Sunday, February 18, 2007

Army Specialist Travis R. Vaughn

Remember Our Heroes

Army Specialist Travis R. Vaughn, 26, of Reinbeck, Iowa

Spc. Vaughn was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died Feb. 18 in southeastern Afghanistan when the Chinook helicopter he was in crashed. Also killed were Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hershel D. McCants Jr., Chief Warrant Officer 3 John A. Quinlan, Sgt. Adam A. Wilkinson, Spc. Brandon D. Gordon, Pfc. Ryan C. Garbs, Pfc. Kristofer D. S. Thomas and Air Force Tech. Sgt. Scott E. Duffman.

Iowa soldier dies in Afghanistan

U.S. Army Spc. Travis Vaughn of Cedar Falls was among eight American soldiers killed Sunday in a military helicopter crash in Afghanistan, family members and friends confirmed Monday.

He was the 52nd person with Iowa ties to have died in Iraq or Afghanistan since March 2003.

“He was a real solid kid,” said the Rev. John Fuller, pastor of Prairie Lakes Church in Cedar Falls, who learned of Vaughn’s death Sunday morning. Fuller married Vaughn and his wife, Heather, in an Iowa ceremony two years ago. The couple had lived near the Fort Campbell, Ky., military base.

“He came into Heather’s life and he became Christian. Heather had a son and he really took on the father’s role. He was a good father and a good husband,’ Fuller said.

The U.S. Central Command said eight soldiers died and 14 others were injured early Sunday when a CH-47 helicopter had a “sudden, unexplained loss of power and control’ and crashed in eastern Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense did not immediately release all of the names of the dead soldiers, pending notification of relatives.

“The loss of these service members is felt by all of us here in Afghanistan, and we offer the deepest sympathy to the families of those who were killed,” said Lt. Col. David Accetta, a U.S. spokesman.

Col. Tom Collins, a NATO spokesman, said the crash was not caused by enemy fire, according to the Associated Press. The pilot radioed he was having engine problems before the aircraft hit the ground, he said.

Vaughn was the son of Christine Vaughn and Brad Vaughn, according to the Waterloo Courier. His in-laws, Rod and Elaine Reinertson of Waterloo, headed to the Fort Campbell area to be with their daughter after they learned of his death.

“They are still in the pretty numb stage,” Pastor Fuller said Monday. Funeral arrangements are pending, but will be held at Prairie Lakes, a Baptist-affiliated church, after the soldier’s body is returned to Iowa, he said.

Vaughn was a 1999 graduate of Cedar Falls High School, school officials said. His stepmother, Kandi Vaughn of Reinbeck, told the Associated Press that Travis had grown up in Cedar Falls and had joined the Army about three years ago. His stepson, Taylin, is 5 years old.

“It’s like a bad dream” she said. “You say a little prayer for the people you see, the pictures you see on TV and you say a little prayer for the family. Now it is us.”

Kandi Vaughn said that Travis had loved to tear his toys apart when he was a child, and he could do the same with the Army’s Chinook helicopter.

“He was really a good kid. He really changed his life around when he decided to go into the Army. He just gave it his all,” she said.

Army Specialist Travis R. Vaughn was killed in action on 02/18/07.


Anonymous said...

Love you Trav, miss you so...

Anonymous said...


RIP, Travis-you are missed by many, many people.

Jayson Vaughn said...

REST EASY My brother.... I love and miss you so much..

Courtney said...

Thinking of u every day.