Tuesday, December 1, 2009, the night that President Obama was announcing that he will send 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jonathan Andrew Taylor, age 22 and a member of the Citadel Class of 2009, died during combat operations in Afghanistan. Taylor’s death brings to 15 the number of Citadel alumni who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to media reports, Taylor was patrolling as an infantryman when he was killed by an improvised explosive device. On his second deployment to the Middle East, he left for Afghanistan about two months ago, almost a year after coming home from Iraq.
The Florida Times-Union in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., reported that Taylor began his military career in the Naval Sea Cadets Corps when he was 13. In high school he enrolled in the Army Junior ROTC program. After graduating from Wolfson Senior High School in 2005 he enrolled at The Citadel.
Taylor was honorably discharged from The Citadel at the end of his knob year in the spring of 2006. He did not return to complete his degree and graduate but in 2007 enlisted in the Marine Corps. While in the South Carolina Corps of Cadets, Taylor was a history major and a member of Mike Company.
The eight-year war has taken the lives of more than 850 members of the U.S. military.