ORLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) — 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.