Editor’s note: Carry The Load was last year’s winner of the CultureMap Charity Challenge. There are only a few hours left in this year’s poll, so vote now for one of the worthy nonprofits. The new winner will be announced January 5.
Walker Stovall’s father died a decade ago. After driving 10,000 miles delivering supplies to American troops in Iraq, the truck the Army National Guardsman drove hit a roadside bomb. Walter wears his dad’s hat and dog tag and was thrilled last year when Carry The Load marchers asked him to be the flag bearer as they passed through Memphis, Tennessee.
While marching, he met Stephen Holley, a former Navy SEAL, who co-founded Carry The Load with fellow former SEAL Clint Bruce. “That relationship [with Holley] has been really cool,” says Stovall’s mom, Natalie Stovall Frady.
To honor fallen soldiers, policemen, firemen and other first responders, Carry The Load walks each spring 1,600 miles from the cemetery at West Point, New York, to Dallas, arriving on Memorial Day. “It is really an uplifting way to recognize the holiday,” Frady says. “You feel you are doing something.”
Carry The Load has raised more than $2 million over the past four years.