Saturday, March 28, 2009

Remembering Navy SEAL Mike McGreevy

Here is a great story about Mike McGreevy's widow, Laura. You can also read about this heroic Navy Seal at the Navy Seal website below as well as the mountain Ranger website (McGreevy was also a Ranger):

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Fallen SEAL's Wife Races for a Cause

March 21, 2009
The Virginian-Pilot

VIRGINIA BEACH - Laura McGreevy ran.

She ran for emotion. For the pain. In hopes of staying sane.

But mostly, McGreevy ran in memory of her fallen SEAL.

Mike McGreevy, a Navy SEAL, died in a helicopter crash in 2005 while on a rescue mission in Afghanistan.

The day after Laura learned her husband had died, she laced up her sneakers.

"At first it was an incredible shock," said McGreevy, who will run the half-marathon at this weekend's Shamrock Sportsfest at the Oceanfront. "Even though I knew his job was dangerous, I never in a million years thought anything would happen to him. They are such a well-trained and dedicated group of guys.

"I ran the next day to help alleviate the pain. It's been my therapy ever since." It's also been her cause.

In 2007, the Virginia Beach resident started the Mike McGreevy Memorial Fund -- giving scholarships to children who have lost parents to war. The fund has raised more than $80,000, and last year its first three scholarships were awarded.

Almost 100 runners in this weekend's Shamrock will help raise money for more.

Laura and Mike met while attending college. He was at the Naval Academy, she was at Rutgers. Mutual friends thought they would make a good couple.

They hit it off on the dance floor.

"Mike was known for really cutting a rug," McGreevy said. "In college he was known to dress up in '70s clothes and do all the dances. At weddings, he'd just tear it up."

Buddies dubbed him "Groove."

When McGreevy was trying to think of a way to raise money for the memorial fund, she came up with the idea of Team Groove.

Runners who want to help raise money can join the team by paying whatever they want in addition to the race entry fee.

Last year, Team Groove raised more than $5,000 in its first Shamrock.

"Team Groove stands for his energy for life... his ability to always have a good time," McGreevy said.

Mike McGreevy wrestled and ran track during his youth. He started running the Marine Corps Marathon while attending the Naval Academy.

His love of running wasn't lost on his young bride.

"He inspired me into running and doing triathlons," said Laura, 32. "I got good enough that I was beating him at the triathlons. I'd beat him because I was a better swimmer."

McGreevy runs several races and triathlons each year and always uses the events to tell Groove's story.

Next weekend she is running in the Super Frog Triathlon -- a half-Ironman -- in San Diego with a friend who also lost her SEAL Team husband.

"I remember very well what my life was like, and I'm going to run to support her," McGreevy said. "SEALS are one big family, and they look out for each other and the ones left behind.

"And I can use the opportunity to tell people about my scholarship fund."
But, deep down, it's another chance to run.

McGreevy, who has gone back to work and is raising 4-year-old daughter Molly, said her husband always is with her while she's in stride.

"I feel Mike's presence when running, especially when I feel like quitting," she said. "I think about all his training and all the stuff he went through.

"And I hear his voice in my head. 'Come on, babe... you can do it.' Then I'll ask him to give me his legs. He had the best legs for running."

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We extend our prayers to the McGreevy family and our wishes for Laura's success in her own mission.

Charles M. Grist


  1. I am honored to be Mike's mom and Laura's mother in law...and Molly's Nana. Mike gifted me with Laura and Molly and the love we share for Mike and each other has helped us to go on after losing him so tragically. We speak of him and remember him daily. He was a man who touched so many lives and continues to inspire so many others. We were blessed to have him with us .for the too short time that we did but will never stop being grateful for his amazing influence on all who knew him. We miss him every day. We love you so much Mike.

  2. Mike and I both arrived as new students in tenth grade at Portville Central School. In our first period we sat next to each other, and we played soccer together. We may have had other classes together too.
    He was quite, polite, unassuming...just a solid guy.
    I always wondered what had happened to him, since I moved back to Italy the next year, and had even tried to find him on Facebook.

    Let's just say that there were a lot of bullies at Portville, and he was never one of them.

    I was curious when visiting Portville in 2017 and I saw part of the road dedicated to him. "Could this be him?", I wondered... "Why is there part of a road dedicated to him?"

    I was amazed, though not completely surprised when I found out that he had become a national hero.
    Thank you for helping me fill in even more of the missing pieces, and helping me have a place to grieve a friend, even if I only knew him for one year. Some people simply leave a mark.

  3. Jonathan,
    I'm Mike's mom and I so appreciate your rememberances of him at Portville. You are right about Mike leaving a mark....he did that for so many friends. Mike died almost 15 years ago and I still hear from people who tell me about how knowing him continues to influence their choices and their lives.
    His kindness, inclusiveness, some people make others feel small...Mike always left others feeling bigger than they knew themselves to be before. It was his gift.
    We miss him every day. Thank you again, be well. Pat Mackin

  4. Hi Pat. Today marks the 15th anniversary of the last sacrifice of Michael and his brothers in arms. your son's courage, patriotism and spirit marked me for life. I want to you know that, besides all the memories Michael left in his family, friends, and circle, he also touched the lives of so many young people. Your son's sacrifice and legacy serve as a parameter for me of everything I have to be in this life.
    i would love to meet you when I visit your town and pays respect for Michael. His memory lives on so many people. He will not be forgotten.

    Sincelery, Matthew from Colorado

  5. Matthew
    I would love to hear more about Mike’s influence in your life.... I never tire of examples of this. Thank you so much for your kind posting and please let us know when you might be in New Jersey or at Arlington. We would love to meet you.