Rob Jones is a Veteran who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan. He is currently cycling across America to raise money for charities that aid veterans with similar injuries.
Rob is going to pass through Berea today. As of 10 am this morning he passed through McKee KY.Lets all get out and support this hero as he passes through!
I grew up on a farm in the small town of Lovettsville, Virginia. I graduated from Loudoun Valley High School in 2003, and from Virginia Tech in 2007. In my junior year at Virginia Tech, I joined the Marine Corps Reserve as a combat engineer at Bravo Company, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion in Roanoke, VA. In the Marine Corps, combat engineers are responsible for a multitude of disciplines but the primary role that I and my fellow combat engineers undertook was the use of explosives, and the detection of buried IEDs and weapons caches.
I deployed to Habbaniyah, Iraq in 2008, and again to Delaram/Sangin, Afghanistan in 2010. During my deployment to Afghanistan while operating as a part of a push into Taliban territory, I was tasked with clearing an area with a high likelihood of containing an IED. It was in this capacity that I was wounded by the IED that I was looking for. The injury resulted in a left through knee dis-articulation and a right above knee amputation of my legs.
I was taken to National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD for the initial phases of my recovery, which consisted primarily of healing and closing my wounds. I was then transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for the remainder of my rehabilitation. At Walter Reed I was fitted with prosthetics, and worked very hard to learn how to walk with two prosthetic knees. I also used the time to relearn how to do other things with my new challenge including riding an upright cycle, running, and rowing. I enjoyed rowing so much that I decided to train for the 2012 Paralympics.
I was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in December, 2011, and immediately moved to Florida to train with my rowing partner, Oksana. We spent five months there, and during that time period won the trunk and arms double scull trials race held by USRowing to become the USRowing national team for our boat class, and also won the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta in Belgrade to qualify for the Paralympics. We then moved to Charlottesville, Virginia to continue training until the Paralympics in late August, 2012. Our hard work paid off for us as we brought home a bronze medal in our event. Currently I am continuing to race in the sport of rowing, and planning to cycle across America for charity in the fall of 2013.
You can find out more about Rob, track his progress, see his route and donate to support his cause on his website: http://www.robjonesjourney.com/