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Carry the Load stops in Charlottesville on their way to Dallas

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:34 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Veterans, friends, and community members across the country are honoring our nation’s soldiers in a special way.

A Carry the Load relay team made a stop in central Virginia Monday, May 9, taking part in a 20,000 mile walk across the country. Each participant carries the memory of a lost loved one.

“I had sent his wife a text and said, ‘Just so you know, that I’m carrying Don.’ And she, of course, is crying at home. But yeah, so Don will be on my pack all the way to Dallas,” Jason Santos said. “I’m carrying Sergeant Don Marine, 82nd Airborne 307, Engineering Battalion.”

“I’m carrying Michael Schinsky and Eddie Laredo. And then, as a forward moving idea, carry those veterans that are hurting right now,” Kerry Rock said.

The East Coast route started at West Point Military Academy and will end in Dallas on Memorial Day weekend. It gives people time to reflect and remember their loved ones that served the country.

“It’s an opportunity that they get to come out and talk about their family members and just share memories,” Santos said. “Just by being able to speak their name and talk about their loved one really just promotes the healing that that they need.”

The relay lasts 32 days, passing through Charlottesville in its second week.

“This year, we have five routes that we’re taking. We’re covering all 48 of the lower states, and we’re covering about 20,000 miles. We started at the end of August for some routes,” Judd Word said. “All five routes will end in Dallas.”

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