The Final Trip Home of Pfc. Aaron Toppen

On June 9, 2014, during a security operation in southern Afghanistan, a unit of U.S. and Afghan soldiers was hit by a friendly fire airstrike, killing five Americans and one Afghan. One of the Americans was 19-year-old Private First Class Aaron Toppen, of Mokena, Illinois. A series of memorials and transfers then began, to return his body home to the U.S. for burial -- a sequence of events carried out some 2,200 times since the start of the war in Afghanistan. Once his remains arrived in Chicago, Getty Images photographer Scott Olson stayed with the family through the processions, visitations, services, and burial, documenting the final journey of one of the most recent soldiers to have died in Afghanistan. Pfc. Toppen, who had always wanted to join the Army, signed on last July, and had only arrived in Afghanistan this March. Today's entry is part of the ongoing series here on Afghanistan.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.
Jump to Comments

Most Recent

  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015

    The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide, opened for entries on January 5, 2015, and will stay open until February 26. The owners and sponsors have been kind enough to share the following 10 finalists from last year's competition.

  • China Daily/Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 1/24-1/30

    This week we have images of lemurs in China, a Dalek in a pool in the UK, the blizzard that hit the U.S. east coast, the liberation of Kobani in Syria, a rare megamouth shark, a wine cork portrait of the King and Queen of Spain, a Zanzibari fisherman, and much more.

  • Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

    Returning Syrian Kurds Find Recaptured Kobani in Ruins

    Late last year, after months of assault by ISIS militants, many had given up the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani as lost. The fight continued through the winter, until monitors and spokesmen for the the Kurdish People's Protection Unit announced earlier this week that ISIS forces had been driven from Kobani.

  • Maj. James Dalglish/AP

    On This Day: An Air Battle Over Belgium in 1945

    Seventy years ago, on January 27, 1945, a German pilot was captured on film after hastily exiting his damaged plane, hurtling through the air, legs outstretched, high above the frigid landscape of Belgium.

Join the Discussion