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Sisterhood of SEAL Wives Rush to Support Widows

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.) -- The wives of Navy SEALs are rallying around one another, sharing support for the widows of the 22 SEALs who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

They also share the trepidation for those waiting to hear which husbands will be deployed to replace those who have fallen.

While the SEALs are known for their courage and toughness, their wives, mothers and fiances are displaying some of that same grit.

"He was a fabulous son to his parents and a great big brother, and to me, the love of my life," Kimberly Vaughn, wife of slain SEAL Aaron Vaughn, told ABC News through tears.

Aaron Vaughn — a 30-year-old father of two with a newborn daughter he had been with for just two weeks before heading back overseas — had volunteered to return to combat, his wife said.

Kimberly Vaughn, a former NFL cheerleader, met her husband when she was performing with United Service Organizations Inc.

When the doorbell rang on Saturday, and she saw the men in uniform, she says she fell to her knees.

"The energy, everything just drops out of you. I just remember saying, 'No, no,'" she said. "His last words to me were 'I love you, I'll talk to you later.' And one day in heaven we will."

The wives and mothers of Navy SEAL operating base Dam Neck, an air station near Virginia Beach, began their grim vigil when news broke that the Taliban had shot down a helicopter rushing to the aid U.S. soldiers. The crash claimed the lives of 30 U.S. troops, 22 of them Navy SEALs.

The possibility of catastrophic news comes with the territory when women say "I do" and marry a SEAL. They cope with that as best they can.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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