Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
This Gold Star Mom May Challenge A Navy SEAL For His Spot In Congress
Gold Star mother Karen Vaughn, who spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention about the death of her Navy SEAL son in Afghanistan, is considering a GOP primary challenge to freshman Congressman Rep. Brian Mast, Republican from Palm City.
Mast has irked some conservatives by proposing a ban on military-style “assault weapons” after the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Vaughn didn’t mention specific issues on Wednesday, but told The Palm Beach Post she’s been encouraged to run in Mast’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 and expects to announce a decision soon.
“I’m going to release a press release next week about this…That’s really all I can say right now,” said Vaughn, a Stuart resident.
A Mast spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Associated Press/J. Scott ApplewhiteKaren Vaughn, mother of fallen U.S. Navy Seal Aaron Carson Vaughn, speaks during the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016.
A contested Republican primary could complicate GOP efforts to hold District 18, a swing seat that traditionally draws national interest from both parties. Two Democrats — attorney and Navy veteran Pam Keith and former Obama administration foreign policy adviser Lauren Baer — have opened campaigns in District 18.
Mast is a decorated Army combat veteran who lost both his legs and a finger after a bomb blast in Afghanistan. He campaigned as a Second Amendment supporter in 2016, but said in a Feb. 23 New York Times op-ed that Congress should define “what constitutes an assault or tactical firearm” and ban future sales of such weapons.
While Congress works on that legislation, Mast said he wants President Donald Trump to “implement an immediate pause” on the sale of AR-15-style weapons, which were used in the mass shootings in Parkland, Las Vegas last year and the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in 2016.
Conservative commentator Dan Bongino, a Mast ally in the past, called Mast’s proposal “a grossly misinformed position which requires a response from liberty-loving voters in CD-18” in a Feb. 25 tweet. But Bongino, who has made previous runs for office in Florida and Maryland, said he wasn’t interested in challenging the incumbent.
Photo via FacebookBrian Mast, Republican Representative of Florida’s 18th District
Karen Vaughn has become a popular author and speaker since her son, Aaron Vaughn, was killed with 29 others in 2011 when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. On the opening night of the 2016 GOP convention, Vaughn said her son died because of restrictive rules of engagement placed on the military while Barack Obama was president.
“There is no adversary the U.S. military cannot defeat if we unbind them from the restrictive, ludicrous rules of engagement they’ve been forced to fight under for the past seven years,” Vaughn said in her convention speech. “We have lost the will to defend ourselves against enemies who are hell-bent on destroying us because we have been unwilling to lead with strength.”
Vaughn and Mast are among the speakers scheduled to appear at an April 15 tea party rally in Wellington.
©2018 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
You can almost smell the gunpowder in the scene captured by a Marine photographer over the weekend, showing a Marine grunt firing a shotgun during non-lethal weapons training.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.