Berne Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

By Maureen Mespell
By Rachel Martin
By Scott Sarvay

July 16, 2012 Updated Jul 23, 2012 at 7:57 AM EDT

BERNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – SPC Nick Taylor of Berne, lost his life while serving in Afghanistan.

Nick Taylor, 20, died Sunday night while serving in Afghanistan, but it is not known how he died.

Indiana’s NewsCenter went to Berne Monday night to talk with residents about the type of man, Taylor was. Berne is a small community of 4,200 people. Most of the people INC spoke with say they don’t know Taylor personally, but they all knew of him.

Taylor is the son of Berne's police chief, Tim Taylor. He was an Army Specialist in combat engineering through a unit in Valparaiso, Ind., and graduated from South Adams Jr. Sr. High School in 2010.

Officer Jim Newbold, Assistant Police Chief says Taylor was an outstanding athlete and competed in football, wrestling, and track.

“He was a very popular young man,” said Officer Newbold.

Between basic training and his deployment to Afghanistan last September, Taylor worked at Smith Brothers Furniture, Inc. with his mother, Stephanie. Matt Lehman worked with the Taylors, and describes Nick as a “people magnet” and a very hard worker.

“He was very well thought of, highly respected, and he was kind of a ‘people magnet,’” said Lehman. “Whenever you saw him he had a big smile and people were just naturally attracted to him.”

Officer Newbold also served in the military. He says knowing Nick died serving our country means a lot. “For the young men and women that do serve our country, I can't say enough about them. As for Nick, I'm kind of at a loss for words,” he said.

Taylor served in Afghanistan for about 10 months, and was scheduled to come home in Sept. Officer Newbold says he’s reached out to the family, but hasn't heard from them. He says everyone in town is "in shock" over the news.

The Mayor of Berne announced Tuesday that flags will be flown half-staff the day of the funeral. Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.

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