For the next month, the VA’s National Cemetery Administration is partnering with Carry The Load. This week’s guest, Stephen Holley, is the CEO and co-founder of the nonprofit. He’s also a former quarterback at the Naval Academy and a former Navy SEAL.

After graduation, Stephen served as a SEAL officer for five years. During those five years, he deployed four times. His deployments covered COIN operations in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Southeast Asia.

After his service he, and fellow Navy Seal Clint Bruce, founded Carry The Load. The nonprofit started as a means to reinforce the meaning behind Memorial Day. Today, their mission is “to provide active, meaningful ways to honor and celebrate the sacrifices made by our nation’s heroes— military, veterans, first responders and their families.”

They do this is with three programs:

Awareness Relays and Rallies

“Continuum of Care” Donations


In honor of Memorial Day, from April 25 through May 22, Carry The Load’s three separate relays will travel over 11,000 miles. Each relay will hand out a flag every five miles and will meet each other in Dallas, TX for a Memorial Day march. In support of this mission, 26 VA National Cemeteries in 17 states will serve as rally points. When Carry The Load arrives at each national cemetery rally point, there will be a Tribute to the Fallen plaque unveiling and dedication ceremony honoring Veterans and gold star family members.


You can also follow and participate on social media with #CarryTheLoad, #NoVeteranEverDies and #USMAReeves.

Additionally, Stephen also talks about his service, his transition, and what Memorial Day means to him.


Additional Links to This Episode:

#BtBattle Veteran of the Week:

Navy SEAL Marc Alan Lee – the first Navy SEAL casualty of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

You can read the entire transcript of this episode here. 

Listen on Your Favorite Podcatcher

Listen on iTunes

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Google Play

Share this story

Published on May. 1, 2019

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 393


  1. Marcia Johnson May 27, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Thanks for all you do, come to see memorials, even though I dont know you, I appreciate you and pray for your family.

  2. Ernest E. Gaiser May 4, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    It is a pleasure to read the stories of our heroes and fellow veterans. I took basic training in 1954 at Fort Ord, CA and advanced training as combat engineer at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, was then assigned to the 4th Engineer BN at Hanau, Germany, transferred on March 1955 to the Hq Co 2nd BN.26th Inf. Regt. at Bamberg, Germany.On Nov 1955 I was discharged from active duty and assigned e 422nd MP Guard .Co. Army Reserve where I served until my discharge in 1959.

    In 1965 I returned to my native Switzerland to live. Serving in the US Army was for me a great experience and I eagerly read the mails from VA!

    Best regards

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CSAM), and it’s time to remember that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.

  • VA has simplified and streamlined the application process for medical debt relief, allowing Veterans better access. Apply for and receive medical debt relief now.

  • Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers has expanded to now include caregivers of eligible Veterans of all service eras.