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Profiles of 7 Marines killed in Nevada explosion

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 21, 2013 at 3:04 pm •  Published: March 21, 2013
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A mortar shell explosion Monday at an Army depot in Hawthorne, Nev., killed seven Marines and injured eight other servicemen. Here are profiles of the victims:

AARON RIPPERDA, 26

Ripperda was looking forward to going back to college and wanted to "get on with his life," his father, Kent Ripperda, told The Associated Press.

Joining the Marines never had been Aaron Ripperda's first choice after his 2005 graduation from Highland High School, his father said. Ripperda did some college work in Chicago before graduating from a St. Louis culinary school, only to find the job market in that field flat.

Aaron Ripperda saw joining the military as a way to see the world, and felt he had a calling to join the Marines, his father said.

JOSH TAYLOR, 21

Marine Lance Cpl. Taylor, who worked with mortars and served tours in Afghanistan and Kuwait, had dreamed being in the Corps since watching the History Channel as a boy. He joined right after graduating from a high school in Marietta, Ohio, in 2010.

Taylor's grandfather, Larry Stephens, said Taylor was engaged to be married, with a wedding planned for May.

His fiancee's father called him an exceptional person.

"You don't meet many young men like him today," Keith Malone told The Marietta Times. "He was respectful to everyone, very humble, just happy, happy all the time."

Taylor is also survived by three sisters and a brother.

ROGER MUCHNICK, 23

Muchnick, who'd been in the Marines for about three years, had served in Afghanistan and was considering returning to college after his enlistment was up. He played high school lacrosse and football in Westport, Conn., and later played lacrosse at Eastern Connecticut State University, where he studied business.

In a biography on the university's website, Muchnick said the one thing he would like to do before he died was "live," and his most embarrassing moment was getting caught lip-synching in a school talent show.

"He was at the top of his game when this happened," said his grandfather, Jerome Muchnick. "You can't imagine losing a very handsome, 23-year-old grandson who was vital and loving."

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