With the upcoming of Memorial Day this Monday, I thought Carry the Load would be perfect to highlight and remind everyone what Memorial Day is all about.
The idea of Memorial Day was brought upon us to remember and honor service members for the sacrifices they continually make for the world. Although this idea has been harmlessly forgotten by some, you can guarantee it isn't forgotten by those that participate in the Carry the Load Memorial Day March.
Former Navy SEAL Clint Bruce started Carry the Load after coming to the realization that the meaning of Memorial Day had become kind of... ambiguous. Clint wanted to not only honor the friends that he lost, but also empathize with his fallen brethren. With this in mind, he decided to do what him and his buddies did most; Clint put on his weighted pack and began walking. During this walk, he thought about and remembered all that his brothers had sacrificed for him, for our country, and for all of us. At a certain point, Clint was encountered by another veteran who understood the meaning of his walk. After seeing Clint, the veteran stopped him and simply said, "Son, who are you carrying?"
It was then that Carry The Load was born.
Now, Carry The Load's mission is to restore the true meaning of Memorial day by giving Americans the opportunity to walk along side our nation's heroes in order to empathize with, remember, and honor them in such an organic way.
Carry The Load hosts plenty of local events, but their biggest are the Memorial May National Relay, the Austin Memorial March, and the Dallas Memorial March (keep reading to find out why!).
No events require that you register or participate for the whole event. For every march, anyone is welcome to join at any give location or time, even if just for a couple of minutes.
Memorial May National Relay: a 2,000 mile, 27 day relay from West Point, NY to Dallas, TX.
Dallas Memorial March: a 20 hour and 15 minute memorial ruck march throughout Dallas. My best friend and his father have participated in this march for the last two years and will also be participating this upcoming weekend. (Needless to say, I have some pretty cool friends).
Austin Memorial March: This one is similar to the Dallas March, however, instead of 20 hours and 15 minutes in duration, the march is 20.15 miles long.
None of Carry The Load's events cost any money or registration to enter or participate, but those that do register online automatically receive a personal fundraising page to optionally help fundraise for Carry The Load. For this year, Carry The Load's events have brought in a sizable amount of charitable donations. The Austin Memorial March has brought in $56,050 and growing, the National Relay has brought in over $300,000, and finally, just this year, the Dallas March has brought in largely over 1 million dollars. Alongside these, every local event also brings in thousands.
Funds raised for Carry The Load allows the organization to grow it's mission of restoration, and provide to its local and national non-profit partners. For 2015, some of Carry The Load's non-profit partners include: SnowballExpress.org, Building Homes for Heroes, Gratitude Initiative, and Tip of the Spear Foundation. Many more can be found here.
So this upcoming Monday, when you're off of work on our upcoming Memorial Day, keep a couple of things in mind:
1) Don't forget to remember.
2) Empathize and "carry the load" (think metaphorically, or even charitably).
3) And while you're carrying the load, be sure to carry hope.
From here, I wish you all a wonderful Memorial Day.
Written by Nikita Ahuja
Summer 2015 Intern