LAKE NORMAN – According to a Forbes article published in February 2013, it is believed on average there are 22 U.S. veterans committing suicide every day.

The statistic inspired a group of men and women to start a grassroots movement to bring awareness and raise money to support programs that address the growing epidemic.

Retired Navy SEALs Shannon Rusch, Rich Graham and Troy Pusateri swam 14.5 miles in Lake Norman on Aug. 2, 2013, to bring attention to the epidemic. They’ll swim again Aug. 1.

Launching from the Blue Parrot in Sherrills Ford, the SEALs are inviting 20 local swimmers to join them in swimming approximately 1.2 miles to Queens Landing off N.C. 150 in Mooresville.

The SEALs will continue swimming 12.2 miles, ending up at The Rusty Rudder in Cornelius. The swim will begin at 11 a.m. at the Blue Parrot and end around 7 p.m., where the celebration will begin at The Rusty Rudder including live music and auctions.

The group hopes to raise awareness for one of the programs available to veterans, dubbed “Operation Restored Warrior.”

Email to register for the swim from Sherrills Ford to Mooresville.