One Marine veteran accomplished a remarkable feat – just in time for Veterans Day.
Less than six years after being honorably discharged from the Marines after losing both of his legs, Rob Jones, 32, a Virginia native, completed his mission to run 31 marathons in 31 days on Saturday, according to DCW50. With sore legs and an aching back, he ended his journey at the Lincoln Memorial on a chilly day, The Washington Post reported.
“I can’t think of a better place to be on Veterans Day than down here the place in our country where we honor our veterans the most,” Jones told USA Today.
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Jones ran a “month of Marathons” starting on Oct. 12 in an effort to raise awareness and funds for wounded veterans, inviting the public to participate or cheer him on. Most of his running was in various U.S. cities, but he did have two marathons outside of the country: one in London and one in Toronto. See the full itinerary here.
“I mean to show my fellow veterans that they are not alone, and only need ask in order to receive all of the support that they need,” Jones previously posted to his website.
“I want people to know that a wounded veteran is not a broken veteran,” he told USA Today. “Each veteran is their own person. You just have to get to know them, and listen to their story.”
The funds are going to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund and the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes.
In 2010, while searching for an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, he lost both of his legs in a land mine explosion, The Kansas City Star reported. His left leg was amputated at the knee, while his right was removed above the knee.
His extensive injuries haven’t slowed him down that much.
In 2012, he won bronze in the London Paralympics, according to Sports Illustrated. And in 2014, he rode from Maine to California in winter on a bike – when there was a polar vortex.
“I hope that by setting an example, I will inspire others to follow in my footsteps, and make sacrifices of both time and effort toward a cause in which they believe ...” Jones says on his website. “There are over 300,000,000 Americans, and if each one of us were to dedicate ourselves to a cause, many of our country’s problems, for example homelessness and starvation, would be improved to the point of elimination.”