Following the dignified transfer in which Jennie Taylor and their two oldest sons welcomed the body of Maj. Brent Taylor back onto American soil, the widow traveled to nearby Camden, where she addressed reporters.
“To say that our hearts are anything less than shattered would be nothing short of true deceit,” she said. “Yet to deny the sacred honor that it is to stand that close to some of the freshest blood that has been spilled for our country would be absolute blasphemy.”
Brent Taylor died for freedom and democracy, not just in the States — but in Afghanistan as well, she said.
From the Afghan ballot box to America’s
She recalled her husband’s message a week after the election: “The strong turnout at that election, despite the attacks and challenges, was a success for the long-suffering people of Afghanistan, and for the cause of human freedom. I am proud of the brave Afghan and U.S. soldiers I serve with. Many American, NATO, and Afghan troops have died to make moments like this election possible.”
Jennie Taylor noted that, given her husband’s sentiments on democracy, it was “only fitting” that his body was returned to the States in a flag-draped casket on Election Day.
“It is a timeless and cherished honor to serve in our country’s armed services,” she said. “That honor has been Brent’s since he served in the Utah National Guard for the past 15 years, and it has been mine for just as long as I have proudly stood by his side.”
It will also be their seven children’s honor, and, she prays, their children’s honor — “for many generations to come,” she said.
“The price of freedom surely feels incredibly high to all those of us who know and love our individual soldier, but the value of freedom is immeasurable to all who know and love America,” Jennie Taylor said.
It was his second tour in Afghanistan
Another service member was injured in the Saturday attack and was listed in stable condition after undergoing treatment over the weekend.
He served 12 years as an officer in the Army National Guard, including seven on active duty. Taylor also served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Brigham Young University graduate left in January for his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.
A final plea to Americans
On October 28, in his last Facebook post, Taylor applauded the millions of Afghans who defied the Taliban’s threats and went to the polls, calling it a success for a war-weary people.
Quoting the ancient Greek historian Thucydides — “The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage” — he noted that his “dear friend,” the 22-year-old Afghan lieutenant, was among those who made the ultimate sacrifice “to make moments like this possible.”
He signed his final post with American flag and fist emojis.
CNN’s Doug Criss, Laura Smith-Spark, Brandon Griggs, Christina Maxouris and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.