A United States Navy veteran passed through La Crosse today on a special mission. Chris Ring is swimming the length of the Mississippi river to honor the nation’s Gold Star families. That is, those who have lost loved ones in service to our country.

His trip is called ‘Swim for Their Sacrifice’ and is sponsored by the nonprofit group ‘Legacies Alive’. The organization puts on one extreme challenge a year to raise awareness and celebrate the lives of our fallen heroes.

Ring will swim a total of 2,552 miles, in honor of the spouses whose husband or wife laid down his or her life for the United States.

Ring: “We’re keeping the legacies of our fallen heroes alive, because that’s what these gold star families fear the most, is the day that people forget. We’re here to not let that happen. To raise awareness and let people know that, keep reminding people that the sacrifice has been paid so that others don’t have to.”

When Ring finishes the trip, he’ll be the first American to swim the entire length of the Mississippi. You can keep up with his daily progress on the ‘Legacies Alive’ Facebook page.