KIA August 6, 2011
Operation Enduring Freedom
Assigned to an East-Coast based SEAL team
On August 6, 2011, a CH-47 Chinook military helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, was shot down while transporting a Quick Reaction Force team attempting to reinforce an engaged unit of Army Rangers. The resulting crash killed all 38 people on board — 22 Navy SEALs and Naval Special Warfare support personnel, three Air Force Special Operations forces, five Army National Guard and Army Reserve crewmen, seven Afghan commandos, and one Afghan interpreter — as well as a U.S. military working dog. This is considered the worst loss of U.S Military life in the Afghanistan campaign, surpassing Operation Red Wings in 2005.
After serving in SEAL Team One for many years, in May 2010 Special Operations Chief Vaughn began rigorous selection and training with Naval Special Warfare Development Group. He endured several months of the most rigorous training offered in the military and upon successful completion reported to Development and Evaluation Squadron Three in December 2010. Aaron completed numerous deployments around the world, including several combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.
On the personal side, Aaron gave his life to Christ at a very young age and, because of that, had a discernment that was uncharacteristic of a young boy, including a keen ability to see the world in black and white. He was never afraid to recognize or call out evil. By the time he was eight years old, he began telling anyone who would listen, “One day I’m going to be a Navy SEAL.” He overcame unimaginable odds to achieve that dream.
Growing up on a small farm in West Tennessee, he loved fishing, hunting, football, 4-wheeling, mudding, and later, after moving to Florida, surfing. But most of all…he loved his God, his family, and his country. Aaron never took for granted the fact that he had been blessed enough to have been born in the United States of America – Land of the Free.
SO1 (SEAL) Aaron Vaughn was 30 years old from Stewart, Florida
Original portrait presented November 14, 2013 to his parents during a special event hosted by the Executives in Action organization and held in Dallas, Texas