Aaron Vaughn Frogman: Family of Navy SEAL frustrated with museum
Museum not sponsoring Vaughn Frogman Swim
7:49 PM, Jun 5, 2013
10:00 PM, Jun 5, 2013
STUART, Fla. - As a Treasure Coast family prepares to honor their son, who gave his life in defense of our country, it's disappointed that one place they thought they could count on, isn't helping out.
In every room of her Stuart home, Karen Vaughn has reminders of son Aaron.
The Navy SEAL was one of thirty Americans killed two summers ago when the helicopter he was riding in was shot down in Afghanistan.
Last year, the family decided to honor his memory with the First Annual Aaron Vaughn Frogman Swim.
"We could not have anticipated what happened. We had 270 swimmers and over 2-thousand spectators," said Vaughn.
The event returns June 29th, but unlike last year, and despite it's logo at the bottom of the flyer, The UDT-Navy Seal museum in St. Lucie County is not a sponsor.
Karen Vaughn says it's because she feels mistakes were made by the military and the government that led to her son's death.
"Those questions have apparently rubbed some people the wrong way and we've had some retribution from military leaders and others for speaking out," said Vaughn.
Vaughn says what's more troubling is the Frogman swim is the main fundraiser for "Operation 300", a camp her daughter is spearheading, for children whose parents have died in the service.
Last year's swim brought in more than 35-thousand dollars.
At the UDT-Navy Seal Museum in St. Lucie County where Aaron's name is on the memorial wall, the Executive Director said it's a shame that it's come to this.
Rick Kaiser had planned to swim at the Frogman event this month. But the former SEAL said he can't support anything that gets in the way of his mission to support all SEAL families.
"We depend on donations from our visitors and donors. That's how we survive and we can not get on one side or the other on any of these types of issues, " said Kaiser.
Kaiser donated his swimming entry fee and said the museum hopes to support the event again in the future.
If you'd like more information about the Frogman swim, click here.