Carry the Load: Honorary walk comes to Hub City

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JACKSON, Tenn. — Honoring America’s Heroes has one group trekking nearly 2,000 miles across the United States. The relay team for Carry the Load starts at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., and ends in Dallas, Texas, more than 25 days later. The group walked through the Hub City Sunday. Several community members met at Jackson’s City Hall to greet and thank the military men and women. “The nonprofit’s sole mission is to remind Americans what Memorial Day is truly about — to honor those who have sacrificed in the military to give us the freedoms that we have,” U.S. Navy jet pilotTravis Mann said. With flags in hand, supporters marched from downtown Jackson to the University of Memphis Lambuth Campus despite the rainy afternoon. “This is a symbolic effort that we carry the load because they always carry the load to protect and serve and keep us free,” Dr. Niles Reddick, vice provost at U of M Lambuth said. Mann said walks like this are his favorite part of visiting each town along the way to Texas. “That’s when we get to hear their stories,” Mann said. “That’s when we get to actually dive into the Memorial Day and what we’re honoring through this.” When the group crossed the finish line, they were met with cheers and applause. Some of those came from U.S. Air Force veteran Linda Brice. “It’s very lonely sometimes when you come back from war and nobody’s there, and I think this shows that Jackson cares very much,” she said. The relay team said each step is not just for those who have served their country — it’s also for first responders. “Because, as an active duty military, when I deploy down range, it’s those brave men and women that are carrying the load for me back here,” Mann said. “So they’re the ones taking care of my community, taking care of my family.”

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