On this Veterans Day, one wounded veteran is raising money for his fellow injured vets, one pedal at a time.
Former Marine Sgt. Rob Jones, 28, started his bike ride in Maine on October 14, and passed through Lancaster County on Veterans Day. He hopes to get to California by May.
Jones has a toughness very few people possess. It helped him during his time as a Marine and it’s helping him as he approaches 800 miles of a 5400 mile bike trek across the country.
“Some parts of my body ache everyday and it doesn’t take them long to start,” he said.
It’s a ride that would be grueling for anyone, and Jones is doing it as a double amputee. He lost both of his legs after an IED attack in Afghanistan on July 22, 2010.
“I decided I wanted to do an adventure after recovering and at the same time I thought of that, I was re-learning how to ride a bike, so I figured a bike across America would be a good adventure,” Jones said.
His mission has moved people to follow his route and greet him, ride alongside him or offer him a meal or a place to stay for the night. But most of all, he’s inspiring people to tackle their own challenges.
“If he can do this with the extent of his injuries, there’s no reason why the normal person can’t step up and really do whatever they want to do,” said Fred Gerfin, president of the Mount Joy American Legion Riders.
Gerfin waited by the side of the road in Mount Joy to present Jones with a Marine Challenge Coin and a donation.
“He’s an inspiration,” Gerfin said.
“I just kind of hope that people see it as an example for themselves, to see me doing this, obviously arduous task of riding a bike without knees, so maybe they can kind of apply it to their own lives,” Jones said
To follow Jones’ progress, you can visit his website: Rob Jones’ Journey