On Saturday I had the honor and privilege doing another Operation 300 event. See http://www.operation300.com/about-us/. The widow and sister of Aaron Carson Vaughn, a 30-year-old local Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011, formed this wonderful organization to support the families of those brave American soldiers who lost their lives fighting to defend and preserve our freedom.
I sailed a Flying Scot the with four girls who had lost their fathers in combat. The youngest was 9 and from Colorado. Her cute face was framed by a head of dark brown tightly curled hair about ten inches long sticking straight out in all directions. It was so springy, it bounced right back from any deformation. Little Orphan Annie would have envied it. The oldest was 14 and grew up and lived in Alaska. A third was moving to Japan soon. The last was from Texas. A 35-year-old veteran and his sister from Florida rounded out our crew.
We had a lively sail with plenty of wind. I sailed on one long reach from the US Sailing Center of Martin County https://www.usscmc.org/ a mile and a half across the Indian River to a cove in the lee of Hutchinson Island, tacked and sailed back. The waves occasionally washed across the bow splashing the girls who squealed in delight. They were laughing and having fun on this warm bright sunny day with bright blue skies dotted with a few white puffy clouds. It was rewarding to see these girls enjoying the activity and bonding despite having so much sorrow in their young lives.
I know you have many worthwhile organizations you support with your time, effort, and money. Please consider adding Operation 300 to your list. This worthwhile organization gives the widows of our fallen military heroes a day off to have a little rest and relaxation while their children go to various camps where they get to have fun, bond, and spend time with mentors enjoying activities their lost fathers can no longer provide them.
Here is an email of thanks from one of the founders.
Message from Op 300
From: Tara Baldwin <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Monday, January 21, 2019 9:08 AM To:
I just wanted to quickly say thank you. I know no one reads long emails, so I'll keep it short. I want you to know that the sacrifice each of you make in order to serve the families of Operation 300 is not lost on me. I understand the chaos that seems to be everyday life. I know you all have families, jobs, hobbies, vacations etc. that call for your attention and yet you choose to spend weekends volunteering your time and talents here with us.
You people are just pure gold and I mean that with all my heart. Adam, Dad, Mom and I are fully aware that there would be no Operation 300 without each of you. YOU are Operation 300.
I believe with all my heart that what makes our organization and our mission so special is you. I hope you can partially grasp the impact that your time and intentionality is making on the lives of these children and their moms. I am convinced we are changing destinies for generations to come...maybe not for all, but for some, and that matters.
I love you all more than you know and I'm humbled and inspired by your willingness to serve. I often think about how in losing my brother I somehow gained family I never imagined.
Love you guys. Hope you have a great week!
Tara Vaughn Baldwin
President, Operation 300 Inc.