April 02, 2013

Flags lowered to honor fallen Marine

Under a proclamation signed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, the United States flag and the Illinois flag are to be at half-staff at all State of Illinois facilities in honor of an Illinois soldier killed last week during a March 18 training exercise in Nevada.

Flags are to be flown at half-staff until sunset, Wednesday, April 3, in honor of U.S. Marine Cpl. Aaron J. Ripperda of Highland.

Reports said Ripperda, 26,  was one of seven soldiers to die in the mortar blast during a live-fire training exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot in western Nevada.

Ripperda spent nearly five years with the U.S. Marine Corps.  Reports state Ripperda, a 2005 graduate of Highland High School, was on his last mission before returning to Camp Lejune, N.C., to begin his discharge process.  Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Ripperda was accepted at SIU Edwardsville to pursue a degree in business.