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Local ‘Carry the Load’ Event Honors Veterans

Featured, Lifestyle

Carry the Load supports first responders and veterans | Image by Carry The Load Twitter

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Over Memorial Day weekend, the nonprofit organization Carry the Load hosted events across North Texas to honor veterans. The group held a rally in Fort Worth on Saturday, followed by the Dallas Memorial March Sunday and Monday.

Participants in the Fort Worth rally walked 3.6 miles, stopping outside the Fort Worth Police and Firefighters memorial.

This year, the Fort Worth event carried a personal tribute to a North Texas hero.

“We are really honored because on the other side of this big bus is a picture of Patrick Zamarripa, who was one of the Dallas five killed back in 2016, and his whole family is here,” David Lindsey, the organization’s West Coast Relay manager told reporters.

Lindsey, a retired Dallas firefighter, said Carry the Load supports first responders and veterans.

He added that anyone is welcome at the group’s events.

“Just come out. Walk with us,” Lindsey said. “You don’t have to be a military person, you don’t have to be a first responder.”

Valerie Zamarripa, Patrick’s mother, attended the march, and she told NBC 5 that she would continue to honor her son.

“Like I say, till my last breath, you’re going to hear his name,” Zamarripa said.

Patrick served in the Navy before joining DPD. The bus featuring his picture has been driven across the country, NBC 5 reported.

“It’s a great feeling to know that he’s been through so many states and that so many people have seen him and honored him and walked in his honor carrying the load,” Zamarripa stated.

Zamarripa says Memorial Day weekend is about remembering the people who did not make it home, like her son.

Corena Mitchell, an Army veteran who attended the weekend events, credits Carry the Load with saving her life.

Mitchell enlisted right after high school and was assigned to write KIA reports.

“First report was on someone I knew,” she said.

In 2012, Mitchell struggled with undiagnosed PTSD as she transitioned back to civilian life.

“I became depressed and sad, and I didn’t have any value anymore. I felt that everyone would be better off without me here,” Mitchell told NBC 5.

Mitchell said things began to turn around when she saw a news story about Carry the Load organizer Coleman Ruiz. A few years later, Mitchell was able to meet Ruiz in person.

“Coleman, he carried me until I was able to carry myself,” she said.

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