The motivation behind the race
Many knew Jeremy as a classmate. He graduated as valedictorian in 1995 from Timberlane Regional High School and in 1999 from the US Naval Academy with a degree in systems engineering.
Many knew Jeremy as a teammate. At the Naval Academy he served as co-captain of the rugby team and was a two-time collegiate All American. In high school, he was a three-sport letterman, where he excelled at soccer, basketball and track.
Many knew Jeremy as a marine and as a brother in arms. He served as a platoon commander in the infantry and led Marines during the initial invasion of Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. He later served as platoon commander of a Force Reconnaissance unit and as an infantry company commander during combat operations in Iraq. Following reassignment to Headquarters Marine Corp, he was deployed over seven times to Afghanistan and Africa, and was promoted to the rank of Major in 2009.
Nearly all who knew Jeremy, knew him as a friend. He never forgot where he came from, and never let that hold him back from where he would go. He led by example, from the front, and inspired through sincerity and perseverance.
Jeremy died on July 12, 2011 in a BASE jumping accident while in Switzerland. His memory lives on.
The Live Free or Die 5000 was established to preserve the memory of Jeremy and inspire others to live a life of meaning, everyday. Proceeds from the event will go toward the JJG Live Free or Die Memorial Fund, which helps support the Major Jeremy J. Graczyk USMC Memorial Scholarship.