Chris Ring, a 28-year-old U.S. Navy combat veteran, is swimming the length of the Mississippi River to support the families of fallen soldiers.

He got in the water in Minnesota on June 6th, and at the end of the 2,552-mile swim Ring will be the first American to swim the entire length of the river. Chris is a part of Legacies Alive, a nonprofit organization that helps provide support systems for families are tied to the Families of the Fallen program.

“I got the idea to do the swim about a year ago when Mike Viti, one of Legacies Alive’s cofounders, was walking across America to honor all those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Ring told GrindTV from a spot just south of St. Louis. “Mike is a close friend of mine, and he walked a kilometer for every person who died in the Global War on Terrorism, and went from Seattle to San Diego to Savannah, Georgia to Baltimore.”