The Department of Defense confirmed Saturday that 20-year old specialist David Taylor of Dixon, Kentucky died in Afghanistan on Thursday.
Taylor was just 20-years old and those 14 News spoke with say he was well-known in the Dixon community and will be dearly missed.
Taylor has been described by those that knew him as someone who had a great sense of humor, was an athletic popular as a student at Webster County High School, and was a born leader.
"David had this untouchable attitude. I don't, it just doesn't seem real," said Taylor's best friend, Selena Scheer.
To the people who knew David Taylor, and know the Taylor family, the news of Taylor's passing is surreal.
"There's been a lot of death and stuff in Iraq and Afghanistan both. But like, when it's somebody that you know and that you love, because I adored him just like everybody else, it like, breaks your heart into a thousand pieces," said Scheer.
"It's very hard on everybody. Understandably, when you get that call in the middle of the night that he's gone, yeah," said the Taylor's family friend, Michelle Cote'.
The U.S. Department of Defense has confirmed that Taylor was killed supporting 'Operation Enduring Freedom' in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, on March 29th. As a specialist in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, Taylor is described as a young man who loved his country and was a natural-born leader.
"He always wanted to be a soldier. That had been his chosen career for life. His view on that was that every young man should serve one term in the military," said Cote'.
"Some people are just made for it, and he was just one of those people that was made for it," said Scheer.
Taylor's mother, Sarah Whitledge-Taylor, spent Saturday at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. There, Taylor's body was returned to U.S. soil. Cote' says an autopsy will take place, and that Taylor's body is expected to return to the Tri-State in seven to ten days.
"We couldn't be more proud of him, and that he died doing something, his dream," said Cote'.
"I'm just in a whole different world now," said Scheer.
The Taylor family is no stranger to tragedy. Back in July of 2008, Taylor's father, Kevin Taylor was gunned down in a shooting at the Atlantis Plastics Plant in Henderson.
Those 14 News spoke to say Taylor's mother is a very strong person and will find a way to get through this tragedy.
Military memorial and funeral services are expected to be held in Taylor's memory.
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