PFC Aaron Toppen
On Monday, June 9, 2014 Mokena lost an American hero. PFC Aaron Toppen grew up in Mokena, attended Mokena Public School District #159 and graduated from Lincoln Way East High School in 2013. From a young age, PFC Aaron Toppen was incredibly patriotic and dreamed of following in the footsteps of both his maternal and paternal grandfathers by enlisting in the military to serve the Country he loved. Despite the risk, but with the support of his family, PFC Aaron Toppen followed his dream and was sworn into the United States Army in July 2013 where he received training at Fort Benning, Georgia therafter reporting to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team in Colorado. PFC Aaron Toppen was deployed to Afghanistan in March 2014 firm in his belief that “I stand between the innocent and harm not because I should…but because I can”. While serving his Country with pride, honor and bravery, PFC Aaron Toppen made the ultimate sacrifice for his Country and lost his life during a joint operation of Afghan and NATO forces in the Arghandab District of southern Zabul province.
PFC Aaron Toppen has been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the NATO Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge and his recommended for the Medal of Valor.