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Highland in Madison County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Corporal Aaron Joel Ripperda

Operation Enduring Freedom

— 1st Battalion, 9th Marines —

 
 
Corporal Aaron Joel Ripperda Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, December 8, 2021
1. Corporal Aaron Joel Ripperda Marker
Inscription.  
January 8, 1987 to March 18, 2013

Aaron Ripperda was born to Kent and Tina Ripperda. Kind, rambunctious and enthusiastic, he could easily make his sister Kendall laugh. Aaron added those in need early in his school life, shaping his humanitarianism. He graduated from Highland High School with honors.

Aaron majored in Sociology and minored in Archaeology at St. Xavier University before transferring to SIUE. Changing ambitions, he graduated with an Associate degree in Culinary Arts and Fine Dining from L'Ecole Culinaire. He excelled in being a chef, and enjoyed entertaining loved ones with his cooking skills.

Aaron's interests and friendships were heartfelt and numerous. Yet, he yearned to be a Marine. He was deployed twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom: first to Haiti for humanitarian relief, and to the Middle East and Africa; second, to Afghanistan. Aaron experienced 13 different countries and fed children on three continents. Between deployments, Aaron taught himself to sail and play the piano.

Aaron was killed on the night of March 18, 2013, due to a mortar misfire during a training
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exercise in Hawthorne, NV. This accident left seven Marines dead and eight injured.

Aaron leaves a legacy of love, adventure and friendship. Of his numerous awards, the one most indicative of his character is the United States Marine Corps Meritorious Mast for Outstanding Service. This award honors his duties as a Team Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader and Vehicle Commander in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, in which he conducted himself courageously and professionally through an improvised Explosive Device strike on his vehicle.
 
Topics. This memorial is listed in this topic list: War, Afghanistan. A significant historical date for this entry is January 8, 1987.
 
Location. 38° 44.976′ N, 89° 39.27′ W. Marker is in Highland, Illinois, in Madison County. Memorial is at the intersection of Veterans Honor Parkway and Trestle Road, on the right when traveling north on Veterans Honor Parkway. Marker is located at Dennis H. Rinderer Park, on a walking trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2548 Veterans Honor Pkwy, Highland IL 62249, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dennis H. Rinderer (within shouting distance of this marker); Sergeant 1st Class Gary J. Vasquez (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); War Memorial (about 500 feet away); Highland POWs (about 600 feet away);
Corporal Aaron Joel Ripperda Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, December 8, 2021
2. Corporal Aaron Joel Ripperda Marker
Sergeant Junior Floyd Roniger (approx. 0.2 miles away); Corporal Richard A. Hoffmann (approx. 0.3 miles away); Highland (approx. one mile away); Louis Latzer Monument (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Highland.
 
Regarding Corporal Aaron Joel Ripperda. Ripperda and the seven other Marines that were killed in that accident were honored with a service at Arlington National Cemetery on March 17, 2014. A portion of Illinois Highway 143 in Highland is named the Cpl. Aaron J. Ripperda Memorial Highway.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 8, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 285 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 8, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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Mar. 3, 2024