Mississippi swimmer in Prairie du Chien

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Chris Ring is swimming the length of the Mississippi River in support of Gold Star Families. (Photo courtesy of legaciesalive.com)


Swimmer raising awareness 

for veteran’s families stops in Prairie du Chien

By Ted Pennekamp


Navy veteran Chris Ring was escorted by the Prairie du Chien Fire Department fire and rescue boat from Lock and Dam 9 to the beach on St. Feriole Island on Saturday as part of Ring’s swim down the length of the Mississippi River. 

Ring is swimming the 2,552-mile river as a Legacy Challenge “Swim for Their Sacrifice” to raise awareness and funds to support the families of veterans who lost their lives in the Global War on Terror. He began at Lake Itasca, Minn. on June 6, the anniversary of D-Day. On Saturday, Ring entered the water at about 10 a.m. and made it to Prairie du Chien at 3:20 p.m.

“It was pretty windy today, but otherwise not too bad,” said the 10-year Navy veteran from Tennessee. 

Ring said that he spent four months with other experienced swimmers to increase his distance swimming in preparation for the challenge. “I’ve always been comfortable in the water,” he said. 

Ring, 28, has lost 20 pounds since his swim began. He said that he has been working on his diet in recent weeks by snacking more while in the water. He averages 16 miles per day. 

Along the way, Ring has visited with 67 families who have lost veterans. “It’s an amazing cause,” he said. “I want to keep the focus on the cause. The swim is just the avenue to keep up awareness.” 

Ring said that he has received a lot of support from people in all of the communities along the river. “It’s been really, really good,” he said. “People in boats and on docks have been cheering me on and local fire departments have been showing their support. There have also been numerous television stations, radio stations and newspapers helping to get the word out.”

The website legaciesalive.com is promoting Ring’s swim, which is expected to take six months. Swimming the length of the Mississippi River has never been accomplished by an American, and only one other person in the world.

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.

Legacies Alive works with corporations and is also taking donations from individuals. 

“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.

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