Hometown Heroes - Carry the Load

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:14 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Memorial Day honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

The “Carry the Load” march in Lake Charles will give veterans and others a chance to remember the Hometown Heroes who never made it back. Janet Meaux experienced something a few years ago that moved her so much, she brought it back to Lake Charles. “Carry the Load” is a nationwide walk leading up to Memorial Day.... to remember those who have lost their lives defending our country. This Friday, they’ll gather here at the McNeese entrance plaza.

“So we want everyone to come out and join us,” said Meaux. “We want veterans, first responders and their families. Because it’s all about restoring the true meaning of Memorial Day.”

Randy Camardelle is a Marine who served 2 tours of duty in Iraq. He says it’s therapeutic for veterans to talk.

“You end up talking about things, you tell funny stories, you tell sad stories,” said Camardelle. “But it gets people talking. That way you remember people that you lost. You have a good time. You fellowship with ones still around.”

The group will start at McNeese and walk 3.78 miles down Ryan to Veterans Memorial Park.

“Along the way, we’re gonna build friendships, share stories and build bonds that hopefully will last for years to come as Carry the Load builds here in Lake Charles,” said Meaux.

30 marchers took part in 2022. Janet’s hoping for an even larger crowd this Friday.

“It’s easier to forget,” said Camardelle. “It’s easier not to think about the past and things that are uncomfortable to think about. When you get together with your brothers you’re with a group of people that understands. They’ve been there, they’ve done that. They’ve experienced what you’ve experienced. So when you start talking about it, you don’t feel a whole lot of judgement.”

Residents wanting to “Carry the Load” are urged to show up Friday, May 26, 2023 at 4:45 p.m. at the corner of Ryan and Sale streets in Lake Charles.