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Thirty-one Marathons in as Many Days for Marine Veteran Double-amputee

rob jones

By Debbie Gregory.

Running one marathon is difficult. Running one marathon after losing both legs is extremely difficult. So what would you say of a double amputee running 31 marathons in 31 days? An impossible task?

Well, Iraq and Afghanistan Marine combat veteran and double-amputee Rob Jones would disagree with you there. The 32-year-old Jones is running the equivalent of 31 marathons in 31 days on two prosthetic limbs to raise money for veterans’ charities.

Jones lost both legs above the knee in 2010, four months in to his second deployment, when an improvised explosive device detonated under his feet in Helmand province in Afghanistan.

“When a veteran comes home and they’re wounded, whether psychologically or mentally or physically, that doesn’t mean they’re now disabled, broken, or incapable of contributing to society,” Jones said.

Seven years after losing his legs, Jones’s “31 in 31” kicked off on October 12th in Hyde Park, London.

“I’m trying to be an example of a veteran who’s had a traumatic experience overseas and I came back and I found my new way of helping society, staying in the fight, and contributing to my family and to America,” Jones said.

Jones was medically retired in December 2011 and was outfitted with a pair of bionic knees and prosthetics legs at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he relearned how to walk. As part of his physical rehabilitation, he took up rowing. Then cycling. Now running.

Jones hopes to raise up to $1 million for three charities he credits with aiding him in his recovery: Semper Fi Fund, Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, and Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation.

Jones finishes his run at the National Mall in Washington on Veterans Day.

If you would like to support this hero’s journey, visit http://www.robjonesjourney.com/

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Former Elected Official Resigns Over Exaggerated Military Service

hunt

By Debbie Gregory.

Washington State Rep. Graham Hunt has resigned over accusations that he exaggerated his military record. He has also resigned as Washington state chairman for Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign.

Hunt met with Republican leaders as a series of accusations against him began to circulate. He was told he either needed to clear up his record or resign.

On February 2, 2016,  Hunt posted on his website: “It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that I hereby resign from my position as Representative for the Second District, effective today. Over the past week, substantial media attention has been devoted to inconsistencies in the records of my military service. In response to these questions, I have exerted my best effort in trying to compile a complete set of my military personnel files, which memorializes my service history. I have worked to identify and explain any remaining confusion to the best of my ability.”

Hunt claimed that he was a combat veteran in Iraq and Afghanistan, receiving three medals, although the Air Reserve Personnel Center had no record of him receiving any medals.

The military has confirmed Hunt’s service in the Arizona Air National Guard from 1998 to 2005, and he did deploy to Saudi Arabia for part of that time. But Hunt has been unable to produce record substantiating his claims of being in combat or deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan.

In a statement, Hunt apologized to “all those who have been affected by this situation.”

He also said, “None of us are without flaws, shortcomings, or mistakes. I take full responsibility for any errors I have made, and I fully accept the obligation to address them responsibly… I deeply appreciate those who have supported my family and me through these difficult times, and hope that they extend the same level of dedicated support to my successor. I look forward to working with my successor in his or her transition into office…”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.