Karen and Billy Vaughn, parents of Navy SEAL Aaron Carson Vaughn, who was killed last year in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan say that President Barack Obama sent out form letters signed by an electronic pen to them and other families of the 30 service members killed in the crash.
The Vaughns of Stuart, Fla. spoke at the Defending the Defenders forum, sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots, outside the RNC Convention in Tampa. Karen Vaughn brought a copy of the form letter they were sent following their son’s death.
Petty Officer First Class Aaron Vaughn who was with SEAL Team Six was killed along with 17 other special operations personnel from the SEAL team. An additional 13 service members were killed when the Ch-47 Chinook helicopter they were flying in was shot down while on a rescue mission in Wardak province, Afghanistan, Aug. 6, 2011.
Over the past year, Karen Vaughn contacted surviving family members of those killed and discovered the White House had sent out the exact letter to all of them. Additionally, the Vaughns say the letters were signed by an electric pen.
Electric pens are not uncommon to be used by presidents or other government officials for many form letters. In 2004, former Army colonel and combat reporter, David Hackworth, uncovered that Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, was using an electronic pen to sign condolence letters. Rumsfeld quit doing so after the story came out.
“Using those machines is pretty common, but it shouldn’t be in cases of those who have died in action,” Hackworth told Stars and Stripes in 2004. “How can (officials) feel the emotional impact of that loss if they’re not even looking at the letters?”
In February 2009, Obama was writing personal notes to families of service members killed in action. According Stars and Stripes, Obama wrote the first few letters for troops who died while George W. Bush was still president, and has written at least a dozen more since taking office.
Below are images of the letters obtained by Lanterloon.