A film about American patriotism, the ultimate sacrifice,
and how a family thrives in the face of adversity.
The Aaron Vaughn Story
On a moonless night in Afghanistan, on August 6, 2011, at approximately 0222, Aaron Vaughn and the rest of the Gold Squadron of SEAL Team Six boarded a U.S. Army CH-47D helicopter, call sign EXTORTION 17, and lifted off for their mission. Flying nap-of-the-earth, just above the treetops, their helicopter rapidly entered the western opening of the Tangi valley, headed for the small village of Juy Zarin. The pilot gave the signal to prepare the troops to exit the bird, “One minute….one minute,” and continued to guide the helicopter toward their landing zone just over a click and a half away. The team readied themselves. There, they would join a strike force, mostly comprised of soldiers from the 75th Ranger Regiment, to capture or kill Taliban leader, Qari Tahir.
Within the belly of the Chinook, the elite fighting force was poised to burst out into the dark night and accomplish its mission. However, Extortion 17 and the passengers aboard would never reach their destination. Thirty Americans and one American military working dog lost their lives by a Rocket Propelled Grenade and were shot out of the sky. This was the greatest single-incident loss of life in the history of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, in the history of the Navy SEALs, and in the history of U. S. Special Operations.
The film is supplemented by the official military record of the mission, which has glaring discrepancies, to show that something went terribly wrong. The mounting evidence shows the SEAL Team may have been sacrificed, through negligence in the mission-planning, or something worse. Key facts essential to the case, including the identities of seven Afghans who boarded the helicopter under unusual circumstances, and the true status of the helicopter's missing black box, which has been the subject of conflicting reports by the military, have been consistently ignored by the Navy.
EXTORTION 17: THE AARON VAUGHN STORY is a 90-minute documentary about the life and legacy of Navy SEAL Team Six member, Aaron Vaughn, and his courageous family. This film presents a rare opportunity, along the lines of Lone Survivor and Zero Dark Thirty, where we have complete access to tell a story of heroism and sacrifice of an elite SEAL Team and one of its operators. Most importantly, the film shares the story of a family that not just survives the loss of their loved one and the controversy that came with it, but how they thrive in the face of adversity while showing us how to live by grace.
RPM Films & Triple Horse Studios
"[Billy and Karen Vaughn] are underpinned by faith. A very strong faith, a very sincere faith."
Gen. Jerry Boykin, U.S. Army, Ret.
"Every American, every kid in school, should be taught what happened with Extortion 17"
Sean Hannity, Fox News
“Aaron had no fear. I can't think of a moment where he shrank back. Whether it was a spiritual moment... Whether it was [sports] ...bird-hunting, whatever it may be. That is where I learned the difference between recklessness and fearlessness. Aaron exemplified that in every way.”
Aaron Vaughn's Youth Pastor