Pushup Challenge Honors American Military Heroes

Event to raise awareness of the challenges veterans face in transition back to civilian life.

Pushup Challenge Honors American Military Heroes

Serving our nation: it's one of the most heroic things a person can do. Fighting for the freedom and safety of America is not an easy feat. Living conditions, traumatic experiences, injuries, and the mental struggle our service men and women go through while serving are more than most of us can even imagine.

The problem arises when they step foot back on American soil after having served overseas. The readjusting to routine life, the reconnecting with their family, the reinvention of themselves to figure out who they really are outside of their uniform.

Take the story of combat-wounded Staff Sergeant (Ret.) Joey Jones, USMC EOD, Chief Operating Officer, and Military Spokesperson for Boot Campaign who turned a traumatic, life-changing disability into a personal mission to improve the lives of all veterans. During his eight years of service, he worked as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (bomb) Technician, deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan on three combat tours. During his last deployment, Jones was responsible for disarming and destroying more than 80 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and thousands of pounds of other unknown bulk explosives. It was during that tour on August 6, 2010 when Jones stepped on and initiated an IED, resulting in the loss of both his legs above the knee and severe damage to his right forearm and both wrists.

pushup challenge for veterans

He then spent two grueling years in recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington D.C. Determined to make the road to recovery easier for his fellow wounded veterans, Jones started a peer visit program at Walter Reed, which provided opportunities for others recovering from life-changing injuries to mentor and encourage newly-injured patients. This led to an unprecedented year-long fellowship on Capitol Hill with the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, his contributions resulting in the creation of an annual fellowship and paving the way for other inspiring Marine wounded warriors.

In 2011, while attending classes at Georgetown, Jones was introduced to the non-profit organization, Boot Campaign, through Joe Nichols, country music artist and Boot Campaign celebrity ambassador. Jones quickly realized that his personal goals and objectives were aligned with the charity's mission to raise awareness of veterans’ issues, promote patriotism and provide assistance to military families. He joined the nonprofit first as a speaker and public affairs representative, quickly moving into a leading role as the Executive Director of Marketing.

Boot campaign for veterans

Luckily, there are charities, like Boot Campaign, that are available to help men and women adjust to civilian life after their journey. The 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is stated above, is hosting its 4th annual Pushups for Charity event, which raises awareness of the challenges military service members, and veterans face in the transition back to civilian life, and raises money to help support their needs. It launched mid-May, and lasts until August 16th, with a final “PUSH” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on September 19th.