Nation Mourns Loss of Military Special Forces in Helicopter Crash

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is mourning the 30 U.S. special operations troops who died in a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan.

He says it's a reminder of the "extraordinary sacrifices" being made by America's military and its families.

The Taliban claim to have brought down the chopper in a rocket attack.

More than 20 Navy SEALs were among those killed.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says he's deeply saddened by the loss of 30 U.S. special operations troops in a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan.

Panetta vows the U.S. will stay the course to complete the mission.

Among those killed early Saturday were 22 members of the Navy SEALs.

Seven Afghan commandos also died in the crash along with a civilian interpreter.

Elite Navy SEALs member Aaron Carson Vaughn had asked the military to return him to combat and shipped out just six weeks before he was killed when the U.S. military helicopter was shot down.

Vaughn's grandmother, Geneva Vaughn of Union City, Tenn., told
The Associated Press on Saturday that her grandson, a Tennessee
native, had wanted to be a SEAL since he was a child and returned
to combat just two weeks after his 2-month-old daughter was born
this summer.

Geneva Vaughn says he was already a decorated fighter when he
was asked by the Navy to return stateside to become an instructor.

He chafed under the assignment and applied to SEAL Team 6.

Military authorities notified the family of his death.


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