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Utah Marine among those killed in Afghanistan attack

Posted at 3:51 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-29 02:15:00-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A U.S. Marine from Utah was among those killed during Thursday's attack at the Kabul airport.

READ: Wyoming Marine, dad-to-be killed in Afghanistan attack

Darin Hoover told FOX 13 that his son, Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, lost his life in the attack that killed 13 U.S. service members in Afghanistan. He said he was told of his son's death Thursday night when Marine staff sergeants came to his house.

“He did what he loved, was leading his men and was with them to the end," said Hoover. "He loved these United States and proved it by his service. We are so heartbroken and feel for the families of his fallen brothers as well. Our condolences go out to them in this trying time.”

Hoover Camo Photo.jpg

Hoover was a 2008 graduate of Hillcrest High School in Midvale and played football for the school.

Jeremy Soto, Hoover's uncle, posted about his nephew on Facebook, calling him a hero.

"We are wounded. We are bruised. We are angry. We are crushed... but we remain faithful," said Soto. "Thank you for your courage nephew. We love you always."

Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover

"Thank you sweet boy for the ultimate sacrifice," wrote Hoover's aunt, Brittany Jones Barrett. "For giving your life for us all. Fighting for freedom and giving absolutely everything you had. You will never ever be forgotten."

Gov. Spencer Cox shared his thoughts on the passing of Hoover.

"We are devastated to hear of the passing of Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, who served valiantly as a Marine and died serving his fellow countrymen as well as America’s allies in Afghanistan," Cox tweeted. "We honor his tremendous bravery and commitment to his country, even as we condemn the senseless violence that resulted in his death."

Cox Hoover

READ: Governor Cox orders flags be lowered in Utah to honor victims killed in Afghanistan

"My heart is broken," Cox later added in another tweet. "I spoke with Staff Sgt. Hoover’s parents today. I told them Utah mourned with them. When I asked how we could help, his dad simply replied, 'Just promise me Utah will never forget my son.' I did. Please help me keep my promise."

Former Governor Gary Herbert also shared his sympathies.

"Jeanette and I are devastated to learn of the tragic loss of Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, one of Utah’s own," Herbert tweeted. "May God bless the family and loved ones he leaves behind and may we all wrap our arms around them. Thank you for your service Sgt. Hoover."

Politicians representing Utah in Congress also expressed condolences on Hoover's death.

"We’ll be forever grateful for his sacrifice & legacy. He spent his last moments serving our state & nation, & we’ll never forget his unwavering devotion," Rep. Blake Moore wrote in a tweet.

"Yesterday, the state of Utah lost one of its finest in a tragic act of terror. A Marine from Utah made the ultimate sacrifice during the bombing in Kabul," Rep. Chris Stewart also tweeted. "The loved ones of this hero have my full support and immeasurable gratitude. This soldier’s heroism will never be forgotten."

"Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover is a hero who continued evacuating civilians despite knowing that an attack at the airport was a real possibility," added Rep. John Curtis. "He undoubtably saved many American and Afghan lives through his selfless commitment to public service and the United States. My prayers are with his family and loved ones."

"I’m sending my prayers across Utah as our state mourns the loss of Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, a hero who leaves behind a lifelong legacy of service and courage. I’m thinking of his family during this time," Rep. Burgess Owens tweeted.

"Burying a child is a grief no parent should bear. Sharon and I mourn with the Hoover family and with all who loved [Sgt. Hoover]... who gave the last full measure of devotion in Afghanistan," Sen. Mike Lee said in a statement. "He died completing a mission to save his countrymen and civilians from evil and oppression. He lived the Marine Corps motto by living and dying always faithful."

Sen. Mitt Romney added: "One of Utah’s own laid down his life to protect Americans and Afghans alike. Ann and I send our deepest condolences to Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover’s loved ones. We are in debt to him and his family for their sacrifice."

In all, more than 180 people were killed in the attack, with many more wounded.

A vigil is planned in Sgt. Hoover's honor Sunday at 8:30 p.m. at the Utah State Capitol. His family and elected leaders from Utah will be attending.