Last week, I saw a post on Facebook that caught my attention. It was about a relay coming through the Atlanta area for an organization called Carry The Load. The word was going out for people to sign up and join in to help the charity, remind people of the meaning of Memorial Day, and get in some exercise. Well, that was my take on in when the president of Ranger Coffee (a former ranger) challenged everyone on a particular leg to bring a ruck and make it a ruck march. Liking the concept and needing some exercise, I agreed.
Carry the Load was co-founded by former SEAL Clint Bruce. I think the words he shares on the site say it best:
"I served our country as a Navy SEAL. Every Memorial Day I have a persistent, dull, deep ache. It’s the memory of all of the buddies I’ll never be able to talk to again. I couldn’t express my feelings with words, so I put on my boots, loaded my pack and I started walking. With every step, I thought about those buddies I lost. As I walked, a man stopped me and asked, ‘Son, who are you carrying?’ He understood what I couldn’t say. At that moment I knew that other people felt like me, and Carry The Load was born.”
Nor do they stop with just the military, but also include law enforcement, firefighters, and -- most importantly to me -- their families.
It was a very good experience doing the five mile "leg" as the group got to know each other. There were quite a few veterans, some active duty, and the rest were just glad to show some support of those who serve and the meaning of Memorial Day. One group even traveled an hour and a half to take part.
It was an honor and a pleasure to take part, and a good reminder of the real meaning of Memorial Day. Check out Carry the Load, and I also want to thank Ranger Coffee for the sample they provided. It's a good brew, better than a certain "fishy" coffee chain by a mile.