PSEG veterans, their families and friends recently volunteered at the first Navy SEAL Hudson River Swim sponsored by the GI Go Fund. Our volunteers participated in the day’s events, as they helped set up the staging area in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, where the SEALs began their journey. Once the SEALs were in the water, a team of PSEG volunteers, other spectators and the SEALs’ families, followed by boat for the two-mile swim across the Hudson River, cheering and offering encouragement the entire way. And when the SEALs arrived in Battery Park in lower Manhattan, a team of PSEG volunteers were on hand to help the SEALs change into running shoes, keep their belongings safe and give them American flags to run with to their ultimate destination – the 9/11 memorial – recognizing the men and women lost that day.
In all, 34 active and veteran Navy SEALs took part in the event, which helped raise more than $195,000, with support from companies including PSEG, to support GI Go Fund’s mission of providing military veterans and their families financial help, housing, legal assistance and more.
At the 9/11 memorial, the crowd cheered the SEALs, but a solemnness filled the air as family members, friends and supporters remembered their fallen loved ones and those who became homeless as a result of returning home from duty overseas. Thoughts too, turned to the victims of 9/11, and the families impacted by that fateful day.
“I just wanted to say thank you. If it wasn’t for things like this, it could easily be me out there on the street,” said Alex Manis, veteran and GI Go Fund chief financial officer and co-founder. “It’s imperative that you understand, we need your help – whether we want to admit that or not. So I can’t stress enough how thankful, appreciative and humble I am to be part of this. And how thankful I am to have every single one of you here today and a part of my life.”