Carry the Load Participation Request from Emily Reeves on Vimeo.
We are quickly approaching summertime. And many think of Memorial Day as the official kick-off of summer. It is a three-day weekend for most and a time when we flock to the lake, have parties and picnics, and find great items on sale at our favorite retail outlets.
But Memorial Day is truly about remembering and honoring those that have given their lives for our safety and protection. My younger brother Rob, my only sibling, was one of those. Rob was a Navy SEAL on SEAL Team 6 who was aboard a helicopter with 37 other men that was shot down in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. All 38 men and the one dog aboard lost their lives. Twenty-two of those men were Navy SEALs. Rob gave the ultimate sacrifice. And I want Memorial Day to provide the reminder to us all that we should honor his sacrifice and that of all those who have given their lives to looking out for us.
Carry The Load is an organization that was created to bring back the meaning of Memorial Day. This year, I am honored to be a part of that organization and help get the word out to the country to participate in some way. Carry the Load has two components: a National Relay and a Memorial March. The National Relay starts on April 30, 2013 in West Point, NY and travels by foot for 2,000 miles across the country in five-mile increments, ending in Dallas, TX for the 20 hour and 13 minute Memorial March.
The Carry the Load National Relay will cross the entire state of Arkansas. It will enter in our northeast corner on May 20th, with our first leg starting in West Memphis at 6 PM on May 20, 2013. It will reach North Little Rock/Little Rock on May 21st. The first North Little Rock leg will start at 4 PM on May 21st, the second at 6 PM and the third at 8 PM that will take us into Little Rock. The last leg in Little Rock begins at 10 PM and ends at midnight on May 21st. The walk will continue through Hot Springs, Arkadelphia and exit through Texarkana into Texas on May 23rd. For three days, Carry the Load will be walking through Arkansas in remembrance of our fallen heroes and making Memorial Day and entire month. I want Arkansans to show their patriotic spirit and participate in this event, showing the rest of the country that we stand behind anyone that fights for us.
How can you participate?
- Sign up to walk a leg of the relay. Go to the National Relay page and find the location start time and place nearest you and show up. You can sign up officially, or you can just show up and walk with the rest of us.
- Donate to the cause. The funds go to the families and children of those that have lost loved ones: Snowball Express, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, and Team Red, White and Blue. I would like to see Arkansas raise $25,000 for Carry the Load. Can you help? Go here to give.
- Show up along the walk routes and cheer those on who are walking. The maps for the route can be found here.
- Get the word out. Share this blog post, write your own blog post, share the Carry The Load link, like Carry the Load on Facebook and share it on your own wall, follow Carry the Load on Twitter and tweet about it from your own account. Help us gather crowds and money for this cause. Tell people why they should participate, how they can participate and then bug the hell out of them until they do participate. This is important.
To honor my brother Robert James Reeves, my dad and I will be walking as much of the Arkansas route as possible, and most definitely be there for the North Little Rock and Little Rock routes. Please join us. We will be meeting on Tuesday, May 21st at 4 PM at Route 70 and Route 391, North Little Rock, AR 72117 to start. If you want to pick up the next leg in North Little Rock, meet us at 6 PM at Route 70 and Eureka Garden Rd, North Little Rock, AR 72117. If you want to pick up the next leg that takes us into Little Rock, meet us at 8 PM at W Riverfront Dr/Riverfront Park Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72114. And if you are up for the late night last leg of Little Rock, meet us at 10 PM at W Markham and John Barrow Rd. Little Rock, AR 72205. We will be going on through south Arkansas and will also be participating in the Memorial March in Dallas over Memorial Day weekend. Wherever you are and however you can, please participate by walking, donating or cheering the rest of us on. I will forever be grateful.
Me and my brother Rob.
For a quick glimpse at my brother’s life, watch this video:
Robert James Reeves Memorial Video from Emily Reeves on Vimeo.