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Cedar Falls couple recognize sacrifice of late son in special IVH event

February 21, 2019
Mike Donahey Writer , Reinbeck Courier

Members of U.S. military who die in the line of duty are fittingly memorialized with ceremonies, plaques and special days.

But in the Cedar Valley area and at the Iowa Veterans Home, the memory of the late Travis Vaughn lives on in a truly unique way. It is called "Shower of Gifts" where, for the 11th consecutive year, toiletries and other items are available free-of-charge for IVH residents.

It not only honors Travis Vaughn, a soldier with the 160th Special Operations "Night Stalkers" killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2007, but other veterans as well, which is why the event is held at IVH.

Article Photos

Many hands make light work” was the axiom in force Monday in the Malloy Leisure Resource Center at the Iowa Veterans Home as volunteers helped prepare for the annual “Shower of Gifts” event.

On Monday morning the IVH Malloy Leisure Resources Center (MLRC) was a beehive of activity as approximately 20 volunteers organized 500 items ranging from to DVDs, to paperback books, to shampoo for men and women - all donated by Cedar Valley area residents.

Many of the volunteers had come from the Cedar Valley in a caravan with Vaughn's parents - step-mother Kandie and father Brad Vaughn of Cedar Falls, reported the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

IVH residents - a large majority in wheelchairs - patiently lined up outside the spacious hall with IVH staff and volunteers at the ready to push them forward.

"Travis was more than just a service man," Kandie Vaughn said. "He was very special to us. We like to honor Travis, and remember him and his sacrifice while spending the day here with veterans so they know their service has not been forgotten it is an exciting but difficult day."

Travis Vaughn is survived by his wife and stepson.

"The 'Shower of Gifts' has been a special event to honor the late Travis Vaughn and we at IVH are truly grateful for the generosity shown by the Vaughns and other Cedar Valley area residents," IVH Volunteer Services Coordinator Amy Deimerly-Snyder said.



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