TIFTON, GA (WALB) - Dozens of ABAC students walked to remember first responders and veterans.
For the fourth straight year, ABAC held their Carry the Load Step Off event to send off eight students who will participate int he National Carry the Load Relay.
ABAC's police academy cadets was the first group to kick off the event.
"It means the world, it really does, number one it gives the students and opportunity to refocus," said ABAC Police Academy Manager Marty Smith.
And to remind students of the sacrifices of the men and women who died serving our country.
Like Junior Ginger Orton, who was carrying the load for her father, a Vietnam veteran.
"The way he raised me has made me proud to be the daughter of a Marine and so I want to honor him this summer and carry that load," said Orton.
And so for the next 24 hours, she and hundreds of students will be walking two and one-half mile relay through campus.
"A lot of my friends have given me a family member they would like me to carry this summer, and that's just the biggest honor that I could ever ask, that's why I'm doing this," remarked Orton.
Tomorrow at 8 a.m., she will be carrying the load of two fallen Americus officers Jody Smith & Nick Smarr and "as well as the two tours my father did in Vietnam," explained Orton.
233 flags laid out to remember the fallen officers and firefighters across the nation
"They died for us, and we need to pause and recognize that fact," said ABAC Carry the Load Coordinator Matthew Reed.
"I'm really excited to meet them and carry their load, what little bit I can across the country this summer," said Orton.
On Thursday, ABAC staff will be holding their closing Carry the Load ceremony honoring the eight fallen police officers in state.
Then, Orton and seven students will head off to the National Carry the Load Relay which begins in West Point, New York and ends in Dallas, Texas on Memorial Day.
Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.