A Severna Park High School graduate was among seven Marines killed during a training exercise Monday in Nevada.
Lance Cpl. Taylor Wild, 21, was killed in a training event during which a mortar round exploded inside an artillery tube, according to his obituary. Marine Corps officials said that the incident occurred shortly before 10 p.m. Monday at Hawthorne Army Depot, NV.
“The Marines were conducting live fire and maneuver training at the Hawthorne army depot,” Brigadier General Jim Lukeman said. “A (60mm) mortar round exploded in the mortar tube, causing the deaths of seven and injuring (now eight) others. We don’t know yet what caused this malfunction.”
In a press release, Major General Raymond C. Fox issued prayers for the affected family members.
“We send our prayers and condolences to the families of Marines involved in this tragic incident. We remain focused on ensuring that they are supported through this difficult time,” Fox said. “We mourn their loss, and it is with heavy hearts we remember their courage and sacrifice.”
Patch interviewed Wild's family in November 2012, and his mother Betz spoke about how the family was coping with Taylor's third straight deployment during the holidays.
“We’re such a family of traditions,” Betz said at the time, tears filling her eyes. “It is hard that he is half a world away knowing what we are doing and knowing he is missing it.”
Taylor graduated from SPHS in 2010 and left for boot camp in October of that year. Taylor's father, now a police officer in Anne Arundel County, was in the Air Force Reserves, and both of Taylor's grandparents also served in the military.
Taylor was deployed to Afghanistan after boot camp, where he spent seven months in what his mother called a rough part of the country.
In 2011, Taylor returned home to a grateful family. At the time, his mother recalled how much he had missed being in his home country.
“I remember his face walking out the airport when we picked him up and we were on like a field and he just stopped,” Betz told Patch in November. “He was like, ‘Do you know how long it has been since I have walked on grass?’ It was a comfort to him.”
- Local Family Copes with Deployment During the Holidays
Correction: This story was updated to reflect the source of information confirming Wild's death.