Salute a Soldier Returns May 18

Salute a Soldier 5k/1k returns on Saturday, May 18, benefiting the Marshfield Police Department.

The family of Joe Altmann started the event after he was killed in action in Afghanistan on Christmas Day, 2011.

“We wanted to do something to honor his memory and benefit the community at the same time. What better way than a 5K?” said Kristen Niehaus, Joe’s sister.

The event is held at the Marshfield National Guard Armory. Proceeds from the 5K have gone to different military and first responder-related projects: ballistic vests for the Marathon County K9 unit; new radios for the Marshfield Police Department; Stop The Bleed kits through the Marshfield Fire Department; cleaning and maintenance of the helicopter in Veterans Park; landscaping for the Veterans Mural on Veterans Parkway; cleaning, maintenance, and leveling of the headstones for veterans buried in Marshfield, and more.

This year’s project will be to fundraise for the Marshfield Police Department to purchase an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone).

“Luckily they had been talking about possibly purchasing a drone so I knew this was our chance,” said Niehaus. “There have been several instances fairly recently where a drone would have been much easier and more effective in searching for individuals.”

Those who felt they didn’t quite get their workout in can join the 30 minute boot camp provided afterwards by the Fitness Belle. All fitness levels are welcome. Registration for the boot camp is $10 the day of the event. Snacks and drinks are available for purchase along with door prizes.

“My family looks forward to this event every year. It’s a lot of work, but knowing that we’re doing it for Joe AND helping the community makes it even better,” Niehaus said. “It’s great to see the same faces every year and each year we’re seeing some new ones.”

Registration for the run/walk begins at 8 a.m. with the start of the race at 9 a.m. The boot camp follows after the event at 10 a.m. Online registration can be completed at Sign-up is $20. Paper registrations can be picked up at Split Ends Hair Salon and ABC Child Care Center.

Follow Salute a Soldier at its Facebook page.