"The year was 2010. Rob Jones, a corporal in the Marine Corps, was scanning the earth in Afghanistan with a metal detector, hoping to alert his patrol to IEDs laid by the Taliban. As he inched forward, he stepped on a mine that exploded beneath him. He describes the resulting injuries that have set his life on a new path with a blunt frankness. "My legs were immediately severed below the knee. And that's it, that's the end of my deployment. So I came home."
In the years since, Jones has overcome what might have been a traumatic event to pursue a new mission, to raise money for veterans' charities by pushing himself to ever more gruelling physical feats. On Thursday, he is running the first of 31 marathons, in 31 different cities, in 31 days. His project will take him from London, where he is completing the first race, to Washington D.C. on Nov. 11 -- Veterans Day, a fitting occasion on which to conclude.
By Jones' telling, he was able to reach within himself to bounce back after his life-changing injury. Many others struggle to do the same. Twenty-two veterans per day commit suicide in the U.S., and they are twice as likely as your average citizen to be chronically homeless. Although the nation's treatment of veterans has come a long way since the days of the Vietnam war, they still face difficulty reintegrating into society, especially if they are injured."