Wyatt Salters. Photo courtesy of Alton Redbirds Hockey on Facebook.EAST ALTON - There are two things to know about Wyatt “Salty” Salters: He comes from a long line of veterans, and he loves hockey. The 15-year-old hockey player decided to skate a 5K to raise money for Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

Salters took to the ice on Nov. 30, 2023, to skate 32 laps around the East Alton Ice Arena, the equivalent of 3.1 miles. In doing so, he fundraised for DAV to help more veterans transition to civilian life, navigate benefits and receive assistance where needed.

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“I feel very responsible to be a big part of it and very honored to help,” Salters said.

He explained that this wasn’t his first year participating in the 5K, but he never considered skating it before. His family thought it would be a unique way to combine his interests and draw some attention to the cause.

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While most people would be exhausted after 32 laps around the ice rink, Salters said “it was easy” because he is constantly skating during hockey practice. He plays for the Alton Redbirds Hockey Club and attends Elite Hockey School in East Alton, so he is constantly on the ice.

“I was 8 years old, and I didn’t really like any other sport. I’ve tried soccer, baseball, all the other sports and just hockey felt different to me,” Salters remembered. “I want to go to juniors and then college hockey D1 and then maybe go pro and then possibly go into the Air Force.”

This would be following in the footsteps of his family, many of whom have served in the U.S. military. The DAV cause is close to Salters’s heart, and he encourages more people to donate to DAV or go to the official website at DAV.org.

“If you can help with DAV, that’d be great,” he added. “It’d make a huge impact for those that were in the army and support our country.”

Congratulations to Wyatt “Salty” Salters for his great 5K and bright future.

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