SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — It’s called Carry The Load. The mission is to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day and honor our nation’s heroes.
Carrying the load of an American hero seems like an impossible task. That’s why people across the country are joining in to do their part in honoring the sacrifices made by our active military, veterans, and first responders.
“The 40 miles I am being put through on the bike climbing up and down mountains, it’s honestly nothing compared to what they’ve gone through,” said Saul Bravo, a Carry The Load participant.
Thousands of walkers and bikers from all 50 states are trekking more than 15,000 miles to honor the men and women who served our country. Participants volunteer for many different reasons.
“My dad, he died in the line of duty when I was 16 years old so it’s more to honor him and to honor people like him that sacrificed their lives,” said Olivia Terry, a Carry The Load participant.
“I actually don’t have any connections to the military, I am just trying to my part this way,” said Bravo.
The 22 day event was founded in 2011 by veteran Navy Seals, Clint Bruce and Stephen Holly.
“They started just walking. And they had names on their bags of guys they lost overseas. And really a random guy came up and asked who are you carrying? And that is kind of where it started from,” said Beau York, the Carry The Load Mid-West Road Manager.
Carry the load has now raised almost $30 million for organizations like the Woody Williams Foundation, created by the West Virginia Medal of Honor recipient.
“I walk in the footprints of somebody else. I was born free because somebody gave their life to make it possible for me to live free. And we must not forget ever, the memorial day significance,” said Williams.
“I hope he’d be proud. Just to get to walk him all the way down to Dallas, because that is where we are going,” said Terry.
“I walked six miles today, and I had people honking the whole six miles I walked, it was great,” said York.