It wasn't all bad
As he prepares to run 31 marathons in 31 cities in 31 days, Rob Jones has set two major goals for himself: raise money for charities that help veterans, and show other veterans that they can fully integrate back into society.
In 2010, while serving as a corporal in the Marine Corps, Jones stepped on a mine and it exploded, severing his legs below the knee. He came home to the United States, where through grueling physical therapy he learned how to walk with prosthetics, and he soon pushed himself to start running, rowing, and biking. His hard work paid off — in 2012, he won a bronze medal in rowing at the Paralympics and in 2013, he rode his bike from Maine to California, raising more than $125,000 for veterans' charities.
It can be very hard for troops to adjust when they return home, especially when they are injured, and 22 veterans commit suicide every day in the U.S. Jones plans to bring attention to this when he runs his first marathon Thursday in London all the way through Nov. 11, Veterans Day, when he races his final marathon in Washington, D.C. He has trained 18 months for this, and by the time it's over, Jones will have run 806 miles in a month and wants to have raised $1 million. "Hopefully, when a veteran sees that I was able to lose both legs above the knee and still have a purpose, still be a part of society, still contribute to my family, they can picture themselves doing it," Jones told Time. Catherine Garcia