LOCAL NEWS

Emotional day of remembrance for family of Utah Marine killed one year ago

Aug 26, 2022, 10:10 PM | Updated: 10:47 pm

It is tough to believe it has been a year.

Three-hundred-and-sixty-five days since Utah Marine Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, and 12 other U.S. troops, were killed during the American pullout from Afghanistan.

In every single day since then, the Hoover’s have only grown prouder of their son.

“For me, my chest couldn’t be puffed out any further with pride for what our sons did, what he was a part of, and the legacy he has left behind,” said Darin Hoover, who is Taylor Hoover’s father.

Darin Taylor Hoover, who graduated from Hillcrest High School in Midvale, died when a suicide bomber detonated explosives at an entry gate at the Kabul, Afghanistan, airport.

He was 31 years old.

Hoover was just making sure the people trying to leave the country were approved to do so.

“One-hundred-and-seventy-thousand individuals — both Afghans, Americans, and citizens from other countries — they were able to get them out through that gate and make their lives better,” said Darin Hoover. “Hopefully they’re in a better place other than the home they left.”

The family says ever since that day, they can’t believe the amount of support, and thanks, they’ve received. Even to this day.

“We’ve had people reach out from all over the world, and I know that might sound funny, but we have,” said Kelly Barnett, who is Taylor Hoover’s mother. “Some of the most beautiful words ever spoken from people that don’t know me or didn’t know Taylor. These 13 lives have brought a lot of people closer. It gives me hope this world is a good place.”

Hoover was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Utah Marine laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery

The Hoovers went back to the cemetery Friday afternoon to celebrate his life, share memories, and be closer to him.

They also laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier.

The Hoovers vow to make it a family tradition to visit him every single year.

“I could definitely feel that he was there with us,” Barnett said. “It was very emotional.”

Hoover’s last text message to his mother said, “Mama, I’m safe and I love you.”

The family feels that message is truer now than ever.

“I know he is in a better place and he is happy,” Barnett said. “I’m so proud of him.”

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