Family's fireworks stand helps injured vets

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by By ERICA HEARTQUIST for Kgw.com

Bio | Email | Follow: @EricaHeartquist

kgw.com

Posted on July 1, 2013 at 11:48 AM

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A family in Washington is hoping you buy your fireworks from them this Fourth of July weekend.

They're using the proceeds to give back.

The fireworks stand in the Kmart parking lot on Andresen Road in Vancouver, looks like every other stand right now in Washington, but when you walk inside, customers realize it is so much more.

"[We want] to carry on Kyle's legacy and to support our soldiers. Our motto is 'serving those who have sacrificed serving us',"said Czaplicki.

Sergeant John "Kyle" Dagget was injured in Iraq May 2008 when a grenade hit his vehicle. He died fourteen days later.

He loved to fly from Arizona to visit his uncle, Tracy each year for the Fourth of July and he loved to watch the fireworks.

"The sadness is so deep and Kyle brought us joy," said Colleen Czaplicki.

After Kyle's death, his family came up with a plan.

"Our family has come together, many are from completely out of town and we're running this fireworks stand and the proceeds are going to "Homes for Our Troops," said Tracy Phillips.

"We did it. It took a lot of planning. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into," said Czaplicki.

All of the money made will go toward building handicap-accessible homes for two local soldiers severely injured in the war.

"That's why I came down here instead of going somewhere else," said Sergeant First Class Leonard Murray, who was shopping for fireworks.

"What better time to honor Kyle than to do it on the weekend we celebrate our nation's independence," said Czaplicki.

"Independence is about our freedom and that's what these guys are fighting for," she added.

The proceeds help injured soldiers from Gresham and Hood River.

There are two different fireworks stands in Washington where all the proceeds will go toward helping injured soldiers:

1806 NE 3rd Avenue in Camas, Washington

2711 NE Andresen Road in Vancouver, Washington.

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