Former Navy SEAL Chris Ring is the first American to swim the entire length of the Mississippi. Despite being a SEAL veteran, Ring isn’t the best swimmer… but that’s precisely why he chose to throw his time and energy into such an audacious task. Ring didn’t push himself to the limit for personal gain, he swam for 181 days through 10 states to honor fallen heroes and their families.
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“The most important thing right when I crossed (the finish line), I looked over to where the boat was carrying all these gold star families and seeing them just so happy and together was the best experience.”
“Gold star” families are loved ones left behind by a soldier who lost his or her life defending our country. According to Ring, no one want’s to be a gold star family, which is why it is so important to honor them and show respect for their loss.
“At the end of the day, the difficulty and the burden I have swimming every day is going to be over, but the burden that these families have is going to be with them for the rest of their lives,” Ring said.
Ring encountered seemingly insurmountable obstacles during his journey. He battled through 10-foot swells, raging storms, and blinding fog to reach his destination; often swimming for more than 10 hours per day.
“Doing this challenge was very humbling. I feel lucky and privileged to be able to take it on and just meet these awesome families, just to hear the story of their loved ones … and to just raise awareness for who they were as a person has been amazing … and it’s going to be with me for the rest of my life.”
Check out this incredible story in the video below.
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