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Hometown honors soldier killed in friendly fire incident

Jun. 24, 2014 - 10:45AM   |  
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ORLAND PARK, ILL. — A funeral is planned in suburban Chicago for a 19-year-old Mokena soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.

Army Pfc. Aaron Toppen was one of five American service members killed this month when a U.S. airstrike was called to help defend against a Taliban ambush. His funeral will be Tuesday in Orland Park.

WLS-TV in Chicago reports Gov. Pat Quinn attended Toppen’s wake on Monday. Quinn called Toppen “a special hero who had a servant’s heart.” Childhood friend Jason Boyda of Mokena says “there wasn’t a single person who didn’t like him.”

On Saturday, cars and motorcycles decorated with American flags took part in a procession to accompany Toppen’s remains after his casket arrived at Chicago’s Midway International Airport.

Crowds stood saluting and waving flags along the 20-mile route to Mokena.

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