Taylor Force dedicated his life to the struggle against terrorism, but sadly fell victim to it during Tuesday’s murderous stabbing attack in Jaffa.
The 28-year-old Lubbock, Texas native and US Army veteran had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, where fellow soldiers described him as a role model and “father figure”.
Despite his tours of duty in harm’s way, Force returned to the US unscathed. He was stationed at Fort Hood, in Texas, during two massacres, including the 2009 Fort Hood terror attack perpetrated by Nidal Hassan.
Force was a West Point graduate and served as a Field Artillery Officer.
Friend and soldier David Campos-Contreras was stunned by the news, and noted bitter irony.
“When we were in Afghanistan we fought against terror. We would see the victims of a Taliban attack, and now he’s become a victim of terror,” said Campos-Contreras.
Force was a leader and role model for everyone around him, Campos-Contreras told Walla News.
“He was a father figure, an older brother who’s never wrong, ever,” he said. “He fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and survived, then came to Israel and was killed. I can’t stop thinking about it,” he said, “it’s strange.”
Contrary to initial media reports which claimed Force’s wife was injured in the attack, he was not married.
After completing his service with the US Army, Force enrolled in an MBA program in Vanderbilt University.
Force, who was not Jewish, traveled to Israel as part of his studies to “expand his understanding of global entrepreneurship and also to share his insights and knowledge with start-ups in Israel,” read a statement by Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos.