Speeches

On November 3, 2018, this country lost a true American hero: Major Brent Taylor of Ogden, Utah, who gave the ultimate sacrifice while deployed in Afghanistan.

Major Taylor died as he lived: going above and beyond the call of duty to his country, state, and family.

Major Taylor first began his military service in 2003 following the attacks of September 11th. He joined the Army National Guard, just three days after becoming engaged to his wife, Jennie.

During his time in the National Guard, Major Taylor distinguished himself in multiple specialties, including Intelligence and Military Police.

In 2006, he received a commission as a second lieutenant from the Brigham Young University Reserve Officer Training Corps, while graduating as a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Major Taylor was continuously ready to take up the call to arms and deployed four times on missions to Iraq and Afghanistan. He held a variety of roles, including platoon leader, combat advisor, and chief of staff to the Special Operations Advisory Group.

Throughout his tours of service, he also received several awards for his courage and leadership, including a Bronze Star in honor of his ability to calmly and safely lead his men through miles of treacherous territory; and a Purple Heart for wounds he received during an explosive attack on his vehicle.

But his love of country and state was also evident beyond the uniform. Major Taylor gave his time and energy to his community, serving tirelessly as a member of the North Ogden City Council from 2010-2013 and as mayor of North Ogden after being elected in 2013. He was known for being a hands-on leader, attentive to and beloved by his community.

After being re-elected in 2017, Major Taylor took a leave of absence from the mayor’s office and headed back to the battlefield, deploying again to Afghanistan. When he announced his leave of absence to the people of North Ogden, he told them that he felt called to serve his country there and that “service is what leadership is all about.”

And Major Taylor faithfully served his church and his family, too. He had a deep love for God and his church; he was a devoted husband to Jennie; and a loving father to their seven children: Megan, Lincoln, Alex, Jacob, Ellie, Jonathan, and Caroline.

Following his tragic passing in an attack on November 3rd, Major Abdul Rahmani, an Afghani pilot with whom he worked, sent a letter to Major Taylor’s wife describing the great impact he had of his life: “Your husband taught me to love my wife Hamida as an equal and treat my children as treasured gifts, to be a better father, to be a better husband, and to be a better man.” And further, he said that Major Taylor “died on our soil, but he died for the success of freedom and democracy in both our countries.”

In every aspect of his life, Major Taylor was a shining example of patriotism, sacrifice, and service.

It is only right that we honor his extraordinary life. And to that end, it would only be a fitting tribute to rename the Ogden veterans’ center as the “Major Brent Taylor Vet Center Outstation.”

Today, Jennie Taylor is joining Congressman Rob Bishop as his honored guest for the State of the Union address tonight.

To honor Major Taylor’s life, and to honor the legacy he leaves behind to his family and community, I urge my colleagues to pass this legislation.

As prepared for delivery.