SEALs Swim Across Lake Norman to Save Veterans from Suicide

Lake Norman, N.C. (WJZY) -- Many of our military men and women face death when they are sent into combat. But it's actually here at home where more veterans lose their lives due to post traumatic stress disorder.

A group of Navy SEALs took on Lake Norman Friday for a 13.1 mile swim to bring awareness to the 22 veteran suicides that happen every day. Just last week that number became a lot more real.

Members of the community also took to the water for a 1.2 mile swim all to help save veteran’s lives.
 
"These are our national treasures that we're losing to suicide. We're going to stand in the gap for these guys. We're not going to let them fade away into darkness and hopelessness. We're going to show up every year and we're going to swim and raise awareness and get the word out. It's growing. We are making an impact in our community," said Shannon Rusch, Navy SEAL and founder of SEAL Swim Charities.
 
The darkness nearly swallowed up Kevin Trainor, a Mooresville veteran.
 
"I had a lot of wounds, a lot of times of dark, alcohol, prescription drugs, depression, attempted suicide," said Trainor.

He is one of ten local veterans the LKN SEAL Swim has been able to send to a five-day experience called "Operation Restored Warrior." But there are still many more who need to be reached before it is too late.

"We just lost another brother last week who was with the rescue swimmer group. We're fixing to lay him to rest. Through PTSD, he took his own life," said Trainor.
 
That brother in arms left behind two children and a wife. A sad reminder of what this swim is all about. Helping veterans heal...mind, body, and spirit.

The LKN SEAL Swim has raised enough money to send 75 warriors through the "Operation Restored Warrior" 5-day experience. This is their third year.

Visit the organization’s website by clicking here.