The 1st Cavalry Division shared its history and traditions with the Carry the Load relay team on Thursday at the 1st Cavalry Division Horse Detachment headquarters.

Carry The Load is a nonprofit that brings awareness to the sacrifices of military, law enforcement and first responders. The organization helps people cope with their loss in an active way.

“It is said that we all die two deaths in this lifetime. One is when the final breath leaves our body. The second death is when people no longer remember us, they no longer memorialize us and they no longer speak of us,” said Carry The Load veteran Todd Boeding. “They no longer memorialize us. It is our job, our mission, this movement to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

“What began as a 20-hour and 11 minute memorial march in Dallas has now become an annual West Coast and East Coast relay,” said Fort Hood garrison commander Col. Henry C. Perry Jr.

The march is known as the Memorial May Awareness campaign. Fort Hood is a West Coast rally point. The West Coast relay started at Henrys Tavern in Seattle, Washington, on April 26. The remembrance march ends on Memorial Day at Reverchon Park in Dallas.

Fort Hood was one of two Texas rally points May 24. The morning rally point was Williamson County courthouse in Georgetown, Texas. The team left the city with the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association at 9 a.m.

The association escorted the team to Fort Hood’s visitor center. The team dismounted their charter bus and marched to horse detachment headquarters. Soldiers, veterans, family members and volunteers welcomed the relay team to the Great Place.

Rally attendees included gold star family members — those who lost a loved one in military service. Many are a part of the Travis Manion Foundation — a national organization that empowers veterans and families of fallen heroes. It is a 2018 Carry the Load partner as well.

Senior director Tina Saari shared event details with members.

The First Team honor guard presented the colors and Carl Hutcherson sang the national anthem with his acoustic guitar. Hutcherson is a Vietnam veteran and a Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient

Texas Veterans Commissions executive director Tom Palladino commended the organization for putting “Memorial” back into Memorial Day.

“It isn’t just about the beginning of summer. We are keeping the awareness to ourselves, the families of those that lost someone that made those sacrifices and the general populace,” Palladino said. “We must never forget all those that served, and all the family members that served.”

Attendees enjoyed a mounted drill and ceremony as well as mounted weapons demonstration by the Horse Detachment. The detachment shifted its demonstration to 3 p.m. for the rally. It normally occurs at 10 a.m. every Thursday.

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