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Nicholas Gruff

Nick was born in Vineland, NJ where he attended Millville Senior High School and graduated in 1999. After high school, Nick enlisted with the United States Coast Guard where he began a very successful and decorated career. While enlisted, Nick trained and exceled in the USCG obtaining the rank of Boatswain’s Mate Second Class. Nick was awarded numerous honors and prestigious recognition such as CG Good Conduct Medal; CG Pistol Expert Medal; CG Pistol Marksman Ribbon; CG Rifle Marksman; Coast Guard Achievement Medal; and CG SSAN Service Ribbon. In addition to those awards, Nick volunteered to be sent overseas for Operation Iraqi Freedom (WPB-1333) where he received the awards for Global War on Terror; Iraq Campaign Medal; National Defense Service Medal; and Transportation 9-11 Ribbon. He also completed 110-hour course for the USCG search and rescue personnel in EMT training in Petaluma, CA. After his many years of service to our country Nick was employed as a CTS for the Woodbine Developmental Center.

Nick loved the water and enjoyed spending his summers at his camper at East Point Lighthouse, riding his jet ski, swimming in his pool and relaxing in his hot tub, cheering on his beloved Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Phillies, traveling, cooking and grilling for his family and friends, the beach, and fishing and crabbing. The number one thing that Nick loved doing the most was taking care of and being a devoted, loving father to his beautiful daughter, Kamila Brook. Kamila was the light of Nick’s life and he adored her with all his heart.

Nick called New Jersey home and is laid to rest in Leesburg, NJ.

“My brother-in-law had a very long and grueling battle with PTSD which ultimately lead to his untimely death. During the weeks leading up to his passing, his paranoia and depression became so severe that he couldn’t go to work. The things he once loved so much he soon lost the drive for – like getting his pool ready for the upcoming season, or doing yard work, or taking a morning run. He would cry throughout the day and he suffered through spurts of anxiety and paranoia that he was being watched or investigated.The pure terror and state of despair was so evident at times, it was as if he was readying himself for combat. These episodes confirmed just how hard he was battling with his PTSD, but we never thought in a million years this would be the outcome.” Shared by Deanna