Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – With Memorial Day just a few weeks away, one national non-profit is looking to remember those who died serving their country.
Ahead of Memorial Day, Air Force veteran Jeremiah Kincaid committed to traveling 38 hundred miles across the Midwest to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“When you hear “thank you for your service” on Memorial Day, it kind of sits differently you know. Memorial Day is not for me. You know, that’s what veteran’s day is for. Bringing back the true meaning of Memorial Day, it’s about those that, you know, that didn’t get to come home,” said Kincaid.
Carry the load is a Texas-based non-profit aiming to shed light on those who put their lives on the line.
“Between military and first responders, you know, they’re all around to serve, you know, serve the community in one way or another,” said Kincaid.
The organization is holding five different relay routes across the nation with the Midwest leg passing through Eau Claire yesterday.
“We have West Coast, Mountain States, Midwest, East Coast, and New England, and we actually cover all 48 continental states and we’re covering 20,000 miles overall,” said Kincaid.
During their trek, volunteers rotate between walking, biking, and traveling by bus.
Although not a vet herself, Madison Woodson’s father served for over 30 years. She says that is one reason why she joined Carry the Load.
“I first got involved in 2016 when I was just a relay team member that was walking during the month of May. The organization had such an impact on me that I started working for them,” said Woodson.
Even though some heroes didn’t make it home, Woodson says events like the relays make sure they aren’t forgotten
“A lot of times we’ll find out that someone passed in the line of duty, killed in action overseas, and they make the headlines for a week and then we forget about them. We go on about our days. The families and the loved ones who lost someone live with that 365 days a year. So, it’s important for us to recognize that there’s a sacrifice being made and that there are millions of families being affected every day by it,” said Woodson.
Carry the Load is just one way to honor those who swore to protect and serve, and Jeremiah says anyone can do their part.
“Whether it’s being able to walk or fundraising, spreading the word, just talking about it, remembering, you know, whether it’s a veteran or first responder, you know, saying their names,” said Kincaid.
Kincaid says he hopes to one day travel all five relay routes. The routes will travel the rest of the month before all of them end in Dallas for Memorial Day weekend.
During that weekend, Carry the Load will host its annual 2-day holiday event.