Gold Star parents launch Operation 300 in honor of son whose life was lost in Afghanistan
NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
A Gold Star family is going the extra mile to help families who have suffered a similar loss, launching a program to engage Gold Star children, in honor of their son, Aaron, who died serving in Afghanistan.
Gold Star parents Billy Vaughn and Karen Vaughn joined “Fox & Friends Weekend,” Sunday, to discuss how they are using their organization, Operation 300, to help children who have lost parents while serving.
“After when Aaron died, he left behind two little babies, a son who was not quite two years old and a daughter that was only nine weeks old,” Karen told co-host Pete Hegseth.
“And so his widow kept asking us, ‘who’s going to teach my children to do the things Aaron would have taught them to do,’ which spawned an idea, and our family and our daughter, Tara, and Billy actually just incorporated the idea and turned it into reality.”
“We would host weekend-long adventure camps for kids whose dads had died during this war, paired them up with fathers, eight male mentors, and let them spend a week and doing all the things they would have done with their dad if he was still here,” she continued. “It has just grown exponentially through the years.”
Per the organization’s website, their mission statement is to provide mentorship to children of the fallen, honor the sacrifice of those who’ve given their all for our freedom, and promote patriotism and service.
The non-profit was inspired by Aaron Carson Vaughn, who died on August 6, 2011, on the deadliest day in SEAL Team Six history when a Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.
“It’s really hard to put it into words when we’ve lost so many brave men and women,” Billy said. “So many families affected forever.”
The U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan back in August 2021, marking the end of the two-decade war in what is now the Taliban-controlled nation.
“This is the first Memorial Day in 20 years that we haven’t had sons and daughters at war on the soil of Afghanistan or Iraq,” Karen said. “This is a sacred Memorial Day, and as a nation, I think we just need to pause and think about what this means post-war.”