Video: Family remembers fallen SEAL

posted at 7:50 pm on August 8, 2011 by Allahpundit

A bittersweet irony for families of special ops troops: They’re not free to celebrate their beloved publicly until they’re gone. Two excruciating clips for you here to follow up on this weekend’s horrendous loss in Afghanistan, the first an interview with the parents and widow of SEAL Aaron Vaughn and the second a compilation of reactions from loved ones of other men killed aboard the Chinook. One SEAL, Chief Petty Officer Matt Mills, was on his last mission. He and the rest of his team were on their way to help Army Rangers who were pinned down by jihadi fire when the chopper was hit.

Word on Saturday was that it was an RPG that took it down. Danger Room is skeptical:

One Army insider who spoke to Danger Room went a step further, saying the rocket may have been a special improvised model. A chopper-killer, if you will.

The so-called “Improvised Rocket-Assisted Mortar” made its debut in Iraq in 2008, although not in attacks on aircraft. IRAMs combine traditional tube mortars with rocket boosters and, in many cases, remote triggers, allowing insurgents to fire them from a distance.

IRAMs have killed several U.S. troops in Iraq over the years; in June, the weapons killed six Americans. but haven’t factored heavily in the Afghanistan fighting. The weapon’s appearance in Wardak, if confirmed, could be proof of Afghan insurgents’ continued ability to adapt and innovate despite mounting losses.

Improvised rockets are notoriously inaccurate. But with bigger warheads than shoulder-fired RPGs, IRAMs are potentially much more destructive when they do hit.

The clips speak for themselves, but note where Vaughn’s father alludes to things said “in higher places” after the Bin Laden raid that made the family, and presumably the entire SEAL community, uncomfortable. I can’t tell for sure what he means but I think he’s referring to Biden very stupidly identifying the SEALs in a speech as the unit that got Osama, which naturally made them a prime target for reprisals. And that’s not the only example of thoughtless loose talk lately. Biden at least has the excuse that he has “mental limitations.” What’s the excuse of the unnamed government official who leaked word on Saturday that members of Team 6 were aboard the Chinook before their families were notified? Imagine having a brother, son, or husband in that unit and hearing that on TV, then spending the rest of the day wondering if the knock on the door was coming.

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Comments

Prayers for the families. It makes me sick that we have the CIC we have. Our Military deserves better.

sandee on August 8, 2011 at 7:53 PM

The amazing thing about those guys is that they looked so ordinary, you would never know they’re standing the toughest wall there is to stand even though you stand behind them in line at the grocery store.

Bishop on August 8, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Biden – A member of the Cracked Head Club.
Our number 2.
What a piece of @#$!

Electrongod on August 8, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Two excruciating clips for you here

I’m sorry AP. I can’t watch.

God bless those amazing, dedicated men. I pray there’s a special place in heaven for all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

I hope their families can find peace.

BacaDog on August 8, 2011 at 8:01 PM

The amazing thing about those guys is that they looked so ordinary,

Ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things. Par for the golf course.

65droptop on August 8, 2011 at 8:01 PM

We often hear about the warriors, heroes that they are. We do not often hear about the other side of their lives, much like our own, that they compartmentalize. When they are not putting their lives on the line they are fathers of young children, husbands, sons and brothers. That loss is a heavy burden on the Navy Seal community, a very close-knit family.

fogw on August 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

The Israelis never tell the world who does anything, unless it’s already publicly on video. They just supervise a lot of terrorist “work accidents.”

RBMN on August 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Made me tear up

http://tinyurl.com/3h77b8x

My father was one of the 30 US Soldiers killed in Afghanistan yesterday with the Seals rescue mission. My father was the pilot of the chinook. I have seen other pictures of victims from this deadly mission and wish you would include a picture of my father. He is the farthest to the left.

Sincerely,
Braydon Nichols, 10 yrs old
Kansas City, MO

William Amos on August 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

God Bless this fallen Seal and his family and all others would die for this country

400lb Gorilla on August 8, 2011 at 8:04 PM

note where Vaughn’s father alludes to things said “in higher places” after the Bin Laden raid that made the family, and presumably the entire SEAL community, uncomfortable.

Yes. All the chatter about the SEALS then and now seem abnormal and make me suspicious of the motives. Biden is an idiot excuse is lame, regardless of the accusation’s merit. Also, the families and friends need to grieve and sharing their memories about their loved one helps that process, but level of publicity of the families, names, where they live…..makes me uncomfortable.

The protocol of notifying family members is pretty strict. Was there an agenda for the leak or just loose lips?

conservative pilgrim on August 8, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Made me tear up

http://tinyurl.com/3h77b8x

My father was one of the 30 US Soldiers killed in Afghanistan yesterday with the Seals rescue mission. My father was the pilot of the chinook. I have seen other pictures of victims from this deadly mission and wish you would include a picture of my father. He is the farthest to the left.

Sincerely,
Braydon Nichols, 10 yrs old
Kansas City, MO

William Amos on August 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Ugh. That breaks my heart.

conservative pilgrim on August 8, 2011 at 8:08 PM

We are heartbroken for these families. God bless the men who gave so selflessly of themselves. Our deepest condolences and sympathies to all of their families.

herm2416 on August 8, 2011 at 8:09 PM

William Amos on August 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Ugh…I showed this to my wife and she had to leave the room for a moment, and I’m not feeling all that well suddenly myself.

Bishop on August 8, 2011 at 8:10 PM

All 30 will be coming home together tomorrow to Dover.

And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,

From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remembered-

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,

This day shall gentle his condition: And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”

God Speed LCDR Kelsall and Matt. God speed to you all

hawkdriver on August 8, 2011 at 8:15 PM

William Amos on August 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Oh man, that’s a heartbreaker.

Knucklehead on August 8, 2011 at 8:15 PM

The day after SEAL Team Six has their cover broken, they should have been brought back to the US, moved to a different military base, and been reformed under a different name or names.

The democratics put our nation through hell over a desk jockey, Valerie Plame. Joke Biden does this and it’s all good?

slickwillie2001 on August 8, 2011 at 8:16 PM

My heart aches for these and all of our troops.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 8, 2011 at 8:17 PM

I heard a conspiracy theory that they were killed by the CIA because they all knew we really didn’t kill Usama bin Laden, and the government didn’t want the word to leak out. Dead men tell no tales, as they say.

May they rest in peace.

SouthernGent on August 8, 2011 at 8:22 PM

Ugh. That breaks my heart.

conservative pilgrim on August 8, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Indeed, it does. My heart has been broken all weekend for these fine men and those they have left behind – the best and brightest among us.

And then consider that there are just about one million others just like that little kid’s dad who sacrificed all so that we could live in freedom.

It just adds to the rage about what is happening to our country right in front of us and whether we have the fortitude to rise to the occasion, just as our forefathers did in their time.

I am, sadly, not so sure.

turfmann on August 8, 2011 at 8:22 PM

William Amos on August 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Me too.
ON topic:During prayers @ Mass yesterday the reader mentioned prayers to end the drought and for ‘justice’-but there was ZERO mention of prayers for our troops or for the heroes that died in the copter.
I. Was. Seething. As soon as Mass was over I turned to a fellow choir member and hissed that it was sickened me that there were prayers for social justice garbage but nit those defending our freedoms. She gave me an unfriendly look, turned, and walked away.
As I was unlocking my bike one of the deacon’s came over to say Hi…and I pounced. This deacon is a big time patriot. It wasn’t his fault about what happened during prayers-but he was glad that I brought it to his attention and he promised that from now on-our troops AND their families WOULD be remembered in prayer!

annoyinglittletwerp on August 8, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Sorry for the typos. Anger does that.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 8, 2011 at 8:24 PM

I’m in Virginia Beach right now and there were all sorts of articles about where the Seals like to hang out. So very stupid.

Cindy Munford on August 8, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Thanks for keeping this in your posts. It is truly heartbreaking. Fallen heroes and the families left behind trump any other news story posted today. Anywhere.

scalleywag on August 8, 2011 at 8:26 PM

What a contrast on the page – on one side the family of some amazing heroes, on the other…………………………

Chip on August 8, 2011 at 8:26 PM

Go read this at Neptunus Lex:
http://www.neptunuslex.com/2011/08/06/ive-met-them/

Aviator on August 8, 2011 at 8:28 PM

I’m in Virginia Beach right now and there were all sorts of articles about where the Seals like to hang out. So very stupid.

Cindy Munford on August 8, 2011 at 8:24 PM

I suppose the reporters think this adds to the “feel-good” element of the story, but it’s incredibly naive and off-the-charts stupid.

conservative pilgrim on August 8, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Indeed, it does. My heart has been broken all weekend for these fine men and those they have left behind – the best and brightest among us.

turfmann on August 8, 2011 at 8:22 PM

This has been a tough weekend…..

conservative pilgrim on August 8, 2011 at 8:34 PM

I would have expected more from Washington. Perhaps a moment of prayer? A moment of silence? SOMEthing?

scalleywag on August 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM

First and most important, we can all make a contribution to the Naval Special Warfare Foundation here, which helps the families of all fallen SEALs.

Second, I am more than disgusted about the leaks that TS6 was even involved in the mission (as I was about the Bin Laden take down), that all their families heard of the helo disaster from the press first (maybe not a problem for the families of hundreds of thousands of other troops who hear of a bombing or other thing over there, but when you’re a family member of an elite group of 300 or so and knowing your guy is even near theatre, every one of them were worried that their loved one was in that helo), and that their families were even identified or talked to by the media, thus endangering them as well.

Then, to learn that they’re making a movie about the OBL take down, to be released a month before the 2012 election, and that the screenwriters and movie director have been granted access to classified materials related to the mission, is beyond the pale.

We know that President Upgrade and staff have declared war on America, but they have crossed the line in declaring war against her defenders, especially these incredible men. Go to Hell, Obama, and say hello to yo’ daddy.

TXUS on August 8, 2011 at 8:37 PM

I confess, I couldn’t watch it all. My heart breaks for these families. God bless them, and all those whose loved ones are far away in service to America.

Splashman on August 8, 2011 at 8:37 PM

I live on the Treasure Coast and WILL be there for any memorial service (hat in hand).

God help Mr. (NOT Rev.) Phelps if he tries to protest here (DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT). Opening a can of SEAL “Whup Ass” is no problem (and everyone hereabout has an opener handy)…

That said. Rest in Peace, Sir! May God comfort your family and friends. Know, Sir, America SALUTES your sacrifice!

FloridaBill on August 8, 2011 at 8:38 PM

I’m going to force myself to watch these, but I really don’t want to.

BadgerHawk on August 8, 2011 at 8:40 PM

This reminds me of the Carter moment, when the chopper went down on its way to Iran.

paul1149 on August 8, 2011 at 8:45 PM

I would have expected more from Washington. Perhaps a moment of prayer? A moment of silence? SOMEthing?

scalleywag on August 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Or he could’ve done something that began w/ a two minute shout-out to his peeps.
Doing nothing is better than that show he put on @ Ft. Hood.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 8, 2011 at 8:46 PM

conservative pilgrim on August 8, 2011 at 8:32 PM

I should make be clear that the articles about the Seal hangouts were after the bin Laden kill, not after this tragedy. I don’t want to make the newspaper people seem more stupid than they already are.

Cindy Munford on August 8, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Cindy Munford on August 8, 2011 at 8:54 PM

:-)

conservative pilgrim on August 8, 2011 at 9:12 PM

First, my most sincere condolences to the families of the fallen. My son-in-law is on his SEVENTH tour…this time in Iraq instead of Afghanistan.

For the sake of those lost, their loved ones, and their comrades still in harm’s way who must participate in future similar missions, I sincerely hope this incident is thoroughly investigated so that it can never happen again due to the failures that led to this one. There are already suggestions that one or more of the Afghans onboard may have set off explosives (pulled the pin on a grenade, perhaps), so the investigation had best begin before the rumor mills ramp up too far and before the evidence is destroyed.

opaobie on August 8, 2011 at 9:20 PM

I am deeply saddened by the loss of these extraordinary men. I believe the theory of an improvised device designed to take out chinooks is plausible.

ted c on August 8, 2011 at 9:29 PM

What’s the excuse of the unnamed government official who leaked word on Saturday that members of Team 6 were aboard the Chinook before their families were notified? Imagine having a brother, son, or husband in that unit and hearing that on TV, then spending the rest of the day wondering if the knock on the door was coming.

the excuse?

…..democrat appointed….

nuff said.

ted c on August 8, 2011 at 9:37 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on August 8, 2011 at 8:23 PM

By chance I visited an Anglican service yesterday to see the people I used to go to church with, and the Prayers of the People STARTED with this incident. But then, the man who said the prayers is the father of a US soldier in Iraq. That’s one of the things I miss about the Anglicans, it was very rare to hear peace ‘n justice prayers. Probably because everyone got their fill of them back in the Episcopal services.

Eren on August 8, 2011 at 10:08 PM

They are our families !!! I cannot express how much I feel for them.

bayview on August 8, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Eren on August 8, 2011 at 10:08 PM

I wish you had been @ HS yesterday. Steam was coming out of my ears!
What’s so strange is that my old parish-St. Joseph’s in Homewood, Il ALWAYS mentioned ‘all those who serve in the military’.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 8, 2011 at 10:20 PM

I am crying so hard right now that i can barely see my screen. GOD please bless this country. I have no idea what put the steel in Aaron’s heart but I love him and appreciate him so much. The same goes for the rest of TEAM 6 AND ALL OF MY MILITARY. I’m at a loss today. I feel like I am living in a foreign land. Rush is right, again. This is not America. (tears still falling).

skeedro on August 9, 2011 at 12:59 AM

slickwillie2001 on August 8, 2011 at 6:26 PM

I like our church, but the lay minister sometimes uses “social justice” claptrap during prayers. I usually let out a very loud sigh, and let it go. I told my husband on Sunday, if there was any of that nonsense this time I would get up and walk out during prayer. I think he breathed a sigh of relief that none of that came about–but there was also no mention of this during prayers, and no opportunity for the congregation to add our own.

DrMagnolias on August 9, 2011 at 10:11 AM