Rob Jones lost both of his legs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2010, but that is not stopping him from completing 31 marathons in 31 days.
His journey began in London last Thursday and it will conclude in Washington, D.C., on Veterans Day 2017 – after running 806 miles across 31 major cities in the U.K., Canada and United States.
Jones recently told American Military News: “It is rewarding to go to each city and as soon as I come out of my trailer, there are 20-30 people waiting to run with me as long as they can muster. Doing it every day is not easy, but I am doing it for a purpose. I needed to be an example for other veterans and show them that just because you come back wounded it doesn’t mean you are incapable.”
This isn’t the first adventure Jones has embarked on for charity.
He started what he calls “Rob Jones Journey” in 2013 when he rode his bicycle more than 5,000 miles from Maine to California through the dead of winter to raise money for veterans.
“There were times on my bike ride when I was cold, it was snowing, I was wet, I was bored,” Jones said, TIME reported. “But my objective was much more important than being warm, or dry, or comfortable, or entertained… That’s just part of the Marine Corps. Your mission is more important than you.”
Through the first of what would become his many journeys, he was able to raise $125,000 for veterans’ charities.
This time, Jones is hoping to raise $1 million for wounded veterans’ charities, including the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.
Jones is also hoping that his journey will raise awareness about the struggles of America’s veteran population
“I intend to show veterans through the amount of support that I personally receive throughout this challenge that America loves her veterans, and the American people love their veterans, and want to help and support them. I mean to show my fellow veterans that they are not alone, and only need ask in order to receive all of the support that they need. By running in both London and Toronto, I plan to also raise these issues in the populaces of America’s allies that I have fought alongside, and who face these same issues,” according to the Rob Jones Journey mission statement.
Jones will complete his final marathon this year on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Veterans Day.
“As a veteran running for veterans, I couldn’t think of a better place to finish than Washington, D.C., surrounded by all the war memorials,” Jones said.