MISSION VIEJO (CBSLA) – On Sunday, the Mission Viejo community came together to remember and honor a local Marine, one of the 13 fallen service members killed in the airport suicide bombing attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, in August.
Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Taylor Hoover was an 11 year veteran of the military. He grew up in Utah and lived in Mission Viejo with his fiancee.
“Taylor was one of a kin. He’s somebody that’s not of this earth,” Nicole Weiss, Hoover’s fiancee said.
Weiss said that the 31-year-old Marine was the center of her universe and was also close to his mother and two younger sisters.
“Devastated, heartbroken, massive void doesn’t even begin to cover it,” Weiss said. “They are not just heroes as everyone would imagine, they are people. I think it’s important to tell their story from a personal side and remember who they were outside of the uniform as well.”
Weiss said that Hoover was a loving protector and that his absence leaves a hole that is difficult to describe.
“Sacrifice is one thing, but who these men and women are outside of the uniform is another,” she said. “Yes, they have a duty. Yes, they have a job, but they also have families. They have significant others and they have promises they make back home.”
Many families of service members attended the Sunday ceremony to show their support.
“I Just wish that everybody really knew what happens to the families when this happens to them. It lasts a really long time. They die heroes, but it doesn’t fill the holes they are feeling,” Debbie Troup said.
Asked what she wanted people to take away from the day’s memorial, Weiss reminded everyone to hug their loved ones.