"Frozen Frogman" challenge honors fallen military heroes

HOCKESSIN, Del. -- While most outdoor pools are drained or covered for the winter, this one set the scene with steam for the "Frozen Frogman" challenge.

Hosted by Hockessin Athletic Club, the outdoor swim and fitness challenge benefits veterans and families of fallen military members by raising money for the Travis Manion Foundation.

Each rigorous trial was named after a fallen Navy SEAL, encouraging participants to keep pushing in their honor. The one-mile swim was named after Navy EOD1 Sean Carson. The roughly three-mile swim route was dedicated to Navy EOD Lieutenant Chris Mosko. Finally, the swim and physical fitness test recognized Navy SEAL Lieutenant Brendan Looney. All three men were killed in Afghanistan in the early 2010s.

Looney's best friend was Travis Manion, the namesake of the foundation that focuses on developing character for veterans and Gold Star families. Before his final deployment, he shared the now-famous phrase, "If not me, then who?"

The Frozen Frogman challenge remembers their sacrifices every year. In five years, they raised about $100,000.

It was inspired by the similarly-named events that take place around the country to benefit Navy SEALS. Organizers joked that, without a warm Florida bay in sight, their Delaware iteration should be called "Frozen!"

Joining the challenge this year were U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, who expressed their interest in serving the country.

This year, the goal is to raise $30,000. To learn more or donate, visit their website.

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