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Carry the Load treks through San Angelo for vets and first responders

Participants in the five-route, 20,000-mile journey are headed to Dallas for Memorial Day Weekend.
Credit: Randall Case

Members from Carry the Load walked and biked through San Angelo Saturday, as part of a cross-country, five-route trek across the 48 continental states to raise awareness for the sacrifices made by military, veterans, first responders and their families.

“The West route, which we’re on right now, we’re going from Seattle over to Dallas,” crew medic Andrea Coles said while at a local stop in San Angelo. “It will be 20,000 miles total over all five routes, and we’ll all end in Dallas and cover all 48 continental states.”

Carry the Load was founded in 2011 by Clint Bruce and Stephen Holley, two veteran Navy SEALs, as a mission to “restore the true meaning of Memorial Day,” according to its website, beginning with the Dallas Memorial March, which featured approximately 400 participants and raised close to $50,000.

The following year the group set up a national relay with an East Coast route spanning 2,000 miles and 13 states; walking, running, biking and bussing from West Point, New York, all the way to Dallas.

Since then, four more relays have been set up across the country. Last year the organization celebrated with their Decade of Honor meet, raising over two million dollars in peer-to-peer fundraising.

Since 2011, the group has raised $32.9 million.

The funds raised are distributed to nonprofit partners who provide services to vets and first responders through awareness, continuum of care and education.

Coles said the group will cover about 12 miles from walking Saturday, and close to 100 miles on bicycle.

For more information, visit carrytheload.org.

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