Treasure Coast Essay
Mon August 26, 2013
For sons of fallen military men
Early this month, a foundation named Operation 300, based in Stuart, held its second free getaway camp weekend for boys 8 to 18 who lost their fathers in military service, Ten young campers from around the country did stuff they would have done with their dads – such as archery, surfing, horseback riding, sailing and target shooting. Operation 300 was set up by the family of Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn. He and 37 others were killed in 2011 when their helicopter was shot down by the Taliban in Afghanistan. After Operation 300 got started last year, Martin County businesses and individuals immediately lent their support. Sporting outfits reached out. A landowner made his 400-acre field available. Restaurants donated meals for the boys, and a hotel offered a discounted rate for their moms. Men volunteered to be mentors to the boys. The Vaughn family hopes to put on another camp for boys in December and eventually offer a weekend camp for girls whose fathers died serving our country. The name Operation 300 comes from Aaron Vaughn’s favorite story about 300 Spartans who held off the Persian army for three days. To learn more about Operation 300, go to operation300.com. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.