Aaron Vaughn pictured with his 2-month-old baby girl Chamberlyn born in June. Vaughn's unit deployed to Afghanistan two weeks after Chamberlyn's birth.
As children, we are constantly asked what we want to be when we grow up. For Aaron Carson Vaughn the answer was a no-brainer. Even at a very young age Vaughn always wanted to join the Navy; he wanted to be a SEAL. At 6 feet, 4 inches tall and a muscular 200 pounds, Vaughn was what you would picture a Navy SEAL to be. An athlete in high school and an avid hunter, Vaughn was the picture-perfect warrior.
In the early-morning hours on Saturday, Aug. 6, 30 American service members, a civilian interpreter and seven Afghan commandos lost their lives when their CH-47 Chinook crashed in eastern Afghanistan. Vaughn was among the 30 American fatalities. A native of Obion County he was stationed out of Virginia Beach, Va. with his wife of four years, Kimberly, and his two children: Reagan, 2, and 2-month-old daughter, Chamberlyn.
Kimberly and Aaron Vaughn pictured in an undated photo with their son, Reagan.
The 22 SEALs in the crash were part of SEAL Team 6, the elite Navy unit most famously tied to the killing of Osama Bin Laden on May 1, 2011. According to unconfirmed AP reports, the team was returning from providing assistance to a group of Army Rangers that had found themselves under enemy fire. The scene must have been nothing new for Vaughn who enlisted in the Navy on his 21st birthday after the Sept. 11 attacks. Vaughn went on to join the SEALs right out of boot camp and was a highly decorated sailor by the time he joined the elite SEAL Team 6 in 2010, serving in several tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Vaughn's paternal grandmother, Geneva Vaughn says that she wants everyone to remember her grandson as a Christian first and foremost. She said she has no doubt that her grandson is secure in God's love today. Geneva Vaughn spoke as the family made the trip to Dover, Del. to receive Aaron Vaughn's body.
"He always stood firm in his conviction that he wanted to be a Navy SEAL," said Geneva Vaughn. "He was a warrior but yet he was a gentle man. He loved to play with his little boy and he was a wonderful father."
From left, Kimberly Vaughn, Bill Vaughn (Aaron's father holding Reagan Vaughn), Karen Vaughn (Aaron's mother), and Aaron Vaughn shortly after Reagan's birth.
Rep. Bill Sanderson, whose district includes that of Obion County, confirmed to the State Gazette that flags would fly at half-staff in the state capitol on the day of Vaughn's funeral to honor him. Aaron Vaughn is a graduate of Obion County Central High School and is the son of Bill and Karen Vaughn and the grandson of Bill and Geneva Vaughn of Union City, Tenn.