Walkers 'Carry the Load' in Nation's Capital



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Posted on May 6, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Updated Monday, May 6 at 7:13 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Memorial Day is just around the corner and many of us see it as little more than an extended weekend or chance to shop for deals.

But, just like the years before, a group of people will do their best to show the rest of us it’s about sacrificed.

Walkers for Carry the Load left West Point in New York earlier this month with a goal to raise $1 million. It's a 2,000-mile effort to collect money for the families of fallen veterans and first responders. Their long walk ends Memorial Day weekend in Dallas.

Over the weekend, they walked through the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Co-founder Clint Bruce, a former Navy SEAL, helped put the annual event together a few years ago.

"I was frustrated with the fact that most Americans don’t seem to recognize the true meaning of Memorial Day," he said. "It’s not just about sales and getting days off, it’s a bout honoring the men and women and the families who keep us safe."

Carry the Load asks that people carry the memory of fallen veterans and first responders who lost their lives and sacrificed as they served for others.

Walkers, some of whom only participate in segments of the walk, help raise money for groups such as "Snowball Express," which assists the children and spouses of service members killed in combat.

"For these children and families, every day is Memorial Day," said Buck Kern, executive director of Snowball Express. "So, imagine how important it is that they see the rest of us taking time out to remember their fallen hero."

WFAA is a proud sponsor of Carry the Load. In the week ahead, expect more coverage on air and online as the walkers get closer to their goal of reach North Texas and raising $1,000,00.

E-mail jmccaa@wfaa.com