Ex- Navy SEAL swims Mississippi River

Two years ago, a former Navy SEAL by the name of Chris Ring swam the entire Mississippi River. This incredible feat took him through 10 states and more than 2300 miles. Swimming 6-8 hours per day, the total swim took Chris almost 6 months. So, why would someone spend such a large amount of time completing this task? Simple. Chris set out to complete this journey to honor Gold Star families, those who lost loved ones in military service. He wanted to share the message that no one wants to be a Gold Star Family, and that the country has not forgotten the sacrifice that their family paid. He also wanted to educate the nation about these families and what being a GSF really means.

Ring’s journey cut through the heart of the US, starting at Lake Itasca, Minnesota and ending in Head of Passes, Louisiana. He is the first American to accomplish this goal.


As he traveled, Ring met with the families he was honoring with and collected signatures on the boat that accompanied him during his swim. A total of two kayaks were filled with the names of the fallen.

Chris Ring said that meeting the families was the hardest yet most rewarding part of his journey. Because of those families, he never thought of giving up. He was reminded that his journey was a short one compared to the lifelong journey these families are facing.

Ring said despite being a former SEAL, he was not a good swimmer, but that was why he chose this mission. He wanted it to be difficult where he could focus on the “why”.

Ring’s father accompanied him throughout his trip, strengthening their bond and reminding him how lucky he was to be with his family.

Ring wants to continue to be a voice for the families, while spending time with his own.