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A Navy veteran is set to make history, becoming the first American to swim the length of the Mississippi River.

28-year-old Chris Ring, a Navy SEAL who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is swimming the final leg of his 2,552-mile journey.

Ring's amazing achievement is secondary to his larger goal: Raising awareness of Gold Star Families, the designation given to loved ones of soldiers killed in combat.

Ring, who partnered with Legacies Alive, a nonprofit that supports Gold Star Families, began his swim on June 6 of this year at the source of the Mississippi River, Lake Itasca in Minnesota.

Accompanied by a support team in a kayak, Ring averages 14 miles and 6.5 hours in the water each day, though he can make it up to 30 miles depending on the current and weather conditions.

A spokeswoman for Legacies Alive said that Ring has been delayed on occasion by bad weather, but has otherwise persevered through illness, exhaustion and a shoulder injury.

After he reaches the mouth of the river, Legacies Alive says Ring will be recognized at the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia on Dec. 12.

Watch the feel-good clip above and learn more about Legacies Alive.


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