Retired Marine competing in marathons to prove wounded veterans are not broken
Posted October 23, 2017 11:27 a.m. EDT
ST. LOUIS, MO. — Retired Marine Sergeant Rob Jones is on a mission to run 31 marathons in 31 cities in 31 days. On Sunday (Oct. 22) Jones completed his eleventh marathon on the eleventh day of his journey in Forest Park.
Jones said he wanted to prove that wounded veterans are not "broken."
In 2010, during his second deployment as a Marine, it was Jones' job to sweep an area for explosives so his unit could safely pass. Jones stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan resulting in above the knee amputations.
"I was trying to find a route through an IED area, and the IED found me first," he said.
Just two years after he was injured, Jones would bring home a bronze medal in the Paralympics for rowing. It was there he met fellow competitor and his future wife, Pamela.
After competing against the best in the world, Jones was ready to challenge himself further and see how far he could go on two wheels against the open road. He rode more than 5,000 from Maine to southern California.
"As a double amputee, there's only a handful, less than five people in the world, that are double amputees and can ride a regular bike," said Pamela. "It takes so much practice, and skill, and determination, and it took him the best part of a year to relearn how to ride a bike."
After completing his ride across the country, Jones went on to become a triathlete. For the past year and a half, Jones has been preparing for the challenge currently underway.
In addition to raising awareness, Jones has raised more than $80,000 since the start of his challenge for three veterans' charities he has personally been impacted by: The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, the Semper Fi Fund, and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.