WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A United States Marine Corps veteran, whose legs are amputated above the knee, completed his 31st marathon in 31 days in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Veterans Day.
Rob Jones ran his "Month of Marathons" to raise awareness about wounded veterans and to raise money for three charities: the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.
Jones served in the USMC and was injured by a landmine explosion when deployed in Afghanistan. Both of his legs were amputated above the knee.
But instead of letting the injuries slow him down, Jones became a Paralympic bronze medal winner in rowing and then cycled across the United States to raise money and awareness for wounded veterans. This "Month of Marathons" was a continuation of that mission.
"It’s an honor to be able to run for my fellow veterans," said Jones on Saturday morning, prior to starting on his final marathon.
Jones ran a circuit around the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall. He ran the equivalent of a marathon in four stages.
He was joined on the run by several dozen supporters, some who didn't even know Jones, but were inspired by his story.
"Anytime someone who’s gone through what he’s gone through and suffered in such ways and done it voluntarily, it’s a remarkable thing and I’m just truly honored to be able to run with him," said Scott Shelton, who came from Annapolis, Md.
"Every time that I come out of the RV and I see a group of people that are waiting for me to start running so they can join me is a meaningful moment for me," said Jones. When he came out of his RV to start the run, Jones addressed those gathered to run with him. "I can’t think of a better way to end this mission than today and I just want to say thank you to all of you for coming out in the freezing cold to help me prove that no veteran is alone in this country."
Jones said he is waiting for inspiration for what to do as his next fundraiser, but added that until that time he will continue to fight for veterans.