Families mourn 7 Marines killed in training exercise


Associated Press

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 20 at 1:03 PM

HAWTHORNE, Nev. (AP) — Family members are offering more details about the seven Marines who were killed Monday night when a mortar shell exploded during a training exercise at a Nevada ammunition depot.

The mother of Pfc. Josh Martino of Pennsylvania says he had dreamed of being in the Marines since boyhood, and was preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan. The 19-year-old had hoped to marry his fiancée later this year.

An aunt says Aaron Ripperda of Highland, Ill., had joined the Marines for a chance to explore the world. She tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he was scheduled to come home in May.

Families have also confirmed the deaths of Marines from Ohio and Connecticut. They were based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Marine officers from that base are now in Nevada to try to determine what caused the accident. In addition to the seven men who were killed, eight others were injured.

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APPHOTO PX101: Pfc. Josh Martino is seen in this undated photo provided by his brother Tony Perry. Martino, 19, a native of Dubois, Pa., was killed along with six others by an explosion during a training exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada Monday March 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Tony Perry) (20 Mar 2013)

<<APPHOTO PX101 (03/20/13)>>

APPHOTO FX110: Bunkers are seen at the Hawthorne Army Depot on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, where seven Marines were killed and several others seriously injured in a training accident Monday night, about 150 miles southeast of Reno in Nevada's high desert. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner) (19 Mar 2013)

<<APPHOTO FX110 (03/19/13)>>