In June 2015, former Navy SEAL Chris Ring set out to become the first American to swim the entire length of the Mississippi River.
His goal was not only to complete the grueling swim, but also to partner with a group called Legacies Alive to honor those who died in combat and their families.
“The most important thing right when I crossed [the finish line], I looked over to where the boat was carrying all these Gold Star families and seeing them just so happy and together was the best experience,” Ring said on CBS This Morning.
The 28-year-old veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan began the endeavor at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, on June 6, the anniversary of the Normandy landings in 1944, and swam 15 miles a day to reach the Gulf of Mexico on Dec. 4.
Even though he had to swim through thunderstorms and a shoulder injury, he never considered quitting.
"At the end of the day, the difficulty and the burden I have swimming every day is going to be over, and the burden that these families have is going to be with them for the rest of their lives," Ring said.
He swam with a support team in a kayak, and Gold Star families along the way would greet him as he stayed in towns and cities along the trip.
“Every time I've had the opportunity to meet a family, it hits home more and more, and it makes me more steadfast and more dedicated to this cause every single day," Ring told the Clarion-Ledger.
Ring will be honored for his effort at the Dec. 12 Army–Navy football game.
GREENBELT, Md. (Reuters) - A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of amassing a cache of weapons and plotting to attack Democratic politicians and journalists was ordered held for two weeks on Thursday while federal prosecutors consider charging him with more crimes.
An undated image of Hoda Muthana provided by her attorney, Hassan Shibly. (Associated Press)
Attorneys for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump asking the court to recognize the citizenship of an Alabama woman who left the U.S. to join ISIS and allow she and her young son to return to the United States.
U.S. soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. (U.S. Army/Zoe Garbarino/Handout via Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.
Construction crews staged material needed for the Santa Teresa Border Wall Replacement project near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol/Mani Albrecht)
With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"
But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.
The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.