5K run held in honor of fallen local soldier

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – A 5K run and walk was held Saturday in honor of a fallen local soldier.

Runners took off from Seneca Park to remember Staff Sergeant Javier Ortiz. He had been living in Rochester since the age of seven and joined the Marines right out of high school.

Ortiz was deployed to Afghanistan, where he died in 2010 from a roadside bomb. Organizers of the 5K say Javier represents all of the fallen soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom.

"He actually ran the first race that we held at the Puerto Rican Festival and then two, three months after, he was unfortunately killed,” said Orlando Ortiz, Javier’s brother. “So it was an honor to be able to rename the race in his honor moving forward, and it’s always great to celebrate, to get people together, not only in his honor, but others that have fallen in the Rochester community."

Javier is survived by his wife and three kids.