The annual Carry the Load national relay returns to Greater Lansing this month as part of its 20,000-mile national trek to help raise awareness and honor the nation’s fallen heroes 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 relay includes five routes crossing 48 states and 85 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 12 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 American Legion Post 510 in Stockbridge.
“We have seen firsthand the powerful impact Carry the Load has had on service members and families of those who have lost loved ones,” said Stephen Holley, co-founder, president and CEO of Carry The Load and a veteran U.S. Navy SEAL. “Our volunteers tell us that participating in Carry the Load has given them a deeper connection to those who serve and a greater appreciation for the sacrifices made for our freedom.”
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.
“Our goal this Memorial May is to raise $2.25 million through peer-to-peer fundraising,” 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/Memorial-May.
JPMorgan Chase is the title sponsor of Carry the Load for the ninth consecutive year. Additional corporate partners include BNSF, Builders FirstSource, Energy Transfer, FirstNet, Frito-Lay, Henry Schein Inc., TACenergy, and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. The VA National Cemetery Administration and Texas Music Project are strategic partners.
For more information on Carry the Load, visit carrytheload.org.