Marietta Marine Killed in Mortar Blast

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

MARIETTA, Ohio (WSAZ/WTAP) -- A 21-year-old from Marietta, Ohio was one of the seven Marines killed when a mortar shell exploded at an Army depot in Hawthorne, Nevada. Eight other servicemen were wounded.

Lance Cpl. Joshua Taylor was a mortarman assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment.

Taylor joined the Marine Corps after graduating from high school in June 2010.

In his less than three years, Taylor had been deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait.

His principal at Marietta High School remembers he came back to see his classmates after serving overseas.

"I remember after basic training," said Principal Bill Lee. "He came back in his dress uniform, and he was so very proud. He visited with some of his teachers, and me, and some of the students who knew him. And we were all very proud of Josh."

But the military wasn't his entire life. He played in several sports at Marietta High, including track and swimming. And perhaps the thing most important to him was his religious beliefs.

"The greatest memory I have of him is of him walking down the hall with his Bible," said Matthew Chalfant, MHS Senior. "He read the Bible in study hall. That takes a special person, and Josh was special."

Chalfant was a freshman at M.H.S. when Taylor was a senior. But he says Josh treated him not as a lower classman, but as an equal. "They were well-known students, and very well-liked students."

Taylor was planning to get married in the spring. He had three sisters and a brother.

Taylor's awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan.

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