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 :-)
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!)