MARSHFIELD (WAOW)-- The communities of Marshfield and Spencer came together Tuesday night, to honor the memory of Staff Sergeant Joseph Altmann. All proceeds from the boy's basketball game will benefit a scholarship fund in the soldier's name.
"He was the kid who got the job done, never gave up on anything and really was there as a team player. That made the biggest difference to us," said Altmann's mother Janice.
The Staff Sergeant's presence could be felt as the National Anthem filled the gym at his alma mater. "What a difference the National Anthem makes to us now, with Joe's passing," said Janice.
Altmann gave his life for freedom. Now, a symbol of that sacrifice and a scholarship will honor him. "This is a way for us to assist Joe in continuing to care about other people, which is something that was very important to him," said Columbus Catholic High School Boy's Basketball Coach Joe Konieczny.
Some of Altmann's friends and former teammates held the flag at center court Tuesday night. Sam Klumb met Altmann in Kindergarten. The two later became teammates and senior leaders on the first Spencer-Columbus Co-op football team.
"It was a very difficult but rewarding thing that we did together," said Klumb.
Klumb said on the field, Altmann helped bring all the players together. Tuesday night, he did it again.
"It's just a memory for everybody that comes through the school to remember Joe and what he stood for and to know that he did the ultimate sacrifice," said Klumb.
All of the proceeds from T-shirt sales, raffles and game tickets Tuesday night will benefit the scholarship in Joe's name. Columbus Catholic school officials say they hope to award it to a student planning to go into public service.