FORT HOOD, Texas - The West Coast Relay Team of Carry the Load stopped by the Great Place, May 27, to watch the 1st Cavalry Horse Detachment perform their routine, on a pitstop on their trek from Seattle to Dallas for Memorial Day.
Carry the Load is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2011, by two Navy SEALS. Their purpose is to provide meaningful, active ways to pay tribute to the sacrifices of veterans, first responders and their families. The four relay teams, East Coast, West Coast, Midwest and Mountain States start in different parts of the country and make their way to Dallas at Reverchon Park to kick off a 22-hour-long march around the park for Memorial Day.
“It’s grown each year,” Michael Garlock, assistant manager of the West Coast Relay for Carry the Load, said. “We’ve dedicated the entire month of May to remembering all of those fallen heroes, first responders and active duty, veterans – everyone who’s served and protected our nation.”
He was happy to be back making the long trek in person compared to last year when they had to host the event virtually.
“I personally do it for a friend of mine who was a paramedic in DC, who passed away. I do it in his memory, but I also do it to honor all of those who have served and the ones that gave their life, the ultimate sacrifice, to protect our country,” Garlock said.
Retired Maj. Gen. Robert Halverson opened up the horse detachment’s show, reminding everyone about the importance of Memorial Day by quoting former President John F. Kennedy and reminiscing on the time that he served.
“‘A nation reveals itself, not only in the men it produces, but also in the men it remembers and the men it honors,’” Halverson quoted. “I was privileged to be able to serve in the Army for many years, with a lot of wonderful Soldiers from all parts of the country, and some allied services. Each and every day I saw firsthand the patriotism and the courage that they selflessly displayed.”
He continued, thanking first responders for all that they do. However, the moments that have had the biggest impact on him are those where Soldiers and first responders go above and beyond to be kind.
“We do not see or hear about those (stories) every day, but I assure you it happens,” he said. “I’ve seen Soldiers helping kids in combat zones and countries where the mission is peace keeping… I saw a report just the other day of an officer who stopped a car for some reason, he found out that the fella driving was on his way to a job interview. Instead of giving him a ticket, he gave him a ride to the job interview… the fella got the job.”
Capt. Sadiq Hasan, 1st Cav. Horse Det. commander, was happy to perform.
“It’s a huge honor to be able to perform for heroes like this, who came before us, and continue to carry that message and carry that load so that other veterans as they get out and troopers can get the treatment and help that they need,” Hasan said, thanking those who have participated in the relay. “Thank you for your service and support. Continue to do great things and we’ll continue to support you as best we can here at the 1st Cavalry Horse Detachment.”