Sometimes there’s a news story that sticks with you, one that keeps coming back to your mind. The August 2010 story on Rob Jones, “Injured Loudoun Marine looks to the future” is one of them.
The Loudoun Valley graduate lost both his legs only a few weeks prior to an IED in Afghanistan.
What struck us most was his optimism, thankfulness and goals for the future.
When asked by reporter Alex Withrow about whether his opinion of the Marines or his reason for joining had changed, he said “No. Not at all. What happened to me hasn’t changed anything about why I became a Marine.”
Throughout his ordeal, he displayed a level of maturity and thoughtfulness beyond his years, despite his injury.
And while this story might have drifted into our archives, Jones has kept moving. Fitted with artificial legs, he walked to the podium to speak in July 2011 at a screening of a documentary about his recovery.
The documentary moved from his being fitted with prosthetics to his completion of a triathlon.
And now, he’s done it again. Last week in our Sept. 5 edition, we published the story of how Jones and his partner won the bronze medal in the Paralymics in London.
We remain in awe of Jones.
Certainly there are a legion of unsung veterans, including those wounded warriors with a much longer recovery process. To them, hopefully Jones can be symbol of a life beyond recovery. And to us, he serves as a sign that nothing is impossible when you have the will to succeed.
In a world where the reality TV celebrities consistently receive more press than scientists or police officers, sometimes it’s difficult to remember who the real heroes are – and even harder to point your kids toward a worthwhile role model.
Let us suggest Jones as an example of a hometown hero worthy of looking up to.
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