On a typical Mavericks or Stars game night, fans take over Dallas’ Victory Park. But thanks to the non-profit organization Carry the Load, tonight is anything but typical. Fans came to meet Navy SEALs, Marines and other service members.
“This is the first time they’ve been out here on the plaza,” said Eric Wilder from the Dallas Stars Street Squad. “It’s great to have them out. They’re doing a little meet and great with the public and the fans get them excited about the SEALs and the Stars at the same time.”
A portion of the proceeds from the night’s Stars online ticket sales went to Carry the Load. The non-profit organization’s goal is to remind Americans of the original meaning of Memorial Day and why we celebrate the holiday.
“I was approached by the Co-Founder Steven Holley who is a Navy SEAL and he asked me to get involved because of my history with the Marines and what I had been through in Iraq because I was severely wounded in 2004,” said Jacob Schick. “Because he knows my heart and he knows that I’m on board and agree with the mission they’re trying to take out with Carry the Load.”
Jacob Schick risked his life and lost his leg while serving in the Marines. After returning home he continues to give back to his country, especially to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“Any time you hear the name SEAL you automatically think American badass,” said Wilder.
Ryan “Birdman” Parrott served eight years as a Navy SEAL. He participates in Carry the Load every year, but he’s decided to go even bigger in 2013.
“This year I’m actually doing a hundred mile race,” said Parrott. I’m actually going to run one hundred miles in under twenty four hours from Waco to Dallas.”
Parrott is also the creator of “Sons of the Flag Burn Foundation,” a non-profit helping rehabilitate burn survivors.
“If somebody gets burned, if you’re a civilian, firefighter, or military and you get burned, we’re the treatment center”,” said Parrott.
Clint Bruce and Steven Holley founded Carry the Load hoping the seventeen hundred mile journey would not only encourage people to participate and raise money for families of fallen soldiers, but also remind people of the sacrifices our service men and women make each day.