Last May, Kyle Daggett died. I never got to meet him, but he was the beloved cousin of my friend and colleague, Jennifer Muench. Her descriptions of Kyle brought him to life. Later, I sent a small donation to the nonprofit Kyle’s parents founded. Here’s what his mother wrote to me:
…Our commitment is to “serve those who sacrificed serving us….It is with sincere and heartfelt gratitude; thank you for supporting our men and women who serve and for helping to carry on Sgt Daggett’s legacy.
Here are excerpts from publications, followed by links.
Sgt. John “Kyle” Daggett served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq. He was gravely injured on May 1, 2008 when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his vehicle. He passed away 15 days later at 21 years of age. The Sgt. John Kyle Daggett Memorial Fund was created by Kyle’s mother who is dedicated to helping injured servicemen and women, knowing that had Kyle survived, he would have needed long-term rehabilitation, care, financial help, and moral support.
An avid outdoorsman, John K. Daggett loved hunting, fishing and adventure. He went camping and rafting with friends. He would hunt in Montana where he father lives. “He was so intelligent about the outdoors,” best friend Jamie Patasin said. “Anything to do with outdoors, he was pretty much doing it.” Daggett, 21, of Phoenix, Ariz., died May 15 in Halifax, Canada, of wounds suffered May 1 in Baghdad when an explosive struck his vehicle. He was assigned to Schofield Barracks.
“He was just a phenomenal, a phenomenal kid,” said Dana Zupke, who coached Daggett on the football team. “He was very outgoing and very bright and articulate. He was definitely a pleasure to be around.” Zupke, who also teaches business classes, knew Daggett off the field. “He applied the same ethic in the classroom,” Zupke said. “He was always very outgoing and contributed a lot to the class – just an all-around joy.” A 2005 high school graduate, he is survived by his father Jack Daggett, his mother Colleen Czaplicki, and stepfather Paul Czaplicki. “He was probably the most honest-hearted person I ever met,” Patasin said.
Thank you, Kyle, and all other military personnel, who serve our country with honor.