IUKA, MS, USA
SGT, COMPANY A, 5TH BATTALION, 20TH INFANTRY, FORT LEWIS, WA
OLD BAQUBAH, IRAQ 05/10/2007
A Mississippi native serving in Iraq was killed by a roadside bomb May 10, 2007. Army Sgt. Jason W. Vaughn, 29, of Iuka, died from wounds he suffered when the bomb was detonated near his vehicle in Baqubah.
Vaughn was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq with the Stryker Brigade based in Fort Lewis, Wash. He had been in Iraq for 24 months over the last four years. He was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
Vaughn first served in Iraq from Nov. 2003 to Nov. 2004. He returned in July 2006 and was scheduled to come home from a 15-month tour in October.
Vaughn joined the Army in 2002 and received his initial training at Fort Benning, Ga., Fort Lewis spokeswoman Catherine Caruso said.
She said he held the rank of specialist at the time of his death and was promoted to sergeant posthumously. He had received the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terror Service Medal before his death.
Whether living in South America with his missionary parents, in Alabama, Mississippi, or anywhere else, Jason W. Vaughn always adjusted well to his environment. “He had friends all over the place. He was an outgoing type of person,” said his father, Walter Vaughn. “The world lost a leader. My son was a born leader.”
“I’ll get up and go vote when I think it’s too cold and rainy because this young soldier died for the great principles of the Constitution, because of the great freedoms he pledged his life for,” said Maj. Gen. Harold Cross, the adjutant general of Mississippi’s Army National Guard.
Vaughn also is survived by his mother, RaNae. She described her son as “a handsome man on the outside, and more importantly, on the inside. He was always considerate of the needs of his friends and family. Jason never met a stranger, and it has been said that he would have made a great politician since he had a wonderful talent of “working a room.” Jason had a great appreciation for life. His optimism and love of life was enormous. We will always remember his smile, bear hugs, love of life, positive attitude, and his way of making everyone around him feel special. Jason will live on in our hearts and minds forever. We miss him daily.”