The James Currie Memorial Ride

My name is Nick and I served in the Marine Corps for almost 6 years and in that time I met some truly amazing people that have helped shape and mold my perspectives for the better. As I transitioned out it was time of unknowns and a lot of question marks as far as what the next chapter laid out for me. Resiliency is a word I've come to truly understand and recognize its importance. Veteran or not life is going to knock you down sometimes, make you wonder what your true life's purpose is. There's beauty in the struggle, there's beauty in the unknown, there's beauty in all of us. Someone that truly embodied these characteristics in life was Cpl James Currie, everyone in our battalion knew and loved him. If I told you that James was a United States Marine, an Eaglescout, an avid hiker, and knew every species of lizard in Southeast Pennsylvania you probably wouldn’t believe me but he in fact was all those things and more. He was the sort of person that no matter what the weather it was always a sunny day when he saw another Marine in need. My first interaction with him was when I arrived to my new duty station, Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe Bay. Shortly after my arrival I was standing duty and James asked if I needed anything and even offered to walk to the store for me. I grown accustomed to the Marine Corps culture especially being the new guy in the battalion and was almost shocked at his sincerity. From that point on my interactions over the next few years with him were more spread out with deployments, training exercises, and simply being in different companies. James had been sufering with the loss of a close friend in late 2019 that was really getting to him as problems with frequent alcohol use would become very pervasive. Fearing potential repercussions he dealt with so much internally and ultimately it would lead to his very premature death. In the end access to mental health programs that wouldn't make anyone feel like they'd get into trouble or lose out on career opportunities is how these stories can change but it starts with awareness and transparency. For myself and the Marines that knew him we'll always remember James in the moments we all hung out in the barracks or at the smoke pit where he truly symbolized the glue that kept us all together. James is survived by his father Bill Currie, mother Kelly Currie-McManus, brothers Patrick, Joseph, William, and sisters Anna and Alice and all his Marines at 3rd Radio Battalion.

A few short months ago I decided to embark on a cross country bicycle ride to not only raise money for the family and the Wounded Warrior Project but to be a voice for the ones that might feel alone or lost. The message is simply really, "it's ok I'm here for you." Many times randomly in my life I've had this sort of help whether it was from Marines or just everyday good people and now I want to pay it forward. All of the proceeds will go directly to the family and the Wounded Warrior Project. My hope is that you can join me along the way whether that's virtually or maybe you can meet along my journey. I will be doing a modified version of the TransAmerican Trail, which spans over 4,000 miles and more than 10 states. I will create a Facebook page to keep everyone updated as well as my personal Instagram page too. With the COVID-19 pandemic I understand the hardships that brought to many of us but to the Currie Family and I what means so much to us is exposure as that will help spread the word and may even help someone too.

**The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors by raising awareness, helping injured service members aid and assist each other and providing programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members. For more information, visit


Nick Novotny
Highlands, NJ

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