HOPEDALE, Ill. - Independence Day celebrations in Hopedale kicked off bright and early. On Wednesday, city residents participated in an annual 5k race for fallen veteran Reid Nannen.
But this race ended with a twist as veterans threw on gear and marched around the city to raise money for the Hopedale Veterans Memorial.
"Major Reid Nannen was a former brother of ours," said Dillon Spencer, U.S. Marine Corp. "We try tp bring awareness to the military veterans and pay our tribute to Reid."
The idea of the march was thought up by U.S Marine Mason Willis. Willis says he is extremely happy veterans were able to come together and support Reid. He went on to say the march was part of a bigger plan.
"My goal with it is to help prevent veterans suicide," said Willis. "You gather a group of us here like this and they can bond with each other and build friendships that maybe weren't established before."
Willis says he is proud of the support he received from the community and plans to make the veteran march an annual thing the city can rally behind.
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