Carry The Load will walk through Grand Rapids and surrounding areas on Wednesday as part of a 15,500-mile national relay.
The military nonprofit will walk near businesses and public areas in the greater Grand Rapids area, including Millennium Park, Veterans Memorial Park, Grand Rapids Fire Department and many other locations. A full schedule can be found below.
Carry The Load, a nonprofit that started in 2011, was created by two Veteran U.S. Navy SEALs who said they felt as though the nation had forgotten the meaning of Memorial Day. Now, 10 years later, Carry The Load will walk through all 50 states from April 29 through Memorial Day.
Registration is open for the entirety of the event.
This year, people can partake in events by holding a Carry It Anywhere experience, organizing a youth Carry The Flag activity, walking in the national relay, attending a city rally and fundraising for military personnel. People also can participate virtually throughout the entirety of the 32-day event.
“After serving on active duty post-9/11, many of us returned home by having lost good men and women whom we served alongside,” said Stephen Holley, co-founder, president and CEO of Carry The Load. “We returned home to what felt like a nation that didn’t care. By walking alongside and sharing stories with hundreds of supporters over the past 10 years, we’ve come to realize people do care.”
Not only an outlet for the emotional healing of veterans, Carry The Load also raises money to put toward services like counseling, adaptive training, suicide prevention, job placements, home improvements, educational scholarships for children of fallen soldiers and many other services.