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Mokena Soldier, 19, Killed by Apparent Friendly Fire in Afghanistan

Aaron Toppen was one of five killed Monday.

A 19-year-old Mokena man was one of five killed by friendly fire in southern Afghanistan.

Aaron Toppen died in what could be one of the worst friendly fire incidents involving the United States and coalition troops since the war in Afghanistan began 14 years ago, ABC7 reports. 

Officials stated Toppen's unit had just returned from a security operation in Zabul province's Arghandab district when attacked by insurgents. The U.S. troops were mistakenly hit by their own air strike, according to Reuters.

"The casualties occurred during a security operation when their unit came into contact with enemy forces," the U.S-led coalition said Tuesday. "Tragically, there is the possibility that fratricide may have been involved. The incident is under investigation."

Toppen graduated from Lincoln-Way East High School last year. He departed for Afghanistan in March, a month after the the death of his father Ronald Toppen, Sun-Times Media reports.

"Aaron was a funny, caring, loving kid,” his sister Amanda Gralewski told Sun-Times reporters. “He loved to fish. He loved his friends. He loved being outdoors. He loved his family. He would give the shirt off his back for anyone.”
Denise Burks June 10, 2014 at 06:31 PM
Horrible prayers to all
Deb tp June 10, 2014 at 08:05 PM
Thoughts and Prayers to the Family of this Brave Soldier! Thank you Aaron, Rest in Peace.....
Mike June 10, 2014 at 08:12 PM
So sad...prayers to the family...please, please don't let your children enlist.....then this will end....19...terrible!
Kim McAuliffe June 11, 2014 at 09:30 AM
wonderful family, my heart goes out to all of you.
mokenakid June 11, 2014 at 10:21 AM
Thanx Aaron, God Bless....

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