Navy veteran to swim Mississippi

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Chris Ring takes a break during his swim down the length of the Mississippi River. (Photo courtesy of legaciesalive.com)

Prairie du Chien Fire Department to help Navy veteran swim the length of Mississippi River

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The Prairie du Chien Fire Department has announced that the department will be supporting Chris Ring as he performs his Legacy Challenge, “Swim for Their Sacrifice.” Ring is swimming the length of the Mississippi River (2,552 miles according to the sign at Lake Itasca State Park in Minnesota) to honor America’s fallen service members and Gold Star Families. 

“We all think it’s a great cause,” said Prairie du Chien Fire Chief Harry Remz. “The fire department is behind him. We have a lot of veterans on the department.” 

Remz said that the fire department was contacted by the Redwing, Minn. Fire Department about Ring, a Navy veteran. The Redwing Fire Department accompanied Ring along his route and the Prairie du Chien Fire Department will be doing the same by providing an escort for Ring with its fire/rescue boat. The escort will help to keep other boaters away and help ensure Ring’s safety as he swims past Prairie du Chien. The fire department is also hoping to raise awareness for Ring’s cause, said Remz. 

“Chris averages about 16 miles a day and should make it to Prairie du Chien sometime next week,” said Remz. “We are waiting to hear more.”

 The website legaciesalive.com said that Ring’s trip is expected to take six months, and he is talking to families along the way who have lost a loved one in service to our country.

“This is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing right now,” said Ring on the website. 

Legacies Alive is a non-profit organization founded by combat veterans and aims to support the families of fallen heroes and bring national awareness to those service members who lost their lives.

Swimming the length of the Mississippi River has never been accomplished by an American, and only one other person in the world.

Ring began his journey on June 6 in Lake Itasca, the source of the Mississippi River, and hopes to reach the Gulf of Mexico by late November. Remz said on Tuesday, Ring was swimming past La Crosse. 

“All of the small towns along the way have been very supportive,” said Ring in a video linked to the website.

Ring has valiantly served multiple deployments as a United States Navy service member and is intimately familiar with the sacrifices that spouses make when their loved ones serve in harm’s way. He and his wife have a burning desire to keep the legacies of these fallen heroes alive and to specifically bring awareness to the sacrifices of the spouses who have given so much for our country. He has made his first order of business, following his honorable discharge, to honor and remember the sacrifice of the thousands of Americans who have given their lives during the Global War on Terror and to honor the sacrifice their families will forever endure. 

Legacies Alive works with corporations and is taking donations. “All proceeds go towards allowing Legacies Alive to design and construct permanent memorials honoring the individual legacies of our fallen heroes in their respective hometowns. Additionally, donations will facilitate the execution of Legacy Challenges that continue to bring awareness to our cause,” said the Legacies Alive website. 

More information about Legacies Alive and Chris Ring’s “Swim For Their Sacrifice” can be found at legaciesalive.com. Emails can be sent to Us: info@legaciesalive.com.

Ring is expected to be in Prairie du Chien on St. Feriole Island the afternoon of Aug. 7, so everyone is invited to come on down and show your support.

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