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New Frisco company shares the commitment and ideals of Dallas' Carry The Load

"He always talked about leaving a legacy," Dan Freeman said of his dad Myles Freeman Sr. "And it was important for us to continue that on."

FRISCO, Texas — For a dozen years, Carry The Load has asked this question - whose memory are you carrying? And, do you honor Memorial Day for its true purpose: remembering those who gave their all? 

In Frisco, there is a new arrival whose vision of that is crystal clear.

Carry The Load, founded in 2011, is a nonprofit organization focused on restoring the true meaning of Memorial Day. Right now, cross-country relays, as they have done every year, are working their way toward Dallas' Reverchon Park and Memorial weekend commemorations. The West Coast Relay started on April 27 in Seattle. The East Coast Relay started on May 1 at West Point, NY. A New England Relay started May 3 with the route beginning in Burlington, VT. And the Midwest Relay starts May 6, beginning in Minneapolis.

Carry The Load has grown into an organization partnering and supporting dozens of veteran and first-responder service organizations. Donated funds, now totaling more than $12 million since 2011, support a "continuum of care" that works to meet the needs of veteran and first responder families. Wiley X is now part of that family, committed to helping those organizations too.

"The success that we have today is because of those men and women that serve our country as well as first responders that served our country and serve our communities," said Wiley X CEO Dan Freeman.

Wiley X makes eyewear, but not just any eyewear. The glasses and protective goggles are designed to protect those who are putting their lives on the line. The company's new headquarters in Frisco features state-of-the-art production and testing equipment. Their products meet strict U.S., European and Australian military standards.

It started in 1987 in Northern California with Army veteran Myles Freeman Sr. He founded the company because he thought the military gear he used when he was in the service wasn't always that good.

"And he said we can do better. Let's do something with this," his son Dan Freeman said.

And that's exactly what he did. The eyewear is now worn by active duty military and first responders all around the world.

"Our mission today is to create world-class eye protection for those that serve, work, and play in life's harshest environments. And we live that today," Dan Freeman said.

Nearing the end of his life in 2021, Myles Freeman Sr. helped his sons plan to move the company to Texas: escaping financial and political challenges near San Francisco.

"I couldn't ask for a better community, a safer community, a place that we call home. And we're proud to be here," Dan Freeman said.

And they're proud to find an organization like Carry The Load and its network of companies and non-profits dedicated to helping veterans and their families. 

"It's important for us to give back as well as recognize the sacrifices these folks are making for this amazing country," Freeman said. "I think what resonates with me is kind of passing it along to that next generation."

Myles Freeman Sr. has only been gone for two years now. His sons, and their company of more than 120 people, soldier on without him.

But a father's advice - a father's voice - never really leaves you.

"He always talked about leaving a legacy. And it was important for us to continue that on," Freeman said. "First and foremost, I know my dad is looking down on us today and he's proud."

He's proud his company found a new home in Texas and found a new partner in Carry The Load -- with both reminding us that that those who serve and protect us need our service and protection too.

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