CORNELIUS – On Aug. 2, Retired Navy Seals Shannon Rusch and Rich Graham will swim 12.2 miles, from Queens Landing in Mooresville to the Rusty Rudder in Cornelius to raise awareness from a veterans support program called Operation Restored Warrior.

Operation Restored Warrior is a program based out of Colorado that assists veterans who are struggling to make the transition back to their community.

The program helps them deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Combat Related Stress as well as other classifications of challenges that many of these soldiers face daily.

“It is our commitment to help as many service people as we can by our efforts and most importantly to give them hope, support, and sacrifice in any way we can to bring a spotlight to their challenges,” Rusch said.

Rusch and Graham are partnering with former Air Force pilot, Randy Millwood and local Wealth Manager, Phil Sherrill to get the Lake Norman community involved.

 “We’ve got an epidemic in this country,” Millwood said. “It’s not cancer, its not heart disease, It’s our returning vets and the rate which they are committing suicide.”

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 22 veterans have committed suicide everyday from 1999 to 2010.

Rusch and Graham have not only decided to undergo the physical challenge, but they have committed to an effort of raising $100,000 toward the Operations Restored Warrior program.

After the swim, there will be a celebration and fundraiser at the Rusty Rudder at approximately 6 p.m.

To donate or contribute locally, email Randy Millwood at ermtwo@yahoo.com.

Visit www.operationrestoredwarrior.org or more information about Operation Restored Warrior.