Soldier /Veteran appreciation events planned in Reinbeck - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Soldier /Veteran appreciation events planned in Reinbeck

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by Danielle Wagner

REINBECK (KWWL) Specialist Travis Vaughn died in February of 2007 when the helicopter he was riding in crashed in Afghanistan.

Vaughn's stepmom is hoping to keep Travis's memory alive and recognize veterans and soldiers about to deploy.

"I wanted to show our support for our troops pre-deployment like we welcomed home the First 133rd three years ago. I wanted to do that pre-deployment so they know they have our support before they go because some of them may not make it home," said Kandie Vaughn.

Kandie Vaughn is organizing an event for July 4th. It kicks off a little after 11 a.m. on Main Street in Reinbeck with a flyover of F-16s. A parade is at 1:30 p.m. followed by a street dance at 4 p.m. with performer Monica Harvey of Nebraska.

"We have dedicated the first hour to welcoming home our Vietnam vets that have never been welcomed home," said Vaughn.

A free dinner goes from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Reinbeck Memorial Building.

Vaughn said she has enough food to feed 2000 people.

"Local 838 UAW three different groups donated $750 and that bought my pork and hamburger buns. Rydell donated $200 and that has bought t-shirts and security shirts. AmVets Riders donated money and 970 bottles of water," said Vaughn.

The event also includes a silent auction. Money goes to a fund for wounded soldiers and families of soldiers.

Vaughn said she's planned this for more than a year and just wants to honor Travis's memory.

"So you can sit around and wait for something good or you can actually be part of the good, and that's what I'm trying to do and for me it's part of the healing process," she said.

Kandie Vaughn encourages community members to come to the memorial building Sunday and shake the soldiers' hands to wish them luck and say thank you.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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