WACO, TX — Memorial Day is quickly approaching.
While a lot of Central Texans will enjoy a dip in the pool, or perhaps a BBQ and time with family, one organization criss crossing the country wants to make sure everyone remembers the true meaning behind the holiday.
“We’re trying to bring awareness and remember the people that have sacrificed all for us to have the freedoms and life we have,” says Michael Golden.
Golden is the 2021 West Coast Route leader of the Carry the Load relay. Over the past decade, the nonprofit has raised tens of millions of dollars to support military veterans, their families, and first responders.
“It’s amazing how often you get chills no matter how often you do it. And it’s a matter of pride,” says Golden.
There are four separate routes this year covering a total of 15,000 miles across the country. Each is filled with dedicated parents, siblings, children, widows and friends all working to carry the memory of someone lost.
The grueling conditions in places like the Arizona desert can prove a challenge, but for so many of those walking or cycling it’s worth the emotional and physical toll.
“It’s a constant climb, and a wind in your face, and then more climb. But ya’ know we all face that,” said Golden.
Friday morning, the tenacious West Coast team will zip through Waco and Central Texas as they head to Dallas for the final Memorial Day event.
It marks a huge shift from last year when everything was forced to go virtual because of the pandemic.
To learn more about the group’s founding by two U.S. Navy SEALs, and how to donate, click here.
To watch or participate as the group comes through Waco, check out times below: