Nicole Weiss was engaged to be married, but her fiancé was killed in the suicide attack at the Kabul airport last month.
She spoke out to honor his memory.
“In and out of uniform, he’s a protector.”
Weiss says she’d never met anyone like Taylor Hoover. He was part goofball, part animal lover, but above all, a marine.
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“He was here for what was right, and he was here for what was just, and that’s how he lived his life,” she said.
Staff Sergeant Hoover was on his third tour of Afghanistan when the order to evacuate the country was announced.
“He Facetimed me at 3:30 in the morning and said I'll be home soon. Pray for me and my men and women, and that was it,” Weiss said.
The Camp Pendleton Marine was assigned to the Kabul airport on the night two suicide bombers attacked the crowds trying to flee and where 13 servicemen and women were killed.
Weiss needed to be with her military family, so she went to a vigil that night on the base to comfort others.
“I was in communication with his mom all day. We heard no news is good news…”
Then his mother called again, and she said, “Baby, he loves you. Taylor was killed tonight.”
“I don't remember much, just collapsing to the floor. That was the worst phone call,” Weiss said.
She says the memories of their life in Orange County will forever bind them, a life in which there will be no wedding.
“I know in my heart he died doing what his purpose was, helping those families, men and women and children escape,” she said.
Staff Sergeant Hoover lived in Aliso Viejo for just a few years, but Weiss says she is hearing from strangers who want to honor him, so they will do that on Sunday afternoon.
He will be laid to rest at the National Cemetery in Arlington, a place she believes Hoover would want to be, surrounded by other heroes.
The vigil to honor Hoover will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Aliso Viejo Town Center.