Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fisher House thanked for its service

March 28, 2016 by  
Filed under Blog, Press

By Tom Vogt, Columbian Science, Military & History Reporter

Published: March 22, 2016, 5:59 AM

If You Go

 What: Opening ceremony of Fisher House.

 Where: Vancouver VA campus, across Fort Vancouver Way from Clark College.

• When: 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The family of Sgt. John Kyle Daggett knows what it’s like when a loved one in uniform is injured. That’s why the family is honoring his memory with a $10,000 gift to the Fisher House program, which opens a new facility Wednesday in Vancouver.

Daggett died in 2008 after he was mortally wounded in Iraq.

A Fisher House is “a home away from home” for families of military personnel or veterans receiving medical care. The homes provide temporary free lodging so families can be close to the military and VA medical centers treating their relatives. The new site is on Vancouver’s Veterans Affairs campus.

“When Kyle was critically injured, the Fisher House was there for our family,” his mother, Colleen Czaplicki, said.

“Sadly, he did not survive his injuries,” said Daggett’s uncle, Washougal resident Tracy Phillips, who announced the gift. But the people who loved his nephew “were forever touched by the kindness of the Fisher House mission.”

While Czaplicki lives in Arizona, Daggett spent a lot of time with relatives in Vancouver. The family’s fundraising efforts on behalf of the Sgt. John Kyle Daggett Foundation have included operating Fourth of July fireworks booths in Vancouver.

During those fundraising efforts, their fireworks customers always had the option of donating directly to the Fisher House program, Czaplicki said.

The family never stayed in a Fisher House, but the nonprofit helped in other ways. The Army sergeant was so seriously wounded that the plane taking him back to the U.S. had to make an emergency stop in Canada.

“It was unusual that they would stop, but he was in dire condition,” and her son was rushed to a hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she said.

The U.S. military flew immediate members of the family to Halifax, she said, where “The Canadian navy took us under their wing.”

But there wasn’t transportation for everyone who wanted to be there. A military assistance official got on the phone to the Fisher House Foundation, and the other family members were able to be with Daggett during his final days, Czaplicki said.

“They were also willing to provide housing if Kyle had made it to Walter Reed” medical center, she said. “It’s exciting to be able to give back.”

Wednesday’s event is hosted by Joanne Krumberger, director of the VA Portland Health Care System, and Dave Coker, president of Fisher House Foundation.

The event is open to the public. It will include tours of the new Fisher House.

Photo of Tom Vogt
Columbian Science, Military & History Reporter 

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