Donations pour in for Iowa veterans in son's memory - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Donations pour in for Iowa veterans in son's memory

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For the past ten years, an eastern Iowa couple has made sure veterans get the support they deserve, after their son was tragically killed while serving our country.

26-year-old Travis Vaughn was a Night Stalker for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. In 2007, the helicopter he was on crashed. 22 soldiers were on board, eight, including Travis, were killed. His step-mom Kandie Vaughn remembers the day like it was yesterday.

She says, "My husband was out in the garage working and I went out to tell him that Travis had been killed. He dropped his tools and then dropped to his knees."

Travis had great pride in serving his country and his family continues to heal by helping veterans in need. For the past 10 years, they have been collecting donations and delivering them to veterans at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.

Kandie says, "We set up like 20 tables in this great big huge room and put out all the items and sort them. By the time we are done, there is a huge line of veterans ready to grab things they want or need."

Every year, they go on the day Travis was killed. His niece says it's their way of honoring him.

Makayla Vaughn says, "It's a way to connect with him...remember him."

It's also a way to honor other veterans.

Kandie says, "I wanted to be sure that he (Travis) would never be forgotten and in doing this, it shows almost 500 veterans that they won't be forgotten either."

It's also their way of healing, through helping others and it's the only way Travis would have it.

Kandie says, "The whole day, you can feel him there. I'm sure he is just as proud of we were of him."

This year more than 25 people made the trip to Marshalltown to give more than $7,000 worth of items to veterans.

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