Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Army Sgt. Norman R. Taylor III

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Norman R. Taylor III, 21, of Blythe, Calif.

Sgt. Taylor was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo; died Oct. 17, 2006 in Baqubah, Iraq, of injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Also killed were Pfc. Nathan J. Frigo and Staff Sgt. Ryan E. Haupt.

Taylor III, 21, of Blythe, Calif.; and Pfc. Nathan J. Frigo, 23, of Kokomo, Ind. The three, all assigned as snipers in the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, were riding together to protect a convoy traveling between Baqouba and Balad when the bomb went off.

The deaths came days before the brigade was scheduled to begin coming home from Iraq. The first soldiers to return to Fort Carson after the brigade’s yearlong tour are due back Sunday.

Frigo and Taylor were honored at Friday night football games in their hometowns.

Frigo lettered in cross country and track at his high school in Indiana. His father, Fred Frigo, said the determination shown by the 6-foot-3-inch runner as he raced down the track at Northwestern High School was an early indication of what led him to the Army.

"He knew the risks, but he wanted to go where he was needed," he said. "He wanted to help, and he wanted to make a difference with his life."

Taylor appeared set on a path to become a leader in the Army even when he was in high school, said 1st Sgt. Gerald Edwards, a military instructor for a junior ROTC program in Blythe.

"He was an excellent cadet," Edwards said, explaining how he watched Taylor rise from captain in the battalion to become its commander.

Taylor played football and wrestled at Palo Verde Valley High School before graduating in 2003. He enlisted in the Army afterward, Edwards said.

Edwards said he was stunned to hear Taylor had been killed.

"I still don’t believe it," Edwards said. "He was more than a student to me. He was a friend."

Army Sgt. Norman R. Taylor III was killed in action on 10/17/07.

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