Survive. Recover. Live.
That's the motto of a veteran who's inspiring people across the country because he's doing what some say is the impossible. Rob Jones is working his way across the country in 31 days, running 31 marathons in 31 cities. All of this as a double amputee. And one of those 31 stops is right here in St. Louis.
"When somebody else has already done something it makes it a little bit easier to see yourself doing it to," Rob said.
It's easy to find inspiration in Rob Jones. Not only because he served our country, but because of what he's done since then.
"Trying to provide a story where a marine went overseas and had a traumatic experience and was still able to come back and reintegrate," Rob said.
In 2010, Rob was on his second deployment in Afghanistan. While there, Rob stepped on an explosive device, losing his legs from the knee down. But that didn't stop Rob. After intensive rehabs, he began competing in triathlons and eventually he won the bronze medal in the Paralympics.
And still, that wasn't enough. So, when you dream, dream big. On Sunday, Rob ran through Forest Park in what he called loops, taking breaks every 20 minutes before he completed the 26 plus mile run. It was his 11th marathon in as many days.
"I'm happy that I can get my own story out there whenever I hear it helps somebody that makes me feel good," Rob said.
His mother has seen his impact.
"I've had so many people say it was life-changing to see him and hearing his story," said Carol Miller.
Since he started what he calls the “Month of Marathons”, people he doesn't even know have joined him in his runs.
"I thought if he could do it, I could do it," said Rachel Hofer, a military veteran, who traveled from Indiana to run with Rob in St. Louis.
"It's a great cause how could you not," said Gaby Saez who came with Hofer from Indiana.
"He wants to support everybody,” said 9-year-old Frank Robbins. “Even though he lost both of his legs. he's still running."
And running with a purpose. Rob hopes all of this will raise a million dollars for three different veterans charities: Stephen Siller Tunnel2Towers Foundation, Semper Fi Fund and Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes. And more importantly, the runner wants to raise the spirits of his brother veterans those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
"I'm just hoping that when veterans see that, they can then make it a little bit easier to envision themselves being able to do it too," Rob said.
Rob will end his marathon journey in Washington D.C on Veterans Day. To follow him and to donate to the charities he's supporting, you can go to this link.