MARION, Ark. — Friends and family gathered Friday night to honor a Marine killed in the line of duty.
A vigil for Staff Sergeant Taylor Hoover was held in Arkansas at the Marion Performing Arts Center. The ceremony was preceded by a powerful procession down I-40.
“He always had that air about him that he knew he was destined to serve not only his family but this great country,” uncle Jeremy Soto said.
Hoover was one of 13 Marines recently killed during a suicide bombing in Afghanistan. The 31-year-old Utah resident spent a good portion of his childhood in West Memphis.
“I don’t know anyone who loved his mama and his sisters more than he did,” uncle Jason Barnett said.
A number of government officials attended Friday’s ceremony, including Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
“I think it’s important for all Arkansans and Americans to wrap their loving arms around these families and Taylor Hoover did not die in vain,” Rutledge said, “He died defending freedom and democracy and liberating the people of Afghanistan.”
Hoover served for 12 years in the Marine Corps, including three tours in Afghanistan.