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Aug-29-2009 11:21printcomments

Oregon Guard Soldier Taylor Marks Dies in Iraq

The soldier made the decision to defer his schooling in order to deploy with the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Pfc Taylor Marks
Pfc Taylor Marks
Photo: Oregon National Guard

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - The Oregon National Guard announced the death of a soldier who was serving in Iraq. 19-year old Private First Class Taylor D. Marks, was killed in Rashid, Iraq on August 28th, 2009 when his convoy was struck by an explosive formed penetrator. He was serving with the 41st Special Troops Battalion, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Pfc Taylor Marks was born in Salem, Oregon on November 9th, 1989. He was raised in Monmouth, Oregon.

He was a graduate of Central High School and joined the Oregon Army National Guard attending a training with a friend.

His thoughts were to join the military and continue his education. He was contracted to go to the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio in California, but made the decision to defer his schooling in order to deploy with the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

He is survived by his mother Michelle and stepfather Don; sister Courtney age 15; brother Alex age 19 of Monmouth, Ore, and father Morey Marks of Salem, Oregon.

The Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Ken Nygren stated in a message from Iraq, "All the STB leadership were present to support our soldiers at the ramp ceremony in Iraq. It was a sad event, but very evident that the unit is very cohesive and still very proudly STB. They are serving Oregon and the nation well."




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... September 29, 2011 2:44 pm (Pacific time)

he was my boyfriend...anyone knows how that feels

Editor: I doubt it, but I have to say that reading this string of comments is very interesting, a great example of commentary greatly outweighing the story itself.  I appreciate all of you who have written and I suspect that the friends and family know deep in their hearts that everyone, and I mean everyone, is touched by a loss like this.  I spent time with the same unit on their previous deployment to Afghanistan and the Oregon Guard is as good as anything the U.S. Army has to offer.  I am very sorry for the loss of this young man.  


CPL. Culp September 22, 2009 9:18 pm (Pacific time)

He was a very bright kid, always trying to help... I will never forget his smiling face.


C ourtney September 21, 2009 3:41 pm (Pacific time)

I just wanted to say that i don't appreciate people who have disrespected this memorial, as his sister reading some of these horrible things people have said made my cry a little harder, it hurts to know people don't care, thank you to everyone for the amazing messages.


PFC Ian Morrow September 6, 2009 10:43 am (Pacific time)

I had the honor and privilege of serving and training with SPC Marks at Fort Huachuca, AZ. He was both a tremendous soldier and person. I just recently returned from an extensive training exercise to ready myself for future deployments. Upon hearing this news, it greatly saddened me to know that such a great young man that I knew too briefly had passed away. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and fellow soldiers in the Oregon National Guard. Out of respect to them, I would also like to ask that political debates be left out of something written in memoriam.


Monika Navarro September 5, 2009 12:03 am (Pacific time)

Taylor was like an older brother to me me and his younger sister Courtney were bestfriends since fifth grade which was in 2005. when i first met her brother and mom and dad and everyone and became apart of the family and he was like an older brother to me when me and Courtney needed to go to school he would always give us a ride when his mom had already went to work it was fun im going to miss that. and also when me him and courtney went to their dad's house it was fun we always played Halo he always killed me in the game i never won! but it was fun and we would always play hiding games or just games in general around the house it was funn. And Taylor could cook the best cheese pizza ever it was yummy. And on courtneys birthday when all of us girls were sleeping in her room Taylor put Flour on our face and all over our sleep bags and blankets. Taylor is/was very smart and creative I liked his couch made out of boxes and cardboard in his room. I miss him seriously and its even harder because i cant talk to his sister because when we were freshman she stopped talking to me. But reallly I misss Taylor he was a Good older Brother and friend to me.


Andrew September 4, 2009 9:17 pm (Pacific time)

My coworkers and I watched the procession today for Taylor from outside our business. It was quite touching to see the people from the other business pausing and standing at attention for that moment to honor and respect him. I didn't know Taylor or his family personally, but even I felt the weight of his passing at that point. It's never easy. Rest In Peace Taylor Marks. You have truly given everything that you had for your country and community. You deserve the rest now.


Naomi September 4, 2009 4:27 pm (Pacific time)

First I want to extend my sympathy to this fine young man's family. He gave his life so we can have the freedoms we do today. I was moved to tears when I came across his funeral procession as they were leaving the Army National Guard on Airport Road, Sept. 3rd. Watching as the hearse drove past me and others, seeing his flag draped coffin was awe inspiring. Again, thank you PFC Taylor Marks for your sacrifice and may you rest in peace.


Mary September 4, 2009 3:51 pm (Pacific time)

On behalf of the OREGON VETERANS MOTORCYCLE ASSOCIATION, it is with great sadness that we offer our sincere condolences to family and friends of Taylor! Awesome services today in Independence! Thanks to everyone for asking that the OVMA be a part of this trying time. FREEDOM ISN'T FREE! Rest in peace Taylor!


justin September 3, 2009 8:58 pm (Pacific time)

i am his cusin. i miss him but he wanted to serv there. i live in denver i am 12. it is hard to lose someone that i was close to. he was the only other boy in the famly i love him vary much. if you want to comet on this send to 1022jlp@gmail.com. i will send the meseg on to my famly thanks!!!


Anonymous September 3, 2009 12:31 pm (Pacific time)

Land of the free, because of the brave! May he rest in peace and God bless his family.


Jenny September 3, 2009 9:39 am (Pacific time)

Do you people who have talked about nothing more than your own political views and anything better to do the search for news reports of soldiers dying in this war to promote your own outlandish views?? they're are blogs and other ways to get your voice heard. Just know he died for you to have the right to say what it is your saying no matter how farfetched it is. I am very close with his sister and instead of running your mouth about how you hate what our country is involved in you step back and think about how his family and friends are feeling. We don’t want to hear your BS about how the war is evil. If you don’t agree with what our country is doing then why don’t you go to a country that doesn’t have the luxuries and freedoms and protections you do as an American and see how much you enjoy that. Everyone living here in American should be proud to be an American. Proud to know that soldiers like Taylor fight everyday for our freedoms and the safety of our lives. thank you to those who have left comments about how great of a person he was and the good memories. those are the stories his family would like to hear. All I want everyone who reads this story and these comments to remember is that he was a son, brother, and friend to many people. he died for you to have the freedoms you take for granted every day. He was a hero and will be missed dearly.


Toner September 2, 2009 11:19 pm (Pacific time)

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.


Stephanie September 2, 2009 4:55 pm (Pacific time)

Taylor is a hero, and I know he will be missed. Thank you :)


Burns September 1, 2009 10:02 pm (Pacific time)

I went to basic with Marks also. He was a great guy and soldier, and I know he will truly be missed. His family and other loved ones are in my prayers.


Anonymous September 1, 2009 9:02 pm (Pacific time)

I went to Basic Training wit Marks he was soo sweet and cool to talk to him I will keep Marks family in my prayer


Steve Lacey September 1, 2009 5:24 pm (Pacific time)

19 and he died to protect corporate oil interests. Effed. Obama needs to wake up and smell the bloodstains.


S. August 31, 2009 9:08 pm (Pacific time)

He was not forced into this. I love him, and miss him more than he would have ever believed. He was not afraid, and he wanted this. He died doing what he loved, where he wanted to be. In no way is anyone under fault.


sdfjsdj August 31, 2009 9:12 pm (Pacific time)

He died doing the thigns he loved.


Keelie August 31, 2009 2:57 pm (Pacific time)

Mr Obama’s war (he is the CIC and is sending more troops there), necessary or not, will be hard to win, and impossible without greater expense of lives and money. Withdrawal, meanwhile, involves great dangers of its own. To complete the president’s quandary, his rationale for the war is unconvincing and, as the polls confirm, his strongest opposition comes from his own party. The Afghanistan war is necessary, says Mr Obama, to deny al-Qaeda a sanctuary. But analysts point out that al-Qaeda’s leadership is no longer there: it has moved to Pakistan. The ungoverned areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan are anyway not the only such regions in the world. Why put 68,000 troops in Afghanistan and leave other plausible terrorist havens, such as Somalia, to their own devices?


Vic August 31, 2009 2:02 pm (Pacific time)

May God somehow comfort the family of this young man.... I am not trying to politicize anything...but when I see this guys picture...he looks so young to me..it makes me furious that this had to happen. The way I see it, there had better be a damn clear objective that is understood and accepted by a majority of the American people to even begin to justify this kind of sacrifice. No one is demeaning or belittling this human being's sacrifice except those who maintain that it cannot be discussed. Perhaps , as previous posters have pointed out, the discussion may somehow stop this from being repeated over and over. That is my hope....my "agenda".


Scott August 31, 2009 1:32 pm (Pacific time)

My condolences and respects to PFC Marks' family and friends. There are plenty of political topic articles here at S-N for you critics to make your points in, so why not just let this one be.


Vic August 31, 2009 7:35 am (Pacific time)

Wow, the warmongers are touchy...now to even talk about the reason a soldier died will get attacks and lies from you haters. I guess it is OK to lie our way into a phoney war for oil and drug money, but you better not question it when a young man dies as a result.. There will be many more deaths like this, anyone who doesnt like it had just better keep their mouth shut and their head in the sand...we dont need no stinkin questions...


Trujillo August 31, 2009 12:11 am (Pacific time)

I went to Advanced Individual Training with PFC Marks, I was his squad leader and his friend, I remember we would order pizza and hangout in the barracks and he was in my class, he was a smart and cool guy, I am sorry for his death, You will be missed buddy


Bryan L. August 30, 2009 8:47 pm (Pacific time)

On behalf of the Patriot Guard Riders, it is with great sadness I offer our condolences to the family and friends of Spc. Marks. Taylor is a hero and I would be honored to stand for him


Civ August 30, 2009 6:12 pm (Pacific time)

You know what we call those that live off the blood and sacrifice of others? Move to Mexico, we don't want you here...

Editor: Speak for yourself and keep your comments off important stories like this, will you?


Anonymous August 30, 2009 5:47 pm (Pacific time)

Hi Jason. I respect you for giving. I would like to hear more in regards to how you are helping. From what I read, and others there I am hearing much different. It seems as tho it depends where in Iraq you are? Malaria, unclean water, etc. It seems, as tho, the military industrial complex does small things, in small areas, that seem positive, while the rest of the country is in chaos. Please explain, in what part of Iraq you are? Just to say you are doing something good, without giving the overall description does not seem to help much. Please explain how, exactly you are helping. thanks. I look forward to your reply, I like to learn truth. thanks.


Anonymous August 30, 2009 3:06 pm (Pacific time)

I feel VERY bad for those who die in the middle east. many middle east innocent civilians died also. Yes, I understand how delicate this situation is, and dont mean to be non-sympathetic. But, what about next month, when we see 100 more dead? Be sympathetic and quiet to those who have died, so that more can die? Please, see my side of this also. I dont want more to die. It has already been proven, that Iraq was no threat, and it is being proven now, that Afghanistan is all about making money off drugs and oil pipelines. Did these kids die senselessly? I believe so. But, if I shut up, so that I do not hurt the feelings of the families who lost loved ones, more will die for the same reason. I simply cannot do that. My apologies to the families who lost loved ones, and probably hate me for saying this, I am only saying this so that more will not die because they are being lied to. Sorry, I really am. Truth? I spend more time praying for the families who have lost loved ones, than I do advocating against the wars.


jason August 30, 2009 12:42 pm (Pacific time)

Too the families of Sergeant Earl D. Werner and Private First Class Taylor D. Marks i just wanted to say im very sorry. And for Spc. Reid Walch i hope your recovery is fast. im in iraq right now with the 41st BCT. this is my thired deployment with the oregon nationa guard. i think what we are doing over here is a good thing but most people at home think we should be hold out and that the wrong mind set to have. unless u have been here and see the good thing coming out us use being here u have no room to talk.


Larry August 30, 2009 11:46 am (Pacific time)

I met Taylor a few years ago and am friends with his father. I have always been against this "War" and now it is real. I can't say how this was such a waste because I don't want to diminish Taylor's commitment to his country and education. I know there's nothing to say that can help, but my heart felt sympathy goes out to all of his family and friends.


Kymberly August 30, 2009 9:35 am (Pacific time)

Give me a break! My husband is over there with the same group Taylor is with PROUDLY serving hisyour country. Have some respect for our soldiers over there. They knew when they enlisted what they could possibly be doing and went to Iraq knowing the risks (they could have opted out of the deployment but chose not too). As a spouse of one serving it makes me angry to see all this anti stuff. We made the choice to protect your rights. Have respect for those who give their life for yours. To Taylor's family...our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless.


Isolde August 30, 2009 9:31 am (Pacific time)

My son serves with Marks in the 41st. He wrote a beautiful essay on how much he loved this man. I publicly apologize for the number of times I took our sacrifices for granted. At this moment, I feel the depth of the sorrow.


Anonymous August 30, 2009 9:08 am (Pacific time)

enough with the political statements. how about a little compassion for the families instead


Anonymous August 30, 2009 2:26 am (Pacific time)

I just met his sister last year....I remember her talking about him. God bless his family and help them through. I'm at tears because I just heard this news recently and I just connected the dots with her...


Anonymous August 29, 2009 9:47 pm (Pacific time)

again, I ask, when I was advocating against the bush wars, I had liberal democrats by my side. WHERE ARE YOU NOW?


B. August 29, 2009 9:44 pm (Pacific time)

I loved Taylor, and he died doing the things loved. He was such a bright kid, and he chose the Guard. He went into this with open eyes, and a heart for what needed to be done. Please don't cheapen his memory by turning this into a forum to promote your own agenda.


Vic August 29, 2009 2:16 pm (Pacific time)

Hey Gov kulongoski...how does it feel to be responsible for yet another Guard death? YOU could have refused to mobilize the Oregon Guard pending definition of the "national emergency" that handed our Guard over to the Feds. What exactly IS the national emergency that is requiring so much sacrifice? The Caspian Sea pipeline? More profits for Boeing, Raytheon, Halliburton et al ? We feel for this family and this young man who had his whole life ahead of him. How much more of this do we take? When do we get the "change" we voted for? The only thing that is changing is the names of the dead and bereaved.


Daniel August 29, 2009 12:25 pm (Pacific time)

Another sad and tragic loss for this young mans family and to Oregon .


Chris August 29, 2009 11:59 am (Pacific time)

Hey, elected officials. Let's get these beautiful kids out of that hell. These families and friends of the war dead should never pay taxes again, in memoriam

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