For many people, Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and a three-day weekend of barbecues, beach trips and other outdoor activities. But for those who’ve lost loved ones to war, it can mean visits to the cemetery and the re-emergence of grief and pain.
Two former Navy SEALs who didn’t want people to lose sight of the true meaning of the holiday co-founded Carry The Load, a nonprofit group dedicated to the mindful awareness of those who died in service to the U.S. military, NBC News reported.
Every year, Carry The Load organizes a monthlong national relay consisting of five routes covering 20,000 miles across all 48 states in the continental U.S. People march in remembrance of their loved ones’ service and to make sure their memories are never forgotten.
Scotty Wirtz, 42, was an operations support specialist with the Defense Intelligence Agency when he was killed in a suicide bombing in Syria in 2019. Wirtz served eight years as a Navy SEAL, which is how he met Stephen Holley, who started Carry The Load in 2011 with friend and SEAL veteran Clint Bruce.
Read the full story at NBCNews.com.