hope you will celebrate as we do, and I’m sure Brent is, this momentous homecoming event.

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