RIP Talon Haskett: Motorcade From Salt Lake City to Pocatello Honors Passing of Idaho Soldier

To honor the service and memory of a young soldier born in Pocatello who unexpectedly passed away recently, a police motorcade escorted his body from Salt Lake City to Pocatello Wednesday night.

Talon Haskett, 24, who died March 12 from complications resulting from cardiac arrest, was stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, while on active duty with the United States Army.

Haskett grew up with a fearless love of life, jumping at opportunities as a young boy to try new experiences. At the age of 6, his father, Thomas Haskett, hid bottle caps under his boot heels so he could brave a Disneyland rollercoaster that he was slightly too short to ride.

“He was very excited to do new things,” Thomas said. “He was never afraid of any activity of any kind. He jumped at the first chance to go hiking or to go hunting. I would take him with me often to go caving. That’s one of my passions. He really enjoyed crawling in the dirt and in the dark. That was never a problem. He spent a lot of time out on a boat with myself and my father and at a very young age he was happy to jump in the water, it didn’t matter how cold it was he was never afraid and always excited to try something new.”

That stalwart zeal for life translated to his passion for sports during his early teens and into adulthood. From the age of 12, Thomas coached his son in soccer where the younger Haskett thrived in the competitive atmosphere. Talon would later expand into playing lacrosse and ultimately into football where he was immediately impactful in the local youth football programs.

Talon played varsity football at Pocatello High School for three years at linebacker, moving into middle linebacker his junior and senior year where he thrived and set himself apart on the field. Talon worked hard and loved to bring an intense energy that could be felt even in the practices. Despite his team not making the playoffs in his final year he still received second team all-state honors for his accomplishments.

During his time at Pocatello High School, he was also dedicated to his studies, achieving a 4.0 GPA and following his family members as a fifth-generation Pocatello High graduate.

After graduating, Talon was asked to join the University of Idaho as a preferred walk-on to further his academic studies and allow him to pursue his football talents. Talon also received a full ride Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps scholarship. At the time, Talon was studying for an engineering degree, inspired to be a tank operator like his father. Because of the four or more years it would take to complete the degree, Talon dropped out of the ROTC and enlisted in the Army.

“He was able to become a combat engineer which he grew to love, with the route clearance and the explosives that were involved in the breaching operations,” Thomas said. “It fit in with his desire to be on the leading edge, to be part of action or in the action. Throughout his entire life he grew up playing Army with all the uniforms, the guns and everything that were common with young boys, but even more so with my family who had extended cousins who were heavily involved as well. That was very much in his core.”

Once Talon completed basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he was stationed at Fort Bragg to an airborne combat engineering unit. In June 2022, Talon had the opportunity to get his airborne jump certification.

“That was really special,” Thomas said. “It fits right there with love of life and love of adventure and the idea of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, which he couldn’t wait to do. He thrived doing it.”

Talon’s dedication to overcoming challenges put in front of him was noticed quickly and he was frequently asked to help with extra duties and to be on competition teams where they evaluate the best platoons across the battalions. He was often someone that the other soldiers could depend on to get things done without question and he was always willing to volunteer.

Talon was nearing the end of his contract with the Army with plans to finish his education in college when calamity suddenly struck.

Tragically, during his time at Fort Bragg, Talon passed away after complications resulting from cardiac arrest. Due to Army procedure to clear him for travel it took two weeks to ready the body for escort. Initially, Thomas and the rest of the family tried to get Talon’s body flown into Pocatello or Idaho Falls but it never materialized. Thankfully, with the help of Wilks Funeral Home and its efforts with collaboration, a procession and escort were organized on his journey from Salt Lake City to Pocatello.

Utah Highway Patrol transported Talon to the border of Idaho where the Idaho State Police then continued the escort. As the procession neared Chubbuck on its way to Wilks Funeral Home, the Chubbuck Police provided the escort through the rest of the city. Yellow ribbons were placed across trees and fence posts by friends in the families’ neighborhood as an additional way to honor Talon’s memory.

Those memories and the quality time spent with Talon will be cherished by his family and friends forever. Talon never passed up on opportunity to befriend someone new and was proud of his three siblings who went on missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Talon loved his family and was proud of his service in the military. Talon cared greatly for the community in Pocatello.

Thomas and his family also want to relay their appreciation and gratitude toward the community, the care the Army has provided and the representatives and liaisons that helped them through this difficult time.

“We as a family very much have great faith in the knowledge that we will be able to be with him again,” Thomas said. “That’s a special part of our relationship with him and what we believe in.”

For those that remember Talon best, they will recant his benevolence, his bravery and his willingness to live life to the fullest.

A viewing will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Wilks Funeral Home. Funeral services begin at 1 p.m. at the LDS church at 4890 Whitaker Rd. in Chubbuck. The burial will follow at the Mountain View Cemetery at 1520 S. Fifth Ave. in Pocatello. The services will be open to everyone and military honors will be performed.

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