Taylor killed in military action in Afghanistan
A South Adams graduate of the class of 2010 lost his life while clearing bombs in Afghanistan on Monday. Nick Taylor, son of Tim and Stephania Taylor, died while clearing bombs when his patrol came under fire by rocket-propelled grenade fire and small arms in Kandahar Province.
Also killed in the incident was Sergio Eduardo Perez, a 2010 graduate of Lake Central High School near Crown Point.
Taylor and Perez were members of the Valparaiso-based 713th Engineer Company that had lost four other members in an explosion on Jan. 6 of this year.
State Representative Matt Lehman referred to Taylor as a, "true hero," and said that the Berne native was deployed in Afghanistan in combat engineering.
Berne Mayor Bill McKean said that as plans are confirmed, he will order all flags at every city facility to be flown at half staff in honor of Taylor and his part in making the ultimate sacrifice while serving the country.
"As Mayor of the City of Berne, and on behalf of our elected officials and city employees, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to Chief Tim Taylor and his family in the death of their son and brother, Nick Taylor, who died in combat in Afghanistan," said McKean. "To Tim, Stephania, Drew, Holly and Sophia, your extended family and Nick's friends, may God bless and comfort you at this most difficult time."
Drew Taylor, a 2012 graduate of South Adams and brother of Nick Taylor, said Tuesday that he had talked to one of the guys that had been with his brother when the incident occurred.
"He was out on a mission in his big truck, 'Buffalo,' designed to take explosions," said Drew. "They were clearing the roadside of bombs. They think that one of the trucks ran over a roadside bomb.
"My brother's friend told me that the incident was called in as a rocket attack," continued Taylor. "He said they just kept coming. He said that Nick was knocked out from explosions. One piece of shrapnel hit his arm and the iron cut a major artery that led to his passing."
Taylor said that the incident occurred on Monday morning in Afghanistan, which was actually late Sunday here. Family members were informed late on Sunday of the attack.
Taylor was deployed to Afghanistan late in August of 2011. Family members noted that he was to have come home on Sept. 26.
According to Taylor, his brother had been home in March to visit during spring break at South Adams.
"He said that things were going all right, but he was a little nervous since those four soldiers were killed in that explosion in January. He said then that he was ready to come home," Taylor said.
Taylor said that Nick had originally chosen to get involved with the National Guard because of the college assistance that it would provide.
"He wanted to go to IPFW and study criminal justice," said Taylor.
He noted that one of the outstanding memories he will carry of his brother is the way that he liked to give of himself to help others out.
"I really liked playing football with him when he was a senior and I was a sophomore," Taylor said.
High School principal Trent Lehman said that Taylor was a student in high school when he spent his first year in the office. Lehman said he always enjoyed Taylor's positive spirit.
"I was very impressed with him as a young man," Lehman said. "He came from a great Christian family; he excelled positively academically and athletically.
"A few times I talked to Tim and Stephania about what it was like to have a son in the military. They were concerned about this very thing," noted Lehman. "It is a parents' worst nightmare."
"He lightened the mood every time he came into the room," said wrestling coach Eric Myers. "He enjoyed making people laugh, whether playing a prank or sharing a funny joke.
"Once he got on to the wrestling mat, he gave it everything that he had," continued Myers. "He had a nosebleed and he came off and said, 'coach, get this fixed so I can get back out there.' As captain of the wrestling team, he was a good role model. He always listened to what I said and never questioned it. Anything he had questions about, he would discuss with me in private."
Funeral arrangements are pending at Yager-Kirchhofer Funeral Home in Berne.
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