Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Houston M Taylor

Hurst, Texas

October 13, 2011

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
25 Army SSG

2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division

Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

 Killed in Kunar province, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.

From The Star Telegram star-telegram.com 10/107/11:

Soldier from Azle killed in attack in Afghanistan
BY TERRY EVANS - TEVANS@STAR-TELEGRAM.COM
10/17/2011 10:57 PM 10/18/2011 11:30 AM

An Azle man was killed Thursday in Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire.

Staff Sgt. Houston M. Taylor, 25, who had served in the Army since 2005, died in Kunar province. The mountainous province in northeast Afghanistan borders Pakistan and has been the scene of intense fighting.

"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."

Sgt. Taylor was married to his high school sweetheart and was the father of two children.

His wife, Kelsey Rae Taylor, 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 his last call home, Sgt. Taylor told his wife that 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."

Kelsey Taylor met her future husband when she was 17, though she was at Poolville High School and he was at Azle High. "His cousin was going to school with me," she said. "We were married when we were 19, in 2005."

That also was the year Sgt. Taylor committed to his other love, the Army. Taylor, a native of Portsmouth, Va., joined the infantry and trained at Fort Benning, Ga.

His mother, Renee Cremean, said he was destined for the service from the time he was 8 or 10. She knew by the way he played.

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

Sgt. Taylor's first assignment was with Alpha Company, 2-8 Infantry Battalion. He deployed twice with that unit before joining the 25th Infantry Division.

Eastburn said the brigade was a little more than halfway through a 12-month deployment when Sgt. Taylor was killed. He was taking part in Operation Rugged Sharak, the Defense Department said.

Other survivors include his father, Shawn Taylor; brothers, Austin and Dallas Taylor; grandmother, Mary Cremean; and paternal grandparents Freddie and Jackie Taylor.

No details about memorials or services were released.
From The Dallas Morning News dallasnews.com 10/18/11:

Staff Sgt. Houston M. Taylor, 25, is killed in Afghanistan
By JOE SIMNACHER jsimnacher@dallasnews.com
Staff Writer
Published: 18 October 2011 11:11 PM
Updated: 19 October 2011 01:02 AM
It didn’t surprise his mother that Houston M. Taylor grew up to be a soldier.

When he played childhood games such as cops and robbers, Houston was always holding a “weapon,” while the other kids had guns.

“Now there’s a telltale sign,” said his mother, Renee Cremean-Bryan of Azle.

Houston grew up to be Army Staff Sgt. Taylor, who served two duty tours in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan.

Sgt. Taylor, 25, was killed Thursday by enemy small-arms fire in Kunar province. He requested that details of his funeral not be publicized to help keep protesters away, his mother said.

Sgt. Taylor was born 2 months premature in Portsmouth, Va., where his father was stationed in the Navy.

“He was little tiny thing, 3 pounds, 11 ounces,” his mother said. “When we named him, the nursing staff in the neonatal unit said, ‘That’s an awful big name for an awful little boy.’

“I think he grew into it quite proudly and quite well.”

Sgt. Taylor lived in California, Washington and Arizona, before moving to Texas, where he attended Azle High School and played football.

“Houston had a great sense of humor,” Mrs. Cremean-Bryan said. “He was funny. … Sometimes he didn’t mean to be funny and he was funny.”

Sgt. Taylor also was passionate about history, especially veterans’ accounts of World War II.

“He had a very calm demeanor,” his mother said. “He never had a knee-jerk reaction to anything; he thought everything out.”

Sgt. Taylor met his future wife, Kelsey Rae Gilley, in 2004 on a blind date to the senior prom in Poolville, Texas.

“They actually met at her prom. … His cousin set it up,” his mother said. “God couldn’t have picked me a better daughter-in-law.”

Sgt. Taylor joined the Army in May 2005 and was married that September, while he was on leave.

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

“He didn’t want a desk job,” his mother said. “He didn’t want to be sitting somewhere pushing paperwork. He wanted to be out there in the midst of it.”

Sgt. Taylor’s military honors include a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

In addition to his mother, Sgt. Taylor is survived by his wife, Kelsey Rae Taylor of Haltom City; a 4-year-old son, Rylan Wade Taylor; a 1-year-old daughter, Avery Laine Taylor; his father, Shawn Taylor of Watauga; two brothers, Dallas Taylor of Washington state and Austin Taylor of Nixa, Mo.; and his grandparents, Larry and Mary Cremean of Lakeside, Texas, and Freddie and Jackie Taylor of North Richland Hills.

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