Jeremy J. Graczyk
August 29, 1977- July 12, 2011
Maj. Jeremy James Graczyk, USMC, 33, a decorated Marine and combat veteran died July 12, 2011, in a BASE jumping accident while in Switzerland.
He was born on Aug. 29, 1977, in Atkinson, to James and Darlene Graczyk. Highly intelligent and ambitious, he graduated as valedictorian in 1995 from Timberlane Regional High School. He attended college at the U.S. Naval Academy where he was co-captain of the rugby team his senior year. He was a two-time collegiate All-American whose speed and size were unmatched. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering in 1999. After completing his academic studies, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. 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 was later reassigned to a Force Reconnaissance unit as a reconnaissance platoon commander. He also served as an infantry company commander during combat operations in Iraq. Upon his return to the United States, he was reassigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, where he deployed over seven times to Afghanistan and Africa. He was promoted to the rank of major in 2009.
Maj. Graczyk earned three Navy- Marine Corps Commendation Medals, one Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons, Presidential Unit Citation, a Meritorious Unit Citation, two National Defense Service Medals, two Afghanistan Campaign Medals, five Iraq Campaign Medals, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and seven Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.
He was the quintessential Renaissance man who embraced living each day to its fullest. He spent many years traveling the world as a free spirit and developed countless friendships along the way. His interests included rock climbing, motorcycle riding, skiing, skydiving, travel, reading, rugby, and all-night discussions that showcased his love of learning and respect for knowledge. He had an infectious commitment to each moment.
He was beloved by all and influenced many people throughout his lifetime. His generosity and kind heart were an inspiration to his family and friends. He lived his life with integrity and courage.
Maj. Graczyk is survived by his parents, James and Darlene (Shoop) Graczyk of Atkinson; sister and brother-in-law Jennifer (Graczyk) and Aaron Sakash of Somersworth; nephews, Aidan and Gabe Sakash.; maternal grandparents Richard and Leora Shoop of Shippensburg, Pa.; aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Jeremy is buried at National Cemetery in Arlington. VA.
Ways to Honor Jeremy's Legacy
Donations may be sent to Major Jeremy J. Graczyk USMC Memorial Scholarship. Timberlane Regional High School, 36 Greenough Road, Plaistow, 03865.
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