Marshfield Army Veteran Rucks 10 Miles in Honor of 9/11

SSG Schmidtke rucking on 9/11/23
SSG Schmidtke rucking on 9/11/23

MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – Troy Schmidtke, a Staff Sergeant (SSG) for the Wisconsin Army National Guard, rucked 10 miles today in remembrance of September 11, 2001. Rucking is walking or hiking while carrying a weighted rucksack or backpack and is a staple of international military training, as Soldiers must be able to carry weapons, food, and other supplies for long distances.

Schmidtke serves in Battery A of the 1st Battalion, 120th Field Artillery and has been in the military for 12 years. This 9/11 morning, he started at the Marshfield Armory, rucked north to Weiler’s Convenience Store at 2005 N Central, then traveled south to Veteran’s Parkway and onto Galvin, then 29th to finish back at the Armory.

The army veteran and 3rd generation business owner (Schmidtke’s Furnace Duct Cleaning LLC) first had the idea about a month ago to ruck in honor of 9/11.

“It was something I wanted to personally do in remembrance,” he said. “There are a lot of people that have lost sight of 9/11 and I want to keep in people’s minds that day was very important for the United States. I was in elementary school and it was one of the main reasons that drove me to join the military in the first place. It’s such a big event and it changed the lives of so many people.”

SSG Schmidtke rucking on 9/11/23
SSG Schmidtke rucking on 9/11/23

Schmidtke said he wanted to do something military-oriented to honor the day.

“That’s why I picked a ruck specifically,” he explained. “About a month ago, I started getting up in the mornings and running 4 miles every other day to make sure I am a little more physically fit to do it.”

He added that though he is military and that’s where his roles are, he also wanted to honor others like firefighters, police, EMS, and the rest of the overarching supporting roles that the community, state, and nation have. There is a long lineage of military roles in Schmidtke’s family, including his dad and grandfather. His father Kevin is also a longtime firefighter locally.

“Today being Patriot’s Day, I also want to encompass businesses that support and strive to be patriots by providing services to the community,” he said. “As military, as first responders, as veteran business owners, we haven’t forgotten. When the time rolls around every year, we always keep it in mind.”

Thank you for your service, SSG Schmidtke!

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