What are your plans this Memorial Day?
Before we let Memorial Day pass by without a second thought, let us consider that we may very well owe our existence to the courageous sacrifices of the men and women who have served and continue to serve in our Armed Forces.
Our hope is that on this Memorial Day, the American people will focus their attention on remembering our nation’s warriors who heroically gave their lives for our freedom. Together, let’s remember their sacrifices and show appreciation from the country they fought to protect.
Heroes on the Water is remembering and honoring our nation’s fallen heroes by participating in the Carry The Load National Relay and Rallies. The HOW Team has been traveling the relay from West Point on the 2,000 mile journey to arrive in Dallas on May 25th.
Along the way many stories have been told, remembrances shared, emotions expressed, and lives touched forever.
As Clint Bruce, former Navy SEAL and co-founder of Carry The Load expresses, “Through the efforts of Carry The Load, we are all able to express our respect and admiration for those who sacrifice for us every day,” added Bruce. “Memorial Day is the perfect time for family members and friends to take time to show their appreciation by participating in the Relay, whether that is walking, biking, running, raising money or just cheering on those walking through your community.”
The HOW National Team is passing through Little Rock as of May 21st, making the way to Dallas.
By: Jason Austin
On 5 Oct 2007, CPL Rachel Hugo was KIA in Iraq. Five months prior, CPL Hugo saved my life after my vehicle struck two IEDs in Bayji Iraq. She was a soldier in every aspect and died doing what she loved…saving lives.
My vehicle badly damaged and me with several injuries, CPL Hugo made a difficult decision for me that I begged her not to do. I was airlifted to Germany and eventually ended up in a polytrauma center in Tampa FL. For the next 900+ days I would undergo surgeries, physical and cognitive therapy and counseling.
The next year was a blur and the Traumatic Brain Injury I received actually blanked out many of those days I laid there in pain. I remember clearly the day I received the news that CPL Hugo was killed in action. A day I still will never forget.
I struggled with my pain and the change in my life and in 2010 I was medically retired with 19 years and 6 days of service. Little did I know that the challenges just began. I was different and the friends I had didn’t know me anymore, my family was gone, and I was alone. The next logical step in my eyes was suicide.
Ready to go through with ending the physical and emotional pain, I received a phone call to go kayak fishing with an associate of Heroes on the Water. Little did I know that that phone call and the day on the water would change my life forever.
The fact that I’m writing this should be enough to let everyone know that it was a change for the best. I now drive all over the Gulf Coast competing in kayak fishing tournaments and spreading the word about Heroes On the Water.
Two years ago Tracy Detwiler died. He was in the hospital and diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, COPD, and a host of health problems. He was on the table for a gall bladder operation where he met his fate. Then a miracle happened. Tracy Detweiler was revived. After 12 days in an intensive care unit, Tracy came back to us from death’s doorstep. Tracy is not a Veteran, and to hear him talk, he would claim that he isn’t special.
We are honored to be one of four national non-profit partners of Carry the Load 2014. As a partner, we are working to build the relay and rallies in new locations across the United States. We would love your support for Heroes on the Water to extend to Carry the Load for such a noble cause. Here’s some ways you can get involved.
We are looking for people to sign up to represent Heroes on the Water in the National Relay from West Point to Dallas. We have three teams under the Heroes on the Water flag. You can select to participate under any of these existing teams or form your own team. To participate in showing your support and walking along part of the route you will need to sign up. Here are the links to join one of our existing teams:
- HOW- National Team http://ctl.convio.net/site/TR/
- HOW-Maryland/Appalachian http://ctl.convio.net/site/TR/2014/General/860606057?pg=team&fr_id=1110&team_id=1531
- Team HOW http://ctl.convio.net/site/TR/
Bring along a small American Flag to show your patriotism and come walk with us. We’ve included an image of the National Relay Route below, but you can also use this link to view an interactive map to select the route you want to participate in: http://ctl.convio.net/site/TR?
Follow Heroes on the Water wrapped trucks as they travel the Carry the Load Relay route. Updates will be posted on the HOW Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HeroesontheWater.
Because Heroes on the Water was founded just outside of Dallas, Texas, we want to show a strong presence along the final legs of the National Relay (No. 345-348) as it enters Reverchon Park on May 25th. Dallas area friends are encouraged to sign-up online as part of the HOW Team to walk one or more of the legs listed below:
- Leg 345 5.8 miles DD’s Discounts – 9779 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX 75243 10:00
- Leg 346 5.32 miles Hillcrest High School – 9924 Hillcrest Road, Dallas, TX 75230 12:00
- Leg 347 1.65 miles Park Cities Presbyterian Church – 4124 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219 14:25
- Leg 348 Maple Ave at Reverchon Park, Dallas, TX 75219 15:26
There are three new local rallies that we are looking to build up. If you live near (or have friends and family nearby) Phoenix, Arizona; Mt. Pleasant, Texas; or Tampa, Florida; your support by spreading the word and joining a Rally Team is greatly appreciated! Below is additional information about each of the local rallies:
- Phoenix Rally: Join the HOW-AZ Team http://ctl.convio.net/site/TR/
- Mt. Pleasant, TX Rally: Join the HOW-East Texas Team http://ctl.convio.net/site/TR/
- Tampa Rally: (Start a HOW Team)
Can’t make it to the Relay of one of these Rallies? You can join in as a Carry It Home Participant. Details found here http://ctl.convio.net/site/TR?fr_id=1100&pg=entry
Together, we can bring back the meaning of Memorial Day and honor our service men and women who have sacrificed so we may live in freedom.