Families Mourn 7 Marines Killed in Training Exercise

3:38 PM, Mar 20, 2013   |    comments
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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.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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