Marine killed in Afghanistan remembered as strong, dedicated to saving lives
A Marine killed in Afghanistan while hunting for the roadside bombs that are the top killer of U.S. troops was memorialized at Camp Pendleton on Wednesday as the "epitome of a Marine leader."
Staff Sgt. Aaron J. Taylor, 27, of Two Harbors, Minn., was killed when he stepped on a buried bomb as he was checking a bridge in the Helmand province for explosive devices.
"His mission was not to find and defeat IEDs [improvised explosive devices], his job was to save lives," Lt. Col. Matt Puglisi told 300 people gathered in the base chapel. "He was a hero."
Taylor had reenlisted in 2006 for a chance to become an explosive ordnance demolition technician. He had deployed to Iraq in that capacity before his Afghanistan mission.
"He was my beloved," his fiancee Stephanie Jacobowitz said at the memorial service. "He was strong but he also had compassion."
Taylor was serving with Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, part of the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
"I love him and I will miss him every day," said his father, Clifford Taylor.
-- Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Aaron Taylor and grandmother Adeline Taylor. Credit: Taylor family
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