Veterans Make Swim Across Straits of Mackinac to Help Other Veterans

Almost 400 people swam through the Straits of Mackinac today for the Mighty Mac swim, a competitive event that gives people the chance to swim from the Lower Peninsula all the way to the U.P. along the Mackinac Bridge.

Four of those swimmers made the journey for a very special reason.

A team of four disabled veterans made the trek to not only to show they can but to help their fellow veterans.

Mike Palmquist is one of them. He served in the United States Marine Corps for 24 years.

He swam to benefit the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans.

Calvin Fernstrum is another vet who made the journey. He served in the Army for 21 years and is participating on behalf of the U.P. Honor Flights.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had a veteran swim team,” said Fernstrum. “I did the bridge walk, so I figure I could do the swim under it, I’ve seen it from above, I’ll see it from below.”

David Thompson swam for disabled American Veterans. He served in the Army for 22 years.

Kevin Thompson is a U.S. Marine. He swam to benefit Save A Warrior.

They not only bring awareness but also help veterans struggling with mental illness.

“Years back, I attempted suicide twice…Suicide is a big deal, and I don’t want to see anyone else deal with it again or at least have a resource to fight it,” said Kevin Thompson.

For these four men, it wasn’t about finishing this four-mile swim, but about making sure other veterans have the services they need.