THE 2015 LEGACIES ALIVE CHALLENGE IS CALLED SWIM FOR THEIR SACRIFICE AND IS ALL ABOUT CHRIS RING AS HE SWIMS THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI TO HONOR OUR FALLEN SOLDIERS AND THE GOLD STAR FAMILIES THEY LEFT BEHIND.
Chris, after over 10 years of service in the Navy and deployments to Iraq and Afganistan, received an honorable discharge. Since then him and his wife have pursued their dream of touching as many lives that were left behind from the fallen soldiers as possible. After serving in the service for so long and having two deployments to two of the most dangerous places on earth, I bet Chris had to deal with losing friends that he held close and wanting to help their families deal with the pain.
The mission is to honor the sacrifice of our nation’s fallen heroes and the Gold Star Families they left behind. During the 6 month journey Chris and our Swim Team will meet and connect with Gold Star Families along the way. By leveraging media and supporters our goal is to raise national awareness as to what a Gold Star symbolizes and when the average American hears the term Gold Star Family or see’s the Gold Star symbol they know the sacrifice these families have had to endure. Legacies Alive
On June 6th, the anniversary of D-Day, Chris began his 2,552 mile swim down the Mississippi starting in Lake Itasca Minnesota and will finish at Mile Marker 0 where the river meets the Gulf of Mexico.
Chris’s goal is to spend 6.5 hours swimming and travel 14 miles a day in order to finish in mid-late November. According to USA Today, who did an interview with him, he said that “he tries to have one bigger meal per day, but it’s difficult to eat “real food” at campsite every morning, and he doesn’t want to lose swimming time to eat lunch. He said that he has lost 20 pounds since starting the swim.”
DO YOU HAVE A DESIRE, LIKE CHRIS RING, THAT YOU COULD COMMIT TO THIS FIERCELY?
If you are along the Mississippi and happen to see him swimming by you will notice that he hands are wrapped in tape and, as a result of the rocks and rapids of the mighty river, his wet suit is full of holes. But Chris is dedicated. Whenever he needs a boost of motivation he looks over at the kayak that follows along side of him and looks at all the signatures of the families he has already met with. Or he turns on his bag and eats a protein bar while still swimming.
Each day, when Chris is done swimming, he meets with family member of the fallen soldiers and has them sign his kayak. He ultimately just sits with the people as they talk about their loved one(s) and describe how nice it is to know that the fallen are not forgotten about because they never forget.
I think anyone who has lost a loved one can relate to the joy you get just simply by talking about the deceased. When I talk about my mother, especially to someone who knew her, my soul lights up because I feel that she is not forgotten.