by Billy and Karen Vaughn, Parents of Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn, ©The North American Law Center

(Mar. 4, 2014) — On 6 August, 2011, we lost our son Aaron on a mission in Afghanistan titled “Lefty Grove” on a CH47 helicopter call-sign “Extortion 17.” Along with some of the other families who lost loved ones on that ill-fated mission, we have been in search of truthful answers ever since.

On 27 February, 2014, an official hearing into these events was held in the House Committee on Government Oversight, National Security sub-committee. None of the five people who testified were in the chain of command or directly involved in the chain of events that resulted in the loss of these lives. Numerous false statements were made under oath by Pentagon Representative Garry Reid during the hearing. None of the families were allowed to speak.

We do not accept the manner in which this hearing was held, or the conclusions drawn as stated by government officials. In our opinion, it was a clear attempt to whitewash the death of these valiant men.

We want to acknowledge the reality that different families have various means of dealing with the losses of that fateful day. Some of the families do not want to know the truth about what happened that day, and we ask the press and the Navy to honor the wishes of these families by leaving them alone regarding the events of 6 August, 2011.

We are also aware of other families that support those of us seeking the truth about what happened on Extortion 17, but who wish to remain out of the spotlight in only a supportive role. We respectfully request that the press and the Navy respect these family’s wishes to remain out of the fray, by leaving them out of the political banter surrounding our search for truth.

Last, there are other families like us, who will not stop in our rigorous pursuit of truth, out of respect for the men we have lost, and for the lives of all who still serve, so that events like Extortion 17 will not continue to take the lives of our brave men and women needlessly.

We ask that the press and the Navy respect our desire to get to the truth about this mission, notwithstanding overt attempts by Congress to push the event under the rug, and by not politicizing the loss of our sons in some campaign to intimidate families of the fallen. Rather, we ask that you do your duty to unravel these inordinate events and make a determination that reveals to America what actually happened in the largest loss of Special Forces life in a single incident in our history.

Working with expert investigators at The North American Law Center, we will continue our quest for truth and justice on this matter. Based upon our experience at the 27 February congressional hearing, it seems quite clear that an outside independent investigation is required, wherein those who make policy are not asked to investigate themselves and the policies they make.

Thank you,

Billy & Karen Vaughn


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