The 10th annual Carry the Load national relay will trek through Greater Lansing this month to help raise awareness and honor the nation’s fallen military personal and first responders as part of a Memorial Day commemoration.
The nonprofit promotes the relay as an active way to connect Americans to the sacrifices of the nation’s military, veterans, first responders and their families. The 32-day, 20,000-mile national relay includes five routes crossing 48 states and 100 rallies before culminating at the Dallas Memorial March on Memorial Day weekend.
The relay will start the seventh day of its Midwest route at 6 a.m. May 13 from the Home Depot location at 936 S. Waverly Road in Lansing. From there, it will trek to the Lansing Fire Department at 815 Marshall St. and Hobby Lobby, 2775 E. Grand River Ave. in East Lansing, before heading to Ransom’s Food Center in Stockbridge.
“For anyone who has lost someone in service to our country, they will tell you that participating in Carry the Load has made a lasting impact on their life,” said Stephen Holley, president and CEO of Carry the Load. “There is nothing like the human touch. Being in that environment, walking side-by-side one another and sharing stories demonstrates beyond words that people do care.”
Carry The Load is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2011 by Holley and fellow veteran U.S. Navy SEAL Clint Bruce. In addition to providing emotional healing, Carry the Load raises funds to assist with the many challenges facing the military, veterans, first responders and their families. Peer-to-peer fundraising goes toward recovery services, such as counseling, adaptive training, service dogs, suicide prevention, job placements, home improvements, scholarships for children of the fallen and more. The 2022 goal is to reach $2 million in peer-to-peer fundraising.
“We exist to unite the country through one common purpose of honoring the lives of those who have gone before us,” said Holley.
People of all ages are encouraged to participate by walking with the national relay team, attending a rally, hosting their own Carry It Anywhere event, organizing a youth Carry the Flag activity and fundraising. Registration can be found at carrytheload.org/MemorialMay.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is the title sponsor of Carry the Load for the eighth consecutive year. Other corporate partners include FirstNet, Frito-Lay, TAC, Henry Schein Cares, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Energy Transfer. The VA National Cemetery Administration is a strategic partner for the fifth consecutive year.