The Indiana National Guard on Tuesday released its first information surrounding the deaths in Afghanistan this week of Berne resident Nick Taylor and a fellow Hoosier soldier.
According to a press release issued by the Guard's public affairs office, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Indiana National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger were officially notified of the deaths of the Indiana National Guard Soldiers in Afghanistan.
Spc. Nicholas Andrew Taylor of Berne and Spc. Sergio Eduardo Perez of Crown Point were killed during a complex attack that included rocket
propelled grenade fire and small arms fire in the Kandahar Province during a
mounted route clearance patrol on July 16, the statement said. (Editor's Note: Monday, the 16th, was Afghanistan time.)
The fallen are members of the 713th Engineer Company, headquartered in Valparaiso, and were assigned to clear military supply and combat
"Every such loss is a heartbreak. We are hit with special severity here
because of the casualties this heroic unit has already endured. No Guard unit
in my memory has been assigned a more dangerous mission than the 713th, and here again we see the incredible risks these citizen-soldiers volunteer to
run for the rest of us," said Daniels.
"The soldiers of the 713th Engineer Company face a dangerous mission every single day. A danger of which they are very aware with firsthand experience of the threat and consequences," said Maj. Gen. Umbarger. "In spite of the danger, these two Sappers soldiered on, and we will now honor their courage and always remember their sacrifice."
An estimated 2,000 members of the U.S. military have died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001, according to the Associated Press. At least 1,526 of those deaths were the results of hostile action, according to the military. Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 15,858 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
SPC Taylor was born to Timothy Ray and Stephania Dawn Taylor in Decatur on October 10, 1991. He graduated from South Adams
High School in May 2010.
Later that year, Taylor enlisted in the Indiana Army National Guard and set off for basic training and 12B (Combat Engineer) MOS training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. Taylor returned to Ft. Leonard Wood in April of 2011 to attend the Route/Reconnaissance Clearance Operations Course in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan with the 713th Engineer Company (Sapper).
While deployed he was promoted to the rank of Specialist (E4) in April 2012.
Funeral services for Nick Taylor are pending at Yager-Kirchhofer Funeral Home in Berne, the funeral home said Wednesday morning.