A 5,000-meter run was held in San Marino Wednesday benefiting a foundation created to perpetuate the legacy of Marine Corps 2nd Lt. J.P. Blecksmith, who was killed while leading his platoon in Iraq.
Proceeds from the race benefit the J.P. Blecksmith Leadership Foundation, which funds a scholarship at Flintridge Preparatory School, where Blecksmith played quarterback and ran track.
Blecksmith was a San Marino resident who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, where he played wide receiver.
Blecksmith was killed during the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004. He was a 24-year-old platoon commander with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force. His awards included the National Defense Service Medal.
The J.P. Blecksmith Memorial 5K has been run annually on Independence Day in San Marino since 2005.
Blecksmith was described by his brother Alex, the foundation’s founder and president, as “a young man of unflappable integrity and perseverance, a gifted athlete, a compassionate friend, a fierce patriot and a devoted leader. With a great sense of humor, J.P. had an infinite list of dreams, goals and aspirations.”
“Like so many of the men and women who either serve or have served in the military, J.P. embodied all that is right with this great country,” Alex Blecksmith said. “Our mission is to keep his memory and legacy of leadership alive.”
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