Staff Sgt. Aaron J. Taylor, 27, of Bovey, Minn., died Oct. 9 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
“He which hath no stomach to this fight let him depart. But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!! For he today, that sheds his blood with me, shall always be my brother”. Rest in peace my Brothers, you have not been forgotten. (W.Shakespeare)
Aaron Taylor was born in Duluth, and grew up in the Iron Range community of Bovey in rural northern Minnesota. A trumpet player, he won the Louis Armstrong Jazz Band Award while in high school. He played in the jazz and pep bands, was on the wrestling team, and managed the hockey team. Aaron Taylor graduated from Greenway High School in Coleraine in 2000 with honors.
He took classes at a local community college toward a career in law enforcement, and then decided to enlist. He was assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, which is based at Camp Pendleton in California.
Taylor was a Marine for eight years and had completed a tour in Iraq. He had been in Afghanistan for six weeks assigned to the Helmand province, which is known as a Taliban stronghold. He was initially trained as a rifleman but switched to specializing in explosive ordnance disposal, an extremely dangerous duty. The explosive ordnance technician was 27 years old when he was killed on October 9th. Reports state that he stepped on a buried bomb while checking a bridge for explosive devices.
According to Taylor’s father, Clifford Taylor, of Two Harbors at the Examiner site:
“He was telling me that they were doing good things over there,” Clifford Taylor said. “They had built some schools. He was new to the unit when he came on board, but they say that everybody just liked him and they were all glad to work with him. And he was very proud to be serving with this group of men. They all knew their jobs and they were professionals all the way.”
Aaron Taylor was based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and had recently bought a house in Temecula, Calif., near the base, his father said.”He had spontaneous wit and was a very caring individual,” Clifford Taylor said of his son. “Very intelligent. His goal was to be promoted to gunnery sergeant before his third enlistment. I think he would have made it. It’s tough to do.
Among his citations is the Navy/Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon. SSgt Taylor earned the Bronze Star for Valor posthumously for his actions during the attack that ultimately led to his death in Afghanistan. Aaron Taylor is survived by his father, Clifford, his stepmother, Cindy, his mother, Briana Anderson, half-brother, Kyle, and his half-sister, Bailey Mason.