Thursday, October 13, 2011

Army Staff Sgt. Houston M. Taylor

Remember Our Heroes

Army Staff Sgt. Houston M. Taylor, 25, of Hurst, Texas

SSgt Taylor was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; died Oct. 13, 2011 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of injuries caused by small-arms fire.

"He was a warrior, and he was fighting for a cause that he truly believed in," said Maj. Dave Eastburn, a spokesman for the brigade in which Sgt. Taylor served. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family right now as they go through this terrible time. He was a great leader and is on our minds every day as we continue to fight, just as he would have wanted. He'll truly be missed."

Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, Sgt Taylor grew up in Azle, TX (not sure when he moved to TX). He graduated from Azle High School. He married his high school sweetheart, Kelsey, in 2005. They have two children.

SSgt Taylor enlisted in the Army in May 2005. He was little more than half way through his 12 month deloyment when he was killed. This was his third deployment.

Wife, Kelsey, said her husband was "a very good dad" to their son, Rylan, 4, and daughter, Avery, 1. "He was very strong," she said. "He never complained about anything he had to do."

During her husband's last call home, Kelsey said that he told her he wouldn't be able to call her for 10 days or so, because he was about to start a mission.

"I asked him if I should be scared, because I always ask that when he says he can't call me for a while," she said. "He said, 'No, because I'm not.' Then we said, 'I love you' and got off the phone."

Mother, Renee Cremean said, "When other kids played soldier, they said, 'I'm going to get my gun.' He said, 'I'm going to get my weapon. He loved serving his country. He was very protective of the soldiers under him."

SSgt Taylor's awards and decorations include:
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Achievement Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
Meritorius Unit Citation
Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Iraqi Campaign with 3 Bronze Stars
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star
Global War on Terrorism Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 3
NATO Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge

SSgt Taylor was laid to rest on October 26 at Ash Creek Cemetery, Azle, TX.

SSgt Taylor is survived by his mother and stepfather, Renee and Billy; father, Shawn; wife Kelsey Rae, their children Rylan and Avery; and brothers Austin and Dallas.

Army Staff Sgt. Houston M. Taylor was killed in action on 10/13/11.

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