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Bryan Gray

United Way of Long Island’s Team Mission United member Bryan Gray (right), U.S. Army veteran prepares to run 26.2 miles in the TCS NYC Marathon along with fellow National Grid colleague Nicholas Chester, U.S Navy veteran. The team of 10 athletes raised over $31,000 in support of United Way’s veterans’ programs and services.

Huntington Station resident Bryan Gray and U.S. Army veteran has crossed the finish line in the TCS NYC Marathon and raised over $3,700 for United Way of Long Island’s veterans programs.   The nonprofit was named an Official Charity Partner of the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon, which took place on Sunday, November 7, 2021.

Theresa A. Regnante, President & CEO of United Way of Long Island said this was the sixth year the not-for profit has been invited to join the race under Team Mission United.  “United Way of Long Island is pleased once again to be named an official charity partner of the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon. We cheered on Bryan and all of the members of Team Mission United on their journey to the iconic finish line as they raised important funds to benefit Long Island veterans.”

Bryan was encouraged to join Team Mission United by his employer and United Way sponsor National Grid.  “We are honored to back Bryan, as well as his team member and fellow employee Nicholas Chester, also a U.S. Navy veteran, for their tremendous efforts in support of fellow military members who have served our country,” said John Brucker, COO of Electric for NY of National Grid and United Way of Long Island Board member.  He added, “We couldn’t be prouder.”

United Way’s Team Mission United is a dedicated group of athletes who run for the over 95,000 veterans and military families on Long Island.  Mission United is a critical initiative of United Way of Long Island that focuses on supporting veterans’ services. This includes the areas of employment readiness & training, emergency financial assistance, case management and housing development.

The 2021 Team Mission United runners collectively have raised over $31,000 for United Way of Long Island’s veterans programs.  Leading sponsors include: AARP, BottomLine Technologies, Hiram Cohen & Sons Insurance, National Grid, New York Community Bank Foundation and Royal Star Associates. To help Bryan and his teammates continue their fundraising efforts visit: www.unitedwayli.org/teammissionunited

Bryan Gray, Team Mission United Runner

After serving in the U.S. Army for six years, Bryan enthusiastically joined United Way of Long Island’s Team Mission United with the goal of running 26.2 miles in the NYC Marathon, and at the same time raising funds for veterans.

Following his graduation from the Merchant Marine Academy in 2007, Bryan was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado, where he served as a platoon leader. His Brigade was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009 and remained overseas for more than a year. When the unit was deployed again, he stayed on and took command of the unit’s Rear Detachment.

“I always wanted to serve. That was something important to me when I applied to the Merchant Marine Academy,” Bryan said. “That was a goal of mine. Overall, it was a really great experience. I miss the service and I miss the people. It’s something I really value in terms of my experience in life.”

Through fundraising for veterans, Bryan is giving back to a cause that has made a major impact on him. As a lifelong Long Islander, he knows the impact veterans make in his community as well as anyone.

Now a resident of Huntington Station, Bryan is the Portable Pipeline Director for National Grid. Since his days in the Army, he has remained active through running and CrossFit. He previously raised funds for a veteran organization as part of the Bear Chase Race, a 50K trail race through Bear Creek Lake Park in Colorado. Bryan also completed the Bataan Memorial Death March – a 26.2-mile race completed with a 40-pound pack – in New Mexico.

Bryan’s prior running and service endeavors stretch from coast to coast, but this year, he’s took aim at the marathon in his own backyard. Bryan’s mother has run the New York City Marathon multiple times in support of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, while his brother ran it shortly after graduating from college.

The New York City Marathon has always been in the back of Bryan’s mind. Now, he ran it for a cause that has shaped his life.