published Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Whatever happened to ... Wounded Marine finishing school, spreading message for vets

  • photo
    Sgt. Joey Jones, a Dawnville, Ga., native who lost his legs as a Marine in Afghanistan, lives in the Washington, D.C. area and is completing his undergraduate degree while working with veteran-focused nonprofits such ast The Boot Campaign to raise awareness and funding for veterans and their families.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Question: Whatever happened to Dawnville, Ga., native and Marine Sgt. Joey Jones?

Answer: In August 2010, Jones stepped on a land mine in Afghanistan. The explosion took both his legs above the knees, and doctors scrambled to keep him alive long enough to return to the United States for vital surgeries.

Now 26, Jones walks without a cane on prosthetic legs, has married his Southeast High School sweetheart Meg Garrison, is one year from completing his bachelor's degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and had a speaking role in Steven Spielberg's film "Lincoln," released last year.

His hair's a little longer since he medically retired from the Marines as a staff sergeant last year. He plans to work on his graduate degree next but hasn't decided the area of study yet.

Even after more than a year in the spotlight, Jones hasn't tired of public speaking. He has worked with the Armed Forces Foundation, The Boot Campaign. He has traveled to multiple locations for special events related to Pushups for Charity, which aims to raise $1 million for wounded veterans. The charity has its main event June 23 in Washington, D.C.

"Just about all of the programs I'm involved in focus on the guy down the street who went off to war and came back half-bodied or in a box or not himself," Jones said. "You really need to get out there and tell these guys you really appreciate them and that they're a part of this community."

To see previous reports on Jones' ordeal, go to www.times freepress.com/joey.

This update was written by staff writer Todd South. Contact him at tsouth@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347. To suggest a topic for "Whatever happened to," email news@timesfreepress.com.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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