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.

The event asks people to either host their own event, participate in an existing one, or donate. All the event calls for is 90 seconds of pushups to raise money for this amazing foundation. They recently partnered with fitness icon Tony Horton to help promote the event to his like-minded, health-conscious audience. This year they plan to allocate 500 grants and 1 million dollars to deserving hero families. In the past, 1.4 million pushups have proven to add up to $1 million in donations. Every pushup brings awareness to military struggles resulting from their service and sacrifice, and every dollar raised helps the Boot Campaign bridge the gap between government programs designed to care for our military and the challenges of life during and post-service.

Popular celebs love to support the campaign, including Dropkick Murphys, Zac Brown Band, Jessie James, Florida Georgia Line, Dolly Parton, Dee Snider, Sons of Anarchy Cast (Katey Sagal), Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Mark Steines, Detroit Redwings, Rich Froning, and many more!

You can do anything for 90 seconds. Especially if you know those 90 seconds will help raise money for the amazing people who work so hard and risk their lives to keep us safe in America. There are millions of other Joey J’s out there, who need the help and support to get them back on their feet and get them readjusted. Join the other 100 locations across the US who are creating teams and doing pushups to raise money. To date they have raised over 100k, with a goal of raising 1 million, in order to give 500 grants to deserving families.

To make it easier for you to join forces, we’ve provided some helpful pushup tips to help get you in shape for the hundreds of events going on this summer.

1. Butt Rise

This is when the highest point of ones body is their buttocks when doing a pushup. This is a clear indication that their core is not properly engaged. 

Fix- The key to correcting this mistake is to engage your glute muscles by squeezing the cheeks together. This will help lower the butt and raise the lower back. There also needs to be a comfortable abdominal engagement as well. 

2. Poor Arm Placement

Quite often, people will get into the bad habit of placing their hands too far forward in a push up. This poor technique puts a lot of strain on the shoulder joints making it difficult to comfortably engage the buttocks, low back, and abdominal area.

Fix- Your arms need to be straight up and down like a pillar holding up a building, allowing the 6 bones in both arms to better support the weight of your body. 

3. Breathe

This one is obvious, but quite often the most overlooked. It’s difficult to do anything well, while holding your breath. 

Fix- You don’t have to force it and you don’t have to be loud. You just have to make sure that you’re exhaling on the way up and inhaling on the way down like you would breathe naturally.