Fallen soldier honored in hometown with blood drive - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Fallen soldier honored in hometown with blood drive

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MARSHFIELD (WAOW)--Remembering a fallen soldier today in Marshfield and helping the community. Staff Sergeant Joseph Altmann died on Christmas Day in Afghanistan during an insurgent attack.

The 27-year-old Marshfield native was an Army medic for the last seven years. 

"Being a medic in the Army, that's what he was all about, saving lives," Altmann's sister Kristen said.

Kristen Altmann says her brother was a special person, "he was the kind of guy who would bend over backwards to help anyone, whether he knew them or not.

Part of that help came in the form of donating blood. That's why Altmann's family wanted to host a blood drive at his former high school.

"You have no idea where this blood is going or who it's helping, but you know it's helping. That was the most important thing to him, is that he was helping," Kristen Altmann said.

That same thing was something Altmann experienced during his time in the military.

"Being in the Army and being a medic, you don't know who you're dealing with. You're there to save lives. You're there to help people, and that's what he was all about," Kristen Altmann said.

One blood donation can save up to three lives.

"It's something that's very simple. It's just a matter of taking about 45 minutes to an hour of your time. And the gift is so significant--it does save many lives," Blood Center of WI Vicki Bohman said.

Altmann's family says they are grateful for the continued support of the community.

"It's been almost three months and the support is still incredible. It's really awesome to know how much people still remember and still care and are trying to do whatever they can," Kristen Altmann said.

Kristen Altmann says she's never donated blood before. But that she wanted to do it for her brother.

"It couldn't be a more perfect day to donate on a day like today, especially in Joe's honor," she said.

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To find blood drives in your area: https://web.bcw.edu/bcw/mobile_scheduler/drive_search.php?

 

Online Reporter: Cassandra Vinch

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