Traverse City Man Surprises Vets with Christmas Lights

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Ten years ago, Traverse City man decided he wanted to do something to light up the lives of local veterans.

And he did just that.

Dustin Ergang has been hanging holiday lights up for vets and first responders in Northern Michigan for free. He takes calls and installs festive lights every year.

He’s lighting up lives by lighting up homes.

It’s a tradition that honors Ergang’s great grandfather.

“My great grandfather passed away four years ago…and I just kind of never dealt with him being gone,” said Ergang. ”He’s the one who started this this ten years ago. This is my way of remembering that he’s still around.”

And Ergang felt him one winter morning as he was stringing lights on Tina and Ed Smith’s house in Traverse City. As he started talking about his great grandfather, the snow shifted from light snowflakes to big, round fluffy ones. The neighborhood looked like a snow globe. He says his grandfather was with him.

“Oh yeah, yep. When it started snowing on a day like this, he would get the idea to start hanging up lights,” said Ergang. “To me, this is perfect weather for doing this.”

The Smith house is Ergang’s fourth veteran home of the year. Ergang strung up the lights around the perimeter one morning while veteran Ed was out of town for work.

“He’s going to see it when he pulls up, he’s going to be surprised to see the backside,” said Ergang. “I like to see people happy and I like to help people.”

Dustin does his deeds for free but he does accept donations and all that money goes towards Christmas lights for people who can’t afford them.

“It keeps a positive mind because there’s a lot of negativity going on in this day and age,” said Ergang.

If you want to call or donate, contact Dustin Ergang at A1 Lights on with Care on Facebbok at  or call 231-846-4704.

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