03 May 2012

Cpl. "Robin Hood" Jones

Cpl. Justin Jones (left) gives a high-five to one of his Marine teammates after he recorded a “Robin Hood” by splitting an arrow with another arrow Wednesday during the Warrior Games at Air Force. In his first archery competition, Jones triumphed in the compound class, beating Fred Prince of the Army and Mark O'Brien of the Marines. Photo: Erilee Bennett, The Gazette.

You rock, Justin!

Justin Jones stares at his target, his bow in one hand, his arrow in the other. He zeros in, then he slings the arrow. And he’s transformed. His mind goes blank, and he finds peace.

Gone are the horrors of war. His pain is hidden. His ability far outweighs his disability.

Archery has become therapeutic for Jones, a corporal in the Marines with a bum leg and a weak shoulder, and it serves the same purpose during the Warrior Games, featuring more than 200 wounded, injured and ill service members and veterans from all five branches of the U.S. military competing this week at Air Force and the Olympic Training Center.

As a child, Jones, 24, of Ellijay, Ga., first shot a bow, and he hunted deer and turkey with his father, Tim. He never had entered an archery competition before he almost was killed in August in Afghanistan, struck by an improvised explosive device as he helped carry a wounded comrade to safety on a stretcher. Lance Cpl. Jeremy Vanhoose lost his left leg in the blast, and had the IED fully detonated, both Jones and Vanhoose might be dead.

“I have a lot of other buddies, and a lot of them are in worse shape than I am,” said Jones, who won the compound class Wednesday at Air Force, beating Fred Prince of the Army and Mark O’Brien of the Marines. In recurve, Dan Govier of the Marines was the winner.

Read the rest of Justin's story.

Update, great photo of Justin's mom and wife watching the Games :-)

Leigh Jones, right, the mother of Marine Corps Cpl. Justin Jones, and Nayelli, Jones' wife, rejoice after seeing the corporal win the gold medal in the compound bow portion of the 2012 Warrior Games at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 2, 2012. Marines won four medals in the archery competition, including two golds and two bronzes. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Aaron Hostutler.

Congratulations again, Justin!!

Another update - video. (There are going to be more updates on Justin... he's now up to FOUR Gold Medals after winning both the Pistol Open and Rifle Prone Open competitions!)


Candice Jones Eller said...

I'm so glad you saw this I was going to send it directly to you as soon as I was home. Thank you again for being our angel MaryAnn!

MaryAnn said...

Saw it on your FB page and was so excited, Candice!!
Hugs to you and the family :-)