MOORSEVILLE, NC (WJZY) - 22 veterans a day are taking their lives due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That's the alarming statistic these Seals say inspires them to push forward with every stroke.
"The fact that we have more people killing themselves from suicide than getting killed in combat is kind of unacceptable," Austin Hill said.
The Lake Norman community joining forces with Navy Seals for the fourth annual Lake Norman Navy Seal swim to help raise money to aid veterans suffering from PTSD.
"There are a lot of veterans out there that need our help. We need to get our VA system fixed and we need to make sure we are getting the right treatment for everybody," Retired U.S. Navy Seal Stephen “Scuba” Brown said
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs released a new study that says the number has gone down from 22 to 20. For many veterans, that's still too high. They are trying to do everything they can to bring that number down.
"So we are having success, not at the rate that we want but we know that if we continue to push on and fight for those folks that we can win this," Executive Director for the Seal Swim Charities Chris Durant said.
Seals weren't the only ones taking the plunge, non-military members joined in the swim too.
"Sharing water with train killers is a little nerve-racking but other than that they are really nice guys," Hill said.
While Navy Seals are trained to be battle ready and ready for anything they encounter, the water conditions on Friday morning didn't go unnoticed.
“When you get to temperatures over 90 degree, you start having effect on the internals of your body and your brain. So you have to be careful," Brown stated.
With one goal in mind, they paddled on, 13 miles straight, for their brothers and sisters in arms.
"If we save one, that's enough. I looked back at what we've done over the last four years. It's been a lot more than one. We've probably helped over 700 veterans and that's powerful," Durant said.