About the Challenge
Legacies Alive’s 2015 Legacy Challenge was “Swim For Their Sacrifice!” We were honored to sponsor Navy combat veteran, Chris Ring, as he swam the entire length of the Mississippi River to honor our fallen heroes and the Gold Star Families they left behind.
On June 6th, 2015, the anniversary of D-Day, Chris began his 6 month, 2552 mile swim down the Mighty Mississippi at Lake Itasca in Itasca, Minnesota. During his journey he averaged 6.5 hours in the water and 14 miles a day, finishing the swim at Mile Marker 0 where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico.
During the 6 month journey, Chris and our Swim Team will met and connected with Gold Star Families along the way. By leveraging media and supporters, the goal of the challenge was 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.
Chris completed the Swim For Their Sacrifice challenge in late November, becoming the 1st American and only the second person to ever swim the entire length of the Mississippi River!
Chris received an honorable discharge from the Navy after over 10 years of service and deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He and his incredible wife have a burning desire to keep the legacies of our fallen heroes alive and to specifically bring awareness to the Gold Star Family members they left behind. Upon the end of our 2014 Legacy Challenge, Chris volunteered to join the Legacies Alive team and came up with the idea to swim the Mississippi River as the next Legacy Challenge and the rest is history.