Vounteers Carry the Load at supermarket fundraiser

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by CARLA WADE

Bio | Email | Follow: @CarlaNWade

WFAA

Posted on May 14, 2014 at 7:07 PM

DALLAS — Carry the Load hosted a "give back day" at the Whole Foods Market at Preston Forest on Wednesday.

Carry the Load was started by two former Navy SEALs. Their goal is to restore honor and remembrance to Memorial Day.

While he's never sacked groceries before, retired Army Maj. Andrew Wildrix understands customer service. Whether he's working to keep Americans safe or just volunteering his time for Carry the Load, serving the public is a familiar role.

"Anything I can do for them, I'm here to help out as best I can," Wildrix said. "That's what service is about."

Wildrix — along with other retired and active duty service members, veterans, police, firefighters and first responders — participated by volunteering to bag groceries. Five percent of the store's net sales Wednesday will go directly to Carry the Load and foundations that support the families of service members.

Ellen Winspear was doing her grocery shopping Wednesday morning and stopped to acknowledge the men in uniform.

"Obviously the sacrifice that our troops and the things that they do for us means a lot to me, because I have a son in Afghanistan right now," she said.

For a lot of customers ,the uniforms and the small talk on the way from the check-out counter to the parking log reminded them of sacrifices taken for granted, and how sacred the Memorial Day holiday is to a retired soldier — even while just bagging groceries.

Major Wildrix teared up as he explained the significance. "You get a stronger sense of what it's about when you visit the funerals and the services at the national cemetery," he said. "And it makes you feel like could have done more."

WFAA is a proud sponsor of Carry The Load. Each May, the group organizes a 20-hour walk along Dallas' Katy Trail. Money raised from that event also goes to veterans and their families, along with foundations that assist police and firefighters.

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com

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