|Fallen SEAL’s ‘Act(s) of Valor’ part of movie |
|Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:00 pm |
By CHRIS MENEES
Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn
Fallen U.S. Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn made his family proud.
But while he was living, they could never talk much about his often co-vert work and dangerous missions.
Now, with this week’s release of the movie “Act of Valor,” his family will have the unique opportunity to watch Vaughn doing what he loved.
Vaughn, an Obion Coun-ty native, was among the Navy SEALs chosen to be included in filming for “Act of Valor” — which opens in theaters Friday.
The film stars real, active-duty Navy SEALs. Commanders allowed a small, independent film company into their elite ranks five years ago to turn live training exercises into a feature-length movie.
Vaughn will be honored at Saturday night’s showings of “Act of Valor” at Hollywood Showcase in Union City, with a percentage of concession sales to go to the Children of Aaron Vaughn Memorial Fund, according to Vaughn’s paternal grandmother, Geneva Vaughn of Union City.
In addition, Vaughn’s local family members will have a table set up in the lobby and will have memorial bracelets available for sale and order. The bracelets are $5 each and those proceeds also benefit Vaughn’s children’s fund.
Mrs. Vaughn was still awaiting word today on coordinating a similar memorial night for showings of “Act of Valor” at Ciné Theater in Martin.
Many local members of the Vaughn family will watch the movie together Saturday night at Hollywood Showcase. The large close-knit family includes Mrs. Vaughn and her husband, Billy Vaughn Sr., and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
“We’re proud that he’s in it, but it is going to be very difficult to watch,” Mrs. Vaughn said. “It brings tears to our eyes when we think about it.”
She said her grandson was doing what he loved in serving his country as a Navy SEAL.
Mrs. Vaughn said her grandson’s portion of filming was done about three years ago, not long before his son Reagan was born. She said it took the film company so long to film because they had to shoot the SEALs’ scenes between deployments, which sometimes lasted six months.
She doesn’t know exactly where to look for Vaughn in the film, but Vaughn’s widow, Kimberly, remembered him talking about being in the water quite a bit.
“The only thing Kimberly said she remembered most when Aaron would come home from filming is that he said he was in the water a lot and on a boat,” Mrs. Vaughn said.
The Vaughn family believes they have singled out Vaughn from watching the movie’s trailer, which has been airing heavily on television in the days leading up to the movie’s release. Mrs. Vaughn said the SEALs’ faces will not be openly shown too much, though, due to the nature of their work.
Mrs. Vaughn said she saw a Fox News Channel interview with the movie’s producer and director and they explained they chose eight Navy SEALs based on certain character traits.
“They said they picked the ones they thought had integrity and valor and morals and qualities such as that,” she said.
Vaughn, 30, was one of 30 U.S. servicemen — including 17 elite Navy SEALs — who died Aug. 6, 2011, when a rocket-propelled grenade fired by a Taliban insurgent downed their helicopter in Afghanistan.
He was the son of Karen (Rodenberger) and Billy Vaughn Jr. of Stuart, Fla., formerly of Obion County, and the grandson of Geneva and Billy Vaughn Sr. of Union City and Evelyn Rodenberger of Knoxville and the late Frank Rodenberger, formerly of Woodland Mills.
He graduated from Obion County Central High School in 1999 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy on his 21st birthday, a few months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He began SEAL training right after basic training and became a highly-decorated combat veteran who earned numerous awards.
In addition to being a dedicated SEAL who loved his country, he was a devoted husband and father who left behind a wife, Kimberly Vaughn of Virginia Beach, Va., and two children, son Reagan, now 2, and daughter Chamberlyn, now eight months old.
Vaughn’s widow is featured in a story in the March issue of Redbook magazine.
More information can be found on the Facebook page “Prayers for Family of Aaron Vaughn, Navy SEAL,” as well as on a website — www.forourson.us — started by Vaughn’s parents.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 2.21.12