On Monday, I had the unique privilege of running as part of the Rob Jones Journey – an inspiring challenge by veteran Rob Jones – here in Kansas City, MO.
Warming up before the run.
Rob Jones is a US Marine that was tasked with searching for an IED on deployment in Taliban territory in Afghanistan in 2010. A land mine exploded and took away both of his legs. Less than six years later, he is running 31 marathons, in 31 consecutive days, in 31 different major cities in the US and abroad. Kansas City, MO was number 12 in his journey. The way it works is that he wakes up in a city, runs a marathon, travels to the next city, and repeats until finished. The best part of this entire journey is that he allows anyone to join him, support, run with him and encourage him. All of this is to raise awareness and funds for other wounded veterans, first responders and their families. He’s supporting the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.
Running at Riverfront Heritage Trail in Kansas City, MO.
Among his many reasons for completing this challenge, there was one that stood out to me the most. And that was that Rob hopes to raise awareness concerning the struggle of America’s veteran population. According to a recent VA study, twenty veterans from among every generation commit suicide every day. But he’s not only wanting to raise awareness of this issue with the civilian population, but he also intends to raise awareness in the veteran population as well. He intends to show the veterans, through the amount of support that he personally receives throughout his marathon challenge, that America – and the American people – love their veterans and want to help and support them. Rob wants to show veterans that they are not alone, and all they have to do is ask in order to receive all of the support they need.
Me running with another veteran buddy.
But this awesome challenge isn’t Jones’ first foray into extreme sports for a cause. In 2013, he embarked on a 5,000-mile bike journey around America, raising $126,000 for charities benefiting wounded veterans along the way.
Getting to talk with Rob during one of his running breaks.
I am speechless and honored to have met such a passionate and inspiring man. Rob, we all wish you good luck in your journey and keep spreading joy and happiness and love to all, especially veterans! And most of all, thank you for your service!
Spreading joy in Kansas City, MO.
Your fellow amputee runner,