JERSEY CITY, NJ - Seeking to duplicate or exceed last year’s fundraising total of $200,000, a team of 72 U.S. Navy SEALs, joined by several veterans and military supporters, swam across the Hudson River last week.

Along the route, the SEALs stopped at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to perform 100 pushups in honor of America's liberties, and 22 pull ups in recognition of 22 veterans who commit suicide every day. The event concluded in lower Manhattan in a ceremony honoring the victims of 9/11 and all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country in the wars that followed.

“People came from all over the United States,” Freeholder Bill O’Dea, who served as MC at a reception in Liberty House in Jersey City.

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The funds raised during the event benefit the GI Go Fund, an organization set up in 2006 in memory of Lt. Seth Dvorin, who was killed by an IED blast while serving in Iraq. Their mission is to end veteran homelessness, provide veterans with job training and entrepreneurial support, and assist veterans affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020.

“Usually, the group holds this in New York City,” said O’Dea. “But since New York is locked down, they decided to hold in here in Liberty State Park instead.”

Although it operates throughout the county, the group has expanded its partnership with the City of Newark to serve as its Office of Veterans Affairs, providing thousands of veterans with help finding employment, housing, benefits, and much more. 

Principle supporters of this year’s swim included Bayonne-based BCB Bank, Business Furniture Incorporated (BFI) of Elizabeth, and Lodi’s M&M Realty.

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