LOUISVILLE, KY (Jan. 13, 2016) – Every morning when he wakes up, the weight is waiting on him. He throws the weight on each day, and leaves his home ready to carry it to his job, and picks it up again when he heads home.
James Brochinsky, a middle school STEM teacher, is walking 180 miles over 180 days carrying 22 pounds. He carries this every day to and from Middlesex Middle School in Darien, Connecticut.
Brochinsky said while he can unstrap and take the weight off, he has realized not even half way through his journey, there’s people out there who cannot unstrap off the weight of something not so visual they may be carrying.
He said months ago he did not understand it’s more than just getting up every day and putting on the weight to raise awareness for a good cause.
“Six months ago if you would have told me this would become something so emotionally charged, I would never believed you,” said Brochinsky.
He said deciding to do this has helped him take some small steps in developing a better understanding of what it is some individuals might be going through.
“It’s not about the pounds. It’s about the emotional weight,” said Brochinsky. This was my first baby step in understanding.”
A civilian, Brochinsky started this journey at the beginning of the school year to not just help veterans and active duty through Carry The Fallen, but to understand a bit of what his family members who are in the military might go through, including his niece. Currently serving in Afghanistan, she will return home in March.
Brochinsky said if more people had to carry the weight, even for just a day, they might have an experience like his has; opening his eyes to a small glimpse of what those with PTSD might be struggling with daily.
He said some days he’s not so happy to get up and put that pack on, but he thinks of the people that fought for his right to not be happy about it.
Riding the train to work every day, he said some people ask him about the large pack on his back, while others just stare.
“Some people just see you as in the way. Others are more curious and ask why you’re carrying the weight,” said Brochinsky.
Brochinsky said he heard about Carry The Fallen through the Justin Fitch final mission and he knew he had to find a way to get involved. What he did not know was how walking every day would affect him.
He said he will see this everyday journey through to the end, and will continue to support veterans and active duty military.
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