Hooves for Heroes joins Carry The Load for Memorial Day March

This blog was written by Equest Director of Clinical Services Jeff Hensley, MS, LPC.

For many Memorial Day is about backyard barbecues, time with friends and family, a long weekend away from work, and possibly a swinging deal on furniture – all great reasons to celebrate!  But Memorial Day is also about paying tribute to the men and women who sacrificed everything to secure our freedom.  It’s often the true meaning of the holiday that gets lost in the mix. 

But not for one amazing nonprofit called “Carry The Load”.  Now in its sixth year, CTL provides active, meaningful ways to honor and celebrate the sacrifices made by our nation’s heroes — military, law enforcement, firefighters, and first responders.  

Throughout the year, CTL works to bring all Americans together to participate in honoring our nation’s heroes.  Their signature event, the Dallas Memorial March, is a 23:15-hour ongoing tribute to those who gave their “last true measure of devotion” in defense of our nation.  This year the Equest Hooves for Heroes team joined more than 15,000 participants to take part in this moving tribute.  


Festivities began Sunday afternoon with an enthusiastic welcome of two National Relay teams that spent the month of May covering a combined 6,200 miles along both coasts to join in Dallas and kick-off the Memorial March.  Participants marched the Katy Trail during the ensuing 23 hours. 

Along the trail, dozens of storyboards honored the lives of our nation’s heroes and served as a constant reminder of the holiday’s true meaning.  Thousands carried rucksacks, some weighing more than 70 pounds as they silently “carried” fallen comrades.  

Marchers took down the storyboards on Monday, carried them to the site of closing ceremonies, and carefully lined them along the stage while a solemn rendering of TAPS echoed over the crowd.  Afterwards attendees celebrated America’s freedom together with music by Daryl Dodd.

Carry The Load’s events are the hallmark of what must truly be described as a “movement”.  But another critical mission is the financial support CTL provides to its nonprofit partners.   Carry The Load has raised over $4.5 million since 2011, which has gone to assist carefully-vetted nonprofit partners that serve veterans, military families, law enforcement, firefighters, and first responders. 

Equest’s Hooves for Heroes has been a proud Carry The Load nonprofit partner since 2014.  The financial support, exposure, and collaborations with other nonprofit partners, such as Adaptive Training Foundation, Center for BrainHealth, and Attitudes & Attire, have been indispensable to increasing the impact of Equest’s veterans program.

So why not get to know Carry The Load?  And when you’re making plans for Memorial Day 2018, consider joining Equest’s Hooves for Heroes on the Katy Trail!

CJ Bankhead