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Coalition to Salute America's Heroes
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Marine veteran Rob Jones, 28, lost both of his legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan
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BAR HARBOR — Retired Marine and U.S. Paralympian Rob Jones is on a quest to raise $1 million for the charities that supported him after he was wounded in Afghanistan in 2010. Jones kicked off his cross-country cycling trek in Bar Harbor on Monday and doesn't plan to quit until he's reached San Diego, Calif., sometime between February and April.

What makes Rob's journey so unique is that he will be pedaling his bicycle with prosthetic legs. During his deployment to Afghanistan, the Marine combat engineer was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED), resulting in double above-knee amputations of both his legs.

"Most people don't understand just how difficult it is to ride a bike with prostheses," Jones explained in a news release. "Most people use their quads, calves and glutes to pedal, while I am only able to use my glutes. It's extremely challenging, but I'm determined to achieve my goal."

Jones is no stranger to world-class achievements. Last summer, he and his partner won a Bronze Medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London in the Trunk and Arms Mixed Double Sculls event. He has competed in the Marine Corps 10K (6.2 Miles), the Army 10-Miler, the Charlottesville Half Marathon, the CFI Mini Triathlon, and the Nation's Olympic Distance Triathlon (a 0.9-mile swim, 24-mile bike, and a 6.2-mile run). In 2012, Jones was named USARowing's "Man of the Year."

His journey will take him from Bar Harbor south along the Atlantic seaboard to Blacksburg, Va., where he will pivot west and begin the cross-continental march to San Francisco. He will then continue south toward his personal finish line in San Diego. By then, he will have covered 5,400 miles, averaging 30 miles per day.

Why is he doing this?

"It's simple, really. I am committed to giving back to the charitable organizations that were there for me in my darkest hours," he said in the release. "They helped me stand back up on new legs, learn how to walk again, then ride a bike again, then become a world-class rower. Now, with the help of patriotic and generous Americans, I intend to pay it forward, so those organizations can help even more wounded soldiers, like me, in their time of greatest need."

Virtually unique among other ambitious fundraising initiatives, 100 percent of the money donated to the Rob Jones Journey will go to the charities he is supporting: The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, the Semper Fi Fund and Ride 2 Recovery. Jones has already secured enough funds to purchase the equipment, including a support vehicle, he'll need to complete his trip. He will be counting on the kindness of his fellow Americans for an occasional meal and overnight accommodations; but all cash donations made through his web site, RobJonesJourney.com, will pass directly through to the charities.

His fundraising goal is $1 million.

"It's important to me that people know I'm not getting anything out of this financially," Jones explained. "While I will accept certain in-kind sponsorships from companies that want to support me, any cash they provide will go straight to the charities. Just like the funds individuals donate. This is truly all about giving back."

Jones has already secured one corporate supporter, Bonk Breaker Energy Bars, which is supplying its products to help fuel his journey.

"Rob is one of the most inspiring men I have ever had the honor to meet," said David Walker, President & CEO of the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, in the news release. "He is obviously a unique individual, but the role he plays in motivating and challenging his fellow combat wounded and in raising funds and awareness for organizations like ours, is extraordinary."

In his short adaptive rowing career, Jones and his Team Bad Company partner, Oksana Masters, have won several major competitions, including the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Selection Trials, the 2012 World Rowing Final Paralympic Qualifier in Belgrade, Serbia, and the 2013 U.S. Para-Rowing Championships. The pair placed third in the Samsung World Rowing Cup in England earlier this year, and fourth at the World Championships in South Korea in August.

To learn more about Jones or to support his fundraising trek, visit RobJonesJourney.com.
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Contact Information
Map of the business location
552 Fort Evans Rd NE #300 Leesburg, VA 20176, United States
552 Fort Evans Road Northeast #300USVirginiaLeesburg20176
(703) 291-4605saluteheroes.org
Veterans Organization, Non-Profit Organization
Veterans Organization
Non-Profit Organization
Veterans Affairs Department
Veterans Center
Charity
Employment Agency
Foundation
Financial Consultant
Employment Center
Today 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monday 9:00 am – 5:00 pmTuesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pmWednesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pmThursday 9:00 am – 5:00 pmFriday 9:00 am – 5:00 pmSaturday ClosedSunday Closed
The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes was established to ensure that in return for the sacrifices they made for us, these wounded veterans and their families receive all the support needed to restore their hope and rebuild their lives.

Providing Emergency Financial Aid and Other Services to Veterans Severely Wounding in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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"My husband and I are all about helping OTHER Soldiers and Veterans."
4 reviewers
"Recognition for my service to our great country is always appreciated."
"My husband is a wounded warrior who suffers from PTSD..."
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Tom Remington's profile photo
Tom Remington
9 months ago
We were very surprised to receive a gift card in the mail. I am truly thankful and now I don't have to worry about if my family will have a good meal. The card was very nice. Recognition for my service to our great country is always appreciated. I take pride in my service. I am currently being medically retired and this whole process has been very stressful. The transition process is very worrisome with all the unknown we are facing. Being recognized and appreciated is very uplifting during these hard times. I hope you all know how much this is a blessing to my family and me.
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Jessica Stephen
10 months ago
My husband is a wounded warrior who suffers from PTSD. He had served multiple deployments without issue, but had a particularly traumatizing last deployment. Over the course of 6 months upon return, I watched my husband change more and more and become someone I didn't know. Our lives began to crumble. For a year, daily living felt like torture and we received no help from the Army until I began feverishly writing congress, the senate, the volunteer and paid support organizations (such as yourself!), and even the Vice and President of our United States of America. Finally, finally a congressional inquiry was opened for my husband, and he was found to be suffering severely from PTSD. When he was finally treated, and could open up about the devastating and traumatic experiences he witnessed, had to assist with, and be a part of, everything made sense. Everything began to take motion, and our retirement from the Army began. My entire being hurt with him. I had spent the last year feeling like I was married to a stranger, someone that used to be gentle and kind and my prince charming and was now cold, hurtful, and insensitive. We both finally had answers. That being said, this transition and treatment period has been difficult. I felt like the past couple years has taken years off of our lives and robbed precious time away from us, potentially changing the dynamic of our relationship forever. My husband and I are now home, he has settled into a job, and we are beginning to lead a normal life again. In doing so, I am finding myself feeling more and more fragile every day because I had to be the strong ever persistent one through this entire ordeal. I had to take care of him, the Army, important dates, remind him of appointment times and so on and so forth. I have had such a lonely sad burden for quite some time. Our soldiers are constantly remembered and revered for their contribution and sacrifice, as they should be! Unfortunately, the sacrifices and contributions of the family, particularly spouses, are not. We, sadly, are typically a forgotten population. I have felt alone and forgotten for so long, but you have changed that! Your letter and card brought tears to my eyes. While reading your touching letter, I had to pause many times to wipe them away. Thank you for remembering not just him, but our family as a whole. Thank you for this amazing gift! Because of your donation, we will have the monetary room to donate more than usual to the wounded warrior project this holiday season. I cannot express what this kind action did for our holiday season. We are truly touched by your gift.
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Whitney Gry
a year ago
I want to express to you how much your gift has lifted my family’s spirits. My wife and I want to say THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS. We will be able to give our 4 kids a Christmas with the gift you provided. I have so many tears of joy from the gift. You really just don’t know the feeling of hope you have put into our hearts. The joy on my kids face this Christmas will be because someone cared about a Soldier not able to provide for his family because I was blown up in Iraq. My heart is so full of joy over this gift and my family thanks you from the very bottom of our hearts. Please give the person that gave my kids Christmas a hug and tell them we thank you.
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Avery Casovia
a year ago
I wanted to take this time to tell you all how grateful I am for the gift my family received from The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes. I gives me so much joy in my heart to know that people during this time of the year take the time out of there busy schedules to let all of us Veterans know that we are still appreciated for the service to our country. This gift could not have come at a better time for my family, times are hard and it really helped make my families Christmas one that we will remember and that to me is the most important thing to me. The Coalition does so many great things for us Veterans and it makes me feel so good about my service when people thank me for it in any way. I hope that you all know just how much the things that you do truly help. God bless you and yours, and I hope you all have the Merriest Christmas ever!
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Linda Tucker
10 months ago
We just wanted to let you know that we received our gift card today. This could not have come at a better time. We have had a very tough last year and ever harder last 2 months, and are on the verge of final out from the Army very soon. My husband, James, is being medically retired after 26 years of service, for several combat and non-combat related injuries and illnesses. He DOES NOT want to leave the Army, but his medical issues are so severe that he truly did not have a choice. This is such a scary and sad time for us, on top of some financial challenges recently and right before the holidays. Today was a rough day for 3 of the 4 members of our small family and receiving the card was such a blessing. It was a bright light that put a smile on our faces! My friend insisted on signing up for a gift card, because she knows we don't ask for help. My husband and I are all about helping OTHER Soldiers and Veterans. I am sooo grateful that she convinced us! I also had several of my Soldiers who are struggling, put in a request for a gift card. I can't wait to hear from them with the news that they received their cards as well. $60 may not seem like a whole lot of money, but in these hard times and this time of year, it is HUGE! THANK YOU THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts! I can't put into words what this means for our family and my Soldiers and their families! If there is any way I can help support your organization, please feel free to ask. Thank you again.
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Rafael Hernandez
a year ago
I recently received your wonderful donation from your organization and your many donors this holiday season. I am simply at a loss for words to describe my appreciation for your gift. I have had a rough go at it this last year. My family has been torn apart by the separation of my long time significant other. The hidden scares and symptoms that I have from combat haunt me to this day, where the determining factors in her decision to end our relationship and in turn ending our family unit. I take responsibility for my failures as man. I work very closely with my VA therapists and medical providers in my rehabilitation. But this has caused our very young children to live in two separate households as well as spend endless amounts money and resources in court fees, just to be in my children's lives that I love so very much. After paying all my obligations and everyday needs there wasn't to much in my budget to celebrate Christmas with the children this year. Until I unexpectedly opened the mail today and saw a more than generous token of good will and kindness that has lifted my spirits beyond explanation. I am now able to have a nice little Christmas for my children. I can't tell you how grateful I am. You have truly brightened my world this holiday season. So if could pass on my deepest gratitude and appreciation to your many donors and wonderful organization that made this happen. I would be very thankful.
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Randal Guo
a year ago
Your kindness and generosity are much appreciated. It's refreshing to know what that there are genuine people like Agnes Karan out there who care. Our family is very grateful for foundations like yours.
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Max Wash
a year ago
For over 237 years, our Soldiers and their Familes have been the strength of our great nations in peace and at war. They make personal sacrifices to preserve our liberty, serving on front lines around the world.