A Marine from the eastern Madison County community of Highland was among seven killed in a mortar blast Monday in western Nevada.  26-year-old Aaron Ripperda was killed during a nighttime live-ammunition training exercise, when a 60-mm mortar round exploded in the launch tube.  

The victims of the blast belonged to the Second Marine Division, an expeditionary combat unit based in Camp Lejeune, N.C.  Ripperda was scheduled to come home in May and had aspired to become a professional chef.

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