When Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez lost the lower part of his left leg when he stepped on an IED while serving in Afghanistan in 2011, it would’ve been easy to use that as an excuse to not push himself as hard. If anything, Sanchez ended up pushing himself harder than he ever has in his life.
Sanchez chose to run the Boston Marathon in 2017. Not only did he run it, he did the whole thing carrying an American flag. That’s right – he ran 26.2 miles on a prosthetic leg while carrying the flag, which made it that much more difficult.
“I want to recognize veterans and everyone who thinks they can’t do something,” Sanchez said in an interview.
You probably noticed the flag has writing all over it. That’s because it’s the flag that was given to Sanchez by his patrol unit while he was recovering from his injuries. The flag is actually the reason he felt led to run the race.
“I boxed it up for three or four years because I didn’t want to acknowledge it,” Sanchez told Runner’s World. “One day, I opened it back up and read through the inspirational quotes they sent me, and I was motivated.”
“I do this to inspire other people; it’s to inspire people to say yes to something they are afraid of,” he continued.
He’s certainly an inspiration for us all. Without people like Sanchez protecting us overseas and at home, we wouldn’t have the rights they give their lives to protect.