I am dedicating my 5k swim to the Friends and Family of Erik S. Kristensen. Erik was a close friend of my sister Dusty, my family and I, and we lost our dear friend on June 28, 2005 in Afghanistan.
Erik was a Lieutenant commander of a Navy SEAL team who were killed in action during Operation Red Wings. He and several other SEALs set off as part of a search and rescue mission, hoping to assist a four-man SEAL team that was engaged in a firefight with Taliban fighters. Many of you may recall the tragic story of this mission, as depicted by Marcus Luttrell’s account in the book/movie Lone Survivor. More about Erik's short, but monumental life can be found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_S._Kristensen
The warriors who fight for this great country, no matter what rank or branch, freely choose to defend the freedoms of all Americans, with the understanding that they may pay the ultimate sacrifice. For those in the special forces, it is guaranteed that they will face this possibility head on, often on a day-to-day basis. When we lose a warrior, our friends are at peace, but the family and friends left behind are the ones who are left to carry on without our heroes. Speaking from firsthand experience, we never forget, and in our low moments, it stings like we lost them yesterday. Events like the Tampa Bay Frogman5k swim memorialize and remind family and friends that our loved ones heroic efforts were not in vein, and the impact of their brave service and sacrifice live on eternally in our hearts, and in heaven above.
Please consider a donation of $50, $100, or $300 or more