HIGHLAND (AP) — Family and friends are saying their goodbyes in southwestern Illinois to one of seven Marines killed in an explosion during a training exercise last month in Nevada.
Visitation for 26-year-old Cpl. Aaron Ripperda was to be from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Meridith Funeral Home in his hometown of Highland, then again there from 8 to 9:15 on Wednesday immediately before the funeral.
A funeral Mass for Ripperda will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland, east of St. Louis.
Ripperda was a 2005 graduate of Highland High School and enlisted in the Marines three years later. His father says his son expected to return home for good in May and attend Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.