Tanner Dietz 2017

Tanner Dietz and Brittany Rogers carried an extra load during the Carry The Load walk in 2017. Dietz wore his Royse City Fire Department bunker gear, which weighs 40-plus pounds, during his walk of about 12 miles from the Royse City High School parking lot to the Rockwall County Courthouse in Rockwall. Brittany, his then-fiancé, wore a 20-pound weighted vest.

Hundreds of people will be walking through North Texas during the Memorial Day weekend, each one paying tribute to an American veteran.

The East Coast Relay of the “Carry The Load” walk is passing through Rockwall County early Sunday morning on its way to its final destination in Dallas.

Lauren Daniels, Public Relations Director with Carry The Load, said much of the trek will be taking place during the pre-dawn hours Sunday.

“That is the plan,” she said.

After crossing Hunt County Saturday, Carry The Load is expected to arrive at the Royse City High School stadium, 700 South FM 2642 at 9 p.m. Saturday, then reach Soulman’s Bar-B-Que, 818 Interstate 30 Service Road in Royse City at around 10 p.m. Saturday.

“From there we will be walking 4.2 miles to the Fate Fire Department,” Daniels said. And we’re planning to make stops every two hours from then on, reaching the Rockwall County Courthouse, 1111 West Yellow Jacket Lane at 2 a.m. and the Rockwall Christian Academy, 8005 Dalrock Road in Rowlett at 4 a.m. Sunday.”

The East Coast Relay began in West Point, New York on April 29 and will meet up with the West Coast Relay, which began in Seattle the same day, and a new Midwest Route, which began in Minnesota May 3, at Reverchon Park in Dallas Sunday afternoon.

Stephen Holley, president and CEO of Carry The Load and veteran U.S. Navy SEAL, has said the relays are designed not only to raise funds and awareness for veterans and their surviving families, but to restore the true meaning and purpose of the Memorial Day holiday as a way to honor those who served and died in service to the United States.

"We're here to mourn the loss of those that we've loved, those that have given the ultimate sacrifice. But we're also here, united, to celebrate those lives – to thank God that such men and women lived," Holley said.

Additional information about the relay is available at the Carry The Load web site at carrytheload.org.

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