SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Marine Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover’s best friend, Kayleigh Snedeger, remembers when she met him in middle school, she knew she would have a friend for life.
Hoover, 31, was one of 13 U.S. military service members killed in the bombing near the Kabul, Afghanistan airport.
Hoover was born and raised in Utah and always wanted to serve our country, Snedeger shares.
Snedeger said she sat next to him in class, which was odd because it was usually arranged by last names; possibly fate at its finest, because since then, they have been best friends.
She wants him to be remembered as a hero and as someone who would do anything to fight for this country.
“I just want the world to know who he was and just that he is a hero,” says Snedeger.
Flags continue to fly at half-staff, at least until Monday, remembering Hoover and the 12 other service members who were killed in the bombing.
Snedeger tells ABC4 she received a phone call in the middle of the night on Thursday from Hoover’s girlfriend of two years, Nicole.
The phone call was a blur to her and she has still not truly processed his death yet.
“We, her and I, had talked earlier in the day and we knew that it was a possibility, but I mean he’s been gone so many times and he’s always come home, so it’s like it wasn’t him,” says Snedeger. “It wasn’t him and then it was him.”
Hoover was already stationed overseas, but three and a half weeks ago was sent to Kabul, Afghanistan for his third tour there.
Snedger remembers how Hoover wanted to be in service for life, that is until he met Nicole.
She added they were bound to get married and start a family.
“I just want the world to know he was the best guy and he would’ve done anything for anybody and I just don’t want people to forget him and that’s all I can ask,” Snedeger says.
Hoover is survived by his parents and his two younger sisters.
Snedeger remembers when her father passed away, Hoover took the first flight home to be with her and comfort her.
She truly believes there is nobody else in the world like him.
On Sunday, there will be a memorial vigil held at the Utah State Capitol remembering Hoover at 8:30 p.m.