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Rain couldn't dampen the purpose of Carry the Load memorial march

White poster boards with pictures of fallen heroes were put up along the Katy Trail. On Monday, they were brought to Reverchon Park in a powerful procession.
Credit: WFAA

DALLAS — The rainy weather did not stop closing ceremonies at the annual Carry the Load event Monday.

White poster boards with pictures of fallen heroes were put up along the Katy Trail. And on Monday, these storyboards were brought to Reverchon Park in a powerful procession for the closing ceremony, which was led by WFAA’s Chris Lawrence.

From Sunday to Monday, walkers participated in the Dallas Memorial March by walking on the Katy Trail. Kara Black, 18, is from Alabama. She walked 44 miles and told WFAA it took her about 17 hours.

“There’s no comparison for the people that this organization was founded for, so that’s a little itty bitty part that I can give back to them for them giving their all for me,” Black said.

Monty Heath is a veteran U.S. Navy Seal. And as we thank him for his service, he honors the sacrifice of his friend, Neil Roberts, this Memorial Day.

Heath said a young athlete he met through Special Olympics and Carry the Load changed his life.

“She basically got me from thinking about wanting to hurt people to wanting to help people,” Heath said. “And that’s what I’ve been doing the last six years.”

Heath works with the organization Vet to CEO, helping veterans learn entrepreneurial skills.

Other organizations, like Valor Ranch, also participated in Monday’s Carry the Load event.

“I am a Gold Star wife,” Valor Ranch founder Keri Anne Wilcox said. “My husband passed away in 2012 from his combat exposure. As he was passing away, he asked me to promise to continue fighting for his brothers and sisters.”

Valor Ranch helps veterans through mental health assistance, equine therapy, and other resources. They’re currently fundraising to launch programs aimed at helping women veterans.

“I came to recognize how underserved our women veterans are,” Wilcox said. “We just want to help them overcome those barriers and obstacles that are standing in their way of meeting and writing the rest of their story.”