Blood Drive honors fallen solider - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Blood Drive honors fallen solider


Jan Altmann said her son, Joe, spent his life caring for others.

"Joe's job as a combat medic was about helping people and saving lives," said Jan.

Staff Sergeant Joseph Altmann was killed in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan. The BloodCenter of Wisconsin wanted to honor him. So, leaders there asked the Altmanns to be part of a special blood drive.

"Blood donation certainly saves lives every day. So, if that's the smallest thing we can do, it's really, really phenomenal," said Jan.

The blood drive took place at Joe's old high school, Columbus Catholic in Marshfield.

The Altmanns said the loss of their son has been difficult, but they've had some help.

"The response we've had from the community as far as just support and sympathy and prayers and love has been absolutely overwhelming, and we'd never get through it without them," said Jan.

And that support continued as community members donated blood.

"A lot of times we just have students, a few teachers, but I was really seeing a lot of the community coming out to help support this," said Lorraine Spencer, operations manager at BloodCenter of Wisconsin.

"I haven't given blood in 15 years, and seeing, you know, Joe Altmann's name on this blood drive was the push that I needed to get out here and donate blood today," said Elizabeth Stratman of Marshfield.

Jan Altmann said she hopes to partner with the BloodCenter of Wisconsin for future blood drives to honor her son.

"For us to continue that legacy by donating blood, easiest thing in the world to do, yet it means so much," said Jan.

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