Council approves monument to fallen soldiers
Taylor’s funeral to be held Thursday
By DAN PARSONS
The body of Army Spc. Joel Taylor was returned home Monday morning. Taylor, 20, was killed June 24 by a roadside bomb while serving on his first tour in Iraq.
Taylor’s body arrived around 9 a.m. at Pitt-Greenville Regional Airport to full military honors. Taylor’s father, Scottie, and older brother, Spc. John Scott Taylor, with the 82nd Airborne Division, were present in uniform along with other members of the family as the fallen Pinetown native and Northside High School graduate was transported from the plane to a motorcade that would carry him to a Beaufort County funeral home.
Taylor was the son of Karen Newman and Scottie Taylor, a captain with the Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS-Inspections Department.
Taylor’s father served four years in the Navy until he was honorably discharged in 1979. He said he encouraged both of his sons to serve in the military.
The plane carrying Taylor’s body was supposed to have landed at Warren Field Airport but was diverted to Greenville during the early morning. The plane was experiencing braking issues and Warren Field was too short for the plane to land safely, said Taylor’s father.
Washington Fire Chief Jimmy Davis and several members of the fire department were waiting for the plane at Warren Field to escort Taylor’s body to a funeral home.
Davis sent two support vehicles to Greenville when he was made aware of the change of venue, he said. The Washington Fire Department vehicles joined vehicles from the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and the Greenville Police Department to the Beaufort County line where they were met by a fire engine from the Washington Fire Department, Davis said.
The motorcade then processed on U.S. Highway 264 with Taylor’s body to Paul Funeral Home in Washington.
Taylor was a specialist with the First Squadron, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. He joined the Army after graduating from high school. He had been in the service for about two years, according to his brother.
A funeral for Taylor is planned at 3 p.m. Thursday at the First Church of Christ Life Center in Washington. Burial with full military honors will be held at a family cemetery near Taylor’s home on N.C. Highway 32 in Pinetown. Members of the Washington Fire Department will serve as pallbearers at the funeral.