National walk remembering fallen soldiers travels through Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, MA. (WGGB/WSHM) - A national walk to remember fallen soldiers while supporting their families made its way through Springfield on Tuesday.
“You need to remember why you have these freedoms and that somebody paid the ultimate sacrifice for them, you know. It’s just one of those things…It’s great to have barbecues and stuff like that, but you also need to remember why you have these freedoms,” said Andy Medrano.
‘Carry the Load’ is a non-profit organization that raises awareness for fallen soldiers, veterans, and first responders while helping to support their families. This part of their month-long national memorial May event has five relay teams spread out across America and they spend four weeks stopping in different locations and cover a total of 20,000 miles.
Last year, they raised over $2 million dollars. This year, they are hoping to collect $2.25 million. Since 2011, they have raised $38 million in total. Over 90 percent of all funds raised go to veterans and first responder families directly to provided resources such as housing, support groups, therapy dogs, and memorial maintenance. Western Mass News met with assistant relay manager Matthew Eveland as the New England team made their way through Springfield on Tuesday.
“We kind of zigzag. We want to hit all of the New England states. This is the second year this relay we will snake up to New York and come all the way back down, hitting states like Tennessee and Kentucky, along the way back to Dallas where our home base is,” Eveland noted.
Eveland explained how the group sizes can vary at each location. Some legs only have their crew members walking. while others locations have 150 to 200 people rallying together. We spoke with two walkers who started in East Longmeadow and ended in Springfield. Samantha Battles of Springfield was walking for her Marine husband and Palmer resident Haleigh Orszulak served in the Navy. They told us why this walk is important.
“To see the respect and honor that people have for them and that their families you know the sacrifices that their families have given are still are giving today,” Battle explained.
For more information on ‘Carry the Load,’ you can CLICK HERE.
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