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Late sheriff will get honors at Arlington




Ben Buster Taylor of Millstone, a highly-decorated veteran and a former Letcher County sheriff, died December 12 at the age of 71 after a long battle with cancer.

His ashes will be buried with full military honors January 4 at Arlington National Cemetery.

At Letcher County’s annual Veterans Day celebration this year, the day of November 10 was declared “Ben B. Taylor Day” in honor of the retired sergeant major with the United States Army Special Forces, known also as the Green Berets.

Letcher County Judge/Executive Jim Ward said of Taylor, who was unable to attend the event, he “bravely served his country for over 20 years through two wars and remains today as one of the county’s most highly decorated war veterans.”

Taylor served in both Korea and Vietnam and was one of the first regular Army soldiers to join the Special Forces. Taylor represented the Green Berets as a pallbearer during the funeral of former President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in November 1963. His rank of sergeant major is the highest an enlisted person can hold in the U.S. Army.

After leaving the military, Taylor owned and operated a trucking company before being elected Sheriff of Letcher County.

In 2004 he established the Letcher County Veterans Memorial Museum. He spent countless hours gathering military-related memorabilia for the museum so community members can view some of the military history of the county.

“I wanted to have something to show Letcher Countians about veterans of this county,” Taylor told The Mountain Eagle in August 2004.


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