Retired Marine Corps Sergeant Rob Jones is on a mission that’ll span three countries, test his physical limits, and hopefully make a difference in the lives of other veterans.
Over the course of one month, the double above-the-knee amputee plans to run a marathon every single day.
Jones is used to overcoming challenges others may think are impossible.
After joining the Marine Corps, he served as a combat engineer during deployments to Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2010. During that latter trip overseas was when his life changed forever.
On July 22, 2010, Jones was tasked with clearing a path through an area thought to have a buried explosive device. “The IED found me, before I found it,” Jones described. He lost both legs above the knee.
During his rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Jones was fitted with prosthetics and learned how to walk again with two bionic knees. After retiring, he took to rowing and decided to train for the 2012 Paralympics in London. He wound up winning bronze.
In 2013, he set out on a cross-country journey to bike across America while raising money for wounded veteran charities. Over the course of 181 days, Rob cycled 5,180 miles from Maine to California and raised $126,000.
It was the first leg of what he’s calling the ‘Rob Jones Journey,’ and part of a personal goal to raise $1 million for wounded veteran charities.
While Jones says he learned to accept his situation pretty quickly after being wounded in action, he knows not all veterans respond that way. He hopes his journey can help those who are struggling by seeing someone using their tragedy as a tool to make other peoples’ lives better.
“Maybe I could use what I’ve accomplished and be an example for Veterans coming home and struggling.”
The next part of his journey is a month of marathons. Jones plans to run 31 marathons in 31 different cities.
He’s starting off in London, England on Oct. 12, then immediately heading back to the U.S. for a run in Philadelphia on Oct. 13. He plans to continue that routine for 31 days straight, finishing up on Veterans Day with a run on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
But Jones hopes he won’t be the only one running each day. Anyone can sign-up to run with him or simply drop by to show their support. On his website you can register to run with Rob and see a detailed scheduled of where he’ll be each day.
Rob has been training for this next challenge for a year and a half.
“I’m kind of sick of running in circles back and forth, so I’m ready to get going with it,” Jones said.
During the month of marathons, Jones will be supporting the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.
And he hopes to show that just “because a Veteran’s wounded doesn’t mean that they’re broken or incapable of being a contributing member of society and their family.”
Oct. 12: London, Engalnd
Oct. 13: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oct. 14: New York City, New York
Oct. 15: Boston, Massachusetts
Oct. 16: Toronto, Canada
Oct. 17: Detroit, Michigan
Oct. 18: Columbus, Ohio
Oct. 19: Louisville, Kentucky
Oct. 20: Indianapolis, Indiana
Oct. 21: Chicago, Illinois
Oct. 22: St. Louis, Missouri
Oct. 23: Kansas City, Missouri
Oct. 24: Denver, Colorado
Oct. 25: Salt Lake City, Utah
Oct. 26: Seattle, Washington
Oct. 27: Portland, Oregon
Oct. 28: San Francisco, California
Oct. 29: Los Angeles, California
Oct. 30: San Diego, California
Oct. 31: Phoenix, Arizona
Nov. 1: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Nov. 2: San Antonio, Texas
Nov. 3: Houston, Texas
Nov. 4: Dallas, Texas
Nov. 5: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Nov. 6: Memphis, Tennessee
Nov. 7: Nashville, Tennessee
Nov. 8: Atlanta, Georgia
Nov. 9: Charlotte, North Carolina
Nov. 10: Baltimore, Maryland
Nov. 11: Washington, D.C.