Veteran dedicates Ice Age Trail hikes to fallen Wisconsin service members
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A retired Wisconsin Air Force veteran finished the Ice Age Trail in November, dedicating every mile to fallen Wisconsin service members through the decades.
“I started on the Air Force’s birthday, September 18th, 2021,” said Annette Martiny. “It was a great way to transition because, I’m going to be honest with you, the thought of leaving a 34-year military safety net was kind of daunting.”
After retiring, Martiny wasted no time in getting started on the journey. But her motivation went much deeper than just getting outside and hitting the trials.
“I actually lost my brother when I was 15; he was in the Air Force; he actually didn’t die in combat; he was hit and killed by a drunk driver,” said Martiny. “Part of the reason I decided to do these dedications in memory of these fallen is so that the family would know that their loved one’s sacrifices aren’t in vain and that there are other people besides the family that remember them.”
Martiny researched service members in the areas around each hike, dedicating every mile to different service members from around the state in both recent operations and ones dating back to World War I. Her final steps were in Baraboo, completing her travels at the memorial of a family member and one of the Baraboo 21.
“My uncle, Paul Stewart, was actually in charge of the 20 other troops that were on this ship; they were bound for France to fight in World War I,” said Martiny. “It is the site where they memorialize the 250 plus people, both U.S. and allied forces, that perished during the sinking of the Tuscania; it was hit by a German U-boat.”
Martiny says she also worked to reach out to some of the families of the fallen service members, letting them know the impact their loved ones still have and that they are not forgotten.
Click here to download the NBC15 News app or our NBC15 First Alert weather app.
Copyright 2022 WMTV. All rights reserved.