Monday, April 23, 2007

Army Sgt. Michael L. Vaughan

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Michael L. Vaughan, 20, of Otis, Ore.

Sgt. Vaughan was assigned to the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died April 23 in Sadah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his location. Also killed were Sgt. Brice A. Pearson, Sgt. Randell T. Marshall, 1st Lt. Kevin J. Gaspers, Staff Sgt. Kenneth E. Locker Jr., Staff Sgt. William C. Moore, Spc. Jerry R. King, Spc. Michael J. Rodriguez and Pfc. Garrett C. Knoll.

Fayetville Observer -- Sgt. Michael Vaughan’s father, George Vaughan, said his son was home on leave through the first week of April and was nervous about returning to Iraq.

“We all knew how serious it was after talking to him, and what he had been through,” George Vaughan said.

Vaughan said he told his son that he didn’t have to go back, that the family would find a way to keep him out of the conflict, but the soldier declined.

“He said, ‘No, Dad. I will go. My comrades are over there. I made a commitment, and I will finish it,’” George Vaughan said.

George Vaughan, who was disabled in the first Gulf War, said his son came to him while he was still in high school and said he wanted to join the Army. Michael Vaughan was 17 then and needed his parents’ permission to enlist.

George Vaughan said he felt apprehensive about the request, but said he had to support his son.

“I’d do it all over again,” George Vaughan said. “I just wish there was a different outcome.”

Michael Vaughan, who was a cavalry scout, was a top wrestler at his high school and in Oregon. He loved hiking, camping and riding his four-wheeler, George Vaughan said. He made his parents proud.

He was close with several of the soldiers who were killed Monday, his father said.

His family is grieving, his father said, not only for their son but for the families of all the men who died. And, he said, their thoughts are with those who survived.

“We pray for all the soldiers daily,” George Vaughan said. “As Michael would want us to.”

Army Sgt. Michael L. Vaughan was killed in action on 04/23/07

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