By CHRIS MENEES
The parents of fallen Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn have taken on an important mission.
They want answers about their son’s final mission.
They want the Obama administration to answer questions about certain policies which they say are getting soldiers killed.
And now, Karen and Billy Vaughn Jr. are calling on their fellow Americans to join their quest for answers by contacting their Congressmen.
The Vaughns, Obion County natives who now live in Stuart, Fla., have been making national news over the weekend in the aftermath of a news conference Thursday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Their son, a native of Obion County who graduated in 1999 from Obion County Central High School, was among 30 servicemen who died Aug. 6, 2011, when their military helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.
Thursday’s emotional news conference featured the Vaughns and other families of the servicemen who died in the fatal helicopter crash, as well as retired military generals and other leaders, a retired SEAL and a former SEAL.
The Vaughns and the families of the other soldiers who died in the downing of Extortion 17 have been searching for answers since the tragedy occurred, and they said they have come to the realization their sons should not have died that night.
In their research, they said their eyes have been opened “to vile atrocities being played out on America’s military,” alleging political games, criminal Rules of Engagement and “Washington’s total, wanton lack of regard” for the battles faced by America’s soldiers.
They are pushing for a Congressional investigation and urging other Americans to do the same by contacting their leaders.
The Vaughns said they have uncovered documentation that shows their son and the other warriors who died in the August 2011 crash were in an extremely vulnerable position in a battle zone by being flown on a chopper which was not properly equipped for their work and by being left un-escorted on a mission that did not follow standard protocol and had no pre-assault fire.
Vaughn said there were also seven Afghan commandos on board the helicopter, but they were not the same Afghans whose names were listed on the mission’s manifest. They apparently were changed at the last minute.
They have long contended a target was placed on the Navy SEALs and their families after Vice President Joe Biden carelessly announced earlier in 2011 that members of SEAL Team 6 had killed Osama bin Laden. Vaughn said Friday on Fox News that Biden is second in command, “not a senile old grandfather,” and it’s time he takes responsibility for the comments he makes.
They are demanding the White House and the Obama administration step forward and explain why certain policies have been allowed to continue.
“It’s not just the Rules of Engagement that we believe led to the downing of Extortion 17, but the Rules of Engagement overall,” Vaughn told The Messenger. “We’ve had servicemen and Aaron’s wife telling us about instances that now seem like they have to fire at least twice before we can fire back. They’re putting soldiers at risk. And it just goes on and on and on.
“We want answers,” Vaughn said. “And now that we are speaking out, there are men who are coming forward, even through a third party or by contacting us directly, saying, ‘You’re asking for the answers to the same questions that we’ve been asking for a long time.’”
One of the most disturbing things the Vaughns have uncovered is a video of a ramp ceremony held at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan when the bodies of their son and the other fallen servicemen were loaded onto transport planes bound for Dover, Del. The video shows a Muslim imam praying curses over the dead Americans.
“In the video, there was an Islamist imam allowed to pray over their bodies and he damned their souls to hell,” Vaughn said this morning by phone. “He said Muslims were the winners and he mocked the God of Moses …”
Vaughn said his complaint is with the U.S. government and the U.S. military who allowed the man to come in and pray.
“When you let a fox into the chicken house, you know what the fox is going to do,” he said. “Who are the people responsible for this? We want them to own up.”
The ramp ceremony video may be viewed on the Vaughns’ website at www.forourson.us. The website also features Thursday’s press conference.
“Why should you not show outrage like when the Koran was burned,” Vaughn said he is asking the Obama administration. “As an administration, you made sure that people knew that bin Laden’s body was buried properly, but our dead warriors did not receive the same. … They subjected Aaron’s body to this. Aaron’s God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and that God was mocked.”
Vaughn said while their pleas and the video are attracting attention right now, he is afraid it will dwindle in time and there will be no action.
“We need American citizens to cry out to their representatives and senators and ask for an investigation — first into the downing of Extortion 17 and second into an investigation of this administration’s criminal Rules of Engagement that are getting our men and women killed unnecessarily,” he said. “It’s going to take demands from American citizens, more than just Karen and I and a few other families.
“Karen and I and other parents are trying to get answers to why our sons died and to get this stuff changed. It’s criminal, it’s political correctness. And it’s getting our warriors slain.”
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 5.13.13