( ENSPIRE News ) The Journey of Ex-Marine Rob Jones: 31 Marathons in 31 Days in 31 Different Cities
ENSPIRE Contributor: Emmanuel Perilla
Barbara De Angelis once said: “We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” The life of Rob Jones is a testament to what one man can do when he challenges his obstacles in life. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2011 and he has since dedicated his life to raising awareness and funds for wounded veteran charities. The 32-year-old veteran ran a distance of 812 miles in 31 different cities in 31 different marathons in over 31 days. Rob finished his marathons at the Lincoln Memorial on Veterans Day and was cheered on by a crowd of his supporters. Jones stated, “I want to be an example for others to follow. An example of a veteran, and a person who, instead of letting their personal tragedy destroy their life, they use that same tragedy to make themselves better. To enrich their lives, and the lives of others.”
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Rob Jones lost both of his legs in Afghanistan after stepping on a landmine in 2010. He was given above-the-knee amputations. Even after this ordeal, Rob didn’t let this new challenge define him. “I also used the time to relearn how to do other things with my new challenge including riding a bicycle, running, and rowing. In 2012, Rob won a bronze medal in the mixed double sculls at the 2012 Paralympics in London and then rode 5,200 miles across America on his bike before taking on the marathon challenge. He is raising money for the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.
Rob is a testament to what happens when you become a champion of your adversity. He wants his fellow veterans to rise above their challenges as well. “My purpose is to help out my brother veterans. “If you do something greater than yourself, it’ll bring out the best in you,” the former marine says. Rob Jones is certainly a great example of how a person can turn their tragedy into triumph. In his quest to inspire and enlighten his fellow war veterans, he’s actually inspired the entire nation. He is living proof that life doesn’t end after amputation. “I decided I would create this story of a veteran that was wounded and thrived from it, “Jones said minutes after finishing his marathons.“I think I accomplished that mission. Rob Jones is definitely a new symbol of hope for veterans and his actions have brought a new perspective on the daily struggles of our veterans.
Sources: Washington Post