A burden on his back: local vet to walk 20 miles carrying 100 po - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

A burden on his back: local vet to walk 20 miles carrying 100 pounds on Memorial Day

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KENNEWICK, WA - As Friday nears, many of you may be excited for the long weekend, but it's important to remember the true meaning of the upcoming holiday. Reporter Mackenzie Maynard spoke with veterans today who have decided to go out of the box this Memorial Day to raise awareness.

On Monday, Christopher Linck and Joe Chiprez will be walking a long route.

"Purity of purpose," said Linck. "We're not asking for money, just hoping to get support or raise awareness."

The two came up with the idea a few weeks ago.

"You don't have to bring anything, just be there for the fellow veteran who needs a hand," said Chiprez.

When people think of Memorial Day, they think of those whose lives were lost fighting on foreign lands. But oftentimes veterans lose a part of themselves and struggle with the burdens of war when they make it back home, and that's why he's carrying the pack of over 100 pounds.

"The pack, it symbolizes the burden the guys carry when they get home," explained Linck.

On Monday, he'll wear the pack until he can't handle it anymore. Thankfully though, that's when the person walking alongside him will relieve him...symbolizing the community support around these veterans.

They'll start at the Columbia Park Veterans Memorial, head down to Kimos, across the 240 bridge to Columbia Park Marina, then over to the Chiawana boat launch, up to Riverfront Park, over the Cable Bridge to Clover Island, and finally ending back at the Veterans Memorial...totaling 20.2 miles.

They're hoping the community will find some time in your day to meet them at one of those points to cheer them on, walk with them, or maybe hand them a water bottle.

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