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 ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Simon Bruty for OIS / IOC Handout via Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Impeachment Trial, Virtual Singer, Bat Clinic

    The annual Women’s March in New York City, the Tour Down Under cycling event in Australia, a firefighting robot in India, anti-government protests in Iraq, the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in Switzerland, and much more.

  • Carl Court / Getty

    Juhyo: The Snow Monsters on Japan’s Mount Zao

    Windblown ice and snow build up hulking shapes on the trees atop Mount Zao.

  • Eloisa Lopez / Reuters

    The Colorless Landscape Around Taal Volcano

    In the Philippines, parts of the landscape near Taal have gone completely gray, covered in a blanket of volcanic ash.

  • Stephanie Keith / Reuters

    Photos From the Pro-gun Rally in Virginia

    Thousands gathered around Virginia’s state capitol to protest proposed gun-control laws.