A special program that honors soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice will take place Saturday on the UNI campus in Cedar Falls.

It’s called “Dedication to Iowa’s Fallen” and will feature the presentation of wooden carved battle crosses to the families of 10 soldiers from Iowa who died while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Retired U.S. Army Sergeant. Anthony Martin lives in Meservey and created “Logs4Heros” as a way to use chainsaw carving to create art out of logs in return to raise awareness for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suicide.

“We are not just one of these groups that basically donates the product to the fallen family and say ‘okay bye.’ We’re actually bringing them out of their environment coming to an event honoring the fallen member of their family — interacting with them — and they are actually continuing to follow us throughout these other events throughout Iowa,” according to Martin. Martin says Saturday’s program will take place at the west gym on campus south of the UNI-Dome from 3-5 p.m.

“The UNI ROTC program is actually helping us present this. So we’ve the got the all UNI veterans coming to it, plus the ROTC program. It’s going to be a pretty big event and we’re going to honor all ten. And it’s going to be pretty powerful — probably the most powerful veterans thing in the state of Iowa,” Martin says. “And as of right now, I am the only one in the U.S. doing what I am doing.” Martin says the public is invited to attend.

He says they talked to the Goldstar families and they wanted to keep the event public as they will talk about each of the 10 and he says by the end of the program everyone will know who the 10 are. Martin himself was medically forced to retire from the Army after being severely injured in Afghanistan. For more information check on the “Logs4Heros” page on Facebook.

(By Brian Fancher, KLMJ, Hampton)