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Marine Vet. Rob Jones Turns Tragedy Into Triumph

When Rob Jones enlisted into the USA Marine Corps in 2006, he was a sophomore in school. He felt that he was at some extent in his life that he wanted construction and self-discipline, and that was one thing he felt he couldn’t get in a classroom.

“I used to be simply form of struggling in school with the course I used to be getting into,” he admitted. “I felt like there have been items lacking from my life. I used to be lonely, I wasn’t doing nicely in my lessons, and I felt there was one thing lacking.”

A pal of his had enlisted throughout this identical time interval. That prompted him to do analysis about what it took to serve. He discovered the Marine Corps’ web site, which had photographs that enticed him much more.

“There have been guys crawling by means of the mud, firing artillery, capturing rifles, and marching round in gown blue uniforms. That made much more curious to go to the library and take a look at a e book about it.”

The e book, Brotherhood of Heroes struck a chord. Rob Jones adopted his pal into enlisting within the Corps. He would go on to develop into a fight engineer whose major process was to detect improvised explosive gadgets (IED) in addition to explosive breaching.

Courtesy of Rob Jones

On July 22, 2010, Jones was working and located an IED. Nonetheless, It detonated and exploded on him, leading to excessive lower-body accidents. Each of Jones’ legs needed to be amputated above the knee. For many, that kind of trauma can be close to not possible to focus away from. Jones’ thoughts, although, went to a unique place. He was extra involved about his mom’s response than his personal.

“I simply had this thought that my mom was going to essentially be upset about me being wounded,” he says. “I requested my squad chief to see if he can discover a humorous hat for me within the hospital in order that after I obtained to Walter Reed, I may have the hat on and make my mother snigger,” he mentioned. “They couldn’t discover one, however after I obtained there, she had gotten one in some way.”

Jones would spend the remainder of his navy profession in Walter Reed Hospital recovering and making ready for post-military life. He retired in December 2011 with a Purple Coronary heart, the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, amongst different honors. The bodily toll of his accidents went with out saying, however the psychological side of his restoration was essential. He discovered inspiration to hold on exterior of himself.

Marines veteran Rob Jones doing exercises after his legs were amputated by an IED
Courtesy of Rob Jones

“I feel it was recognizing that there have been folks counting on me to be okay each mentally and bodily,” he defined. Whereas his lively profession in service might have been over, Jones was decided to not solely keep lively together with his physique, however be much more lively than most.

“Since I’ve retired, my physique is my device for residing a lifetime of that means,” he mentioned. “I continued my service to my fellow veterans by making a story they might use to remain within the battle.”

In Jones’ thoughts, that meant doing greater than merely using a motorbike in a race or occurring a long-distance run. He needed to take these health duties to as excessive of a stage as doable. A type of endeavors was rowing. Lower than one 12 months after leaving Walter Reed, Jones certified for the 2012 Paralympic Video games, the place his crew completed with a bronze medal. He moved on to biking in 2014. Regardless of having prosthetic legs, he used a daily bike and accomplished a supported cross-country experience that took nearly 5,200 miles of whole distance.

“I began in October 2013 and completed in April 2014. I went from Bar Harbor, MN, to Camp Pendleton in California,” he mentioned. On the time he was the primary double amputee to finish a cross-country bike experience. Up to now, there has not been a second to take action.

He might have saved his best athletic achievement for final. In 2017, he ran in 31 marathons in 31 days in 31 completely different cities. Working 26.2 miles nonstop is an achievement in itself. Rob Jones ran a complete of 812.2 miles in a month.

“I believed doing it as a double amputee can be a superb spin on it,” he revealed. “I wished to do it in numerous cities to get as many eyes on it as doable. It will keep within the public eye for a superb period of time.”

He known as this his private alternative for his best athletic achievement. Whereas those who assist him might have their very own favorites, he seems to be again fondly at every thing he did since he started his private pursuit of bodily excellence.

“The month of marathons was most likely probably the most spectacular due to all of the logistic challenges of it. However I’m happy with all of it.”

As if that wasn’t sufficient, the Virginia native additionally competed in quite a few races, tower climbs, and the Marine Corps 50K. These days, Jones remains to be fairly lively, nevertheless it isn’t for one more health problem, it’s for better high quality of life and self-responsibility so he can play a serious position in assist of his household, which is an important motive of all for him.

“My physique is the primary device that I depend on to be the husband and father that my household wants and deserves,” he said. “It’s important that it stays as match as doable.”


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