Staff Sergeant Johnny "Joey" Jones did not fully realize just how close he came to death after being blown up by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on August 6, 2010, which, among other things, resulted in the loss of both his legs.
"The tourniquets they had on me weren't doing the trick and they almost lost me right there because they had to apply two more tourniquets," Jones, who worked in EOD for the Marine Corps, told Townhall. He added he did not know just how close he came to dying simply because no one told him afterward.
Jones, who was 23 on that fateful day, Staff Sgt. Eric Chir, and Cpl. Daniel Greer received a tip from a local Afghan who found an unexploded IED. As the Marines were clearing civilians from the area, Jones accidentally triggered an IED. While Jones survived, Greer died from his wounds in the hospital.
I’m Alive. Today. 10 Years. Boom ?? pic.twitter.com/m2Ss4O90tJ— JJJ (@Johnny_Joey) August 6, 2020
The 10 year anniversary of his "Alive Day" is the subject of his Fox Nation special "Alive Day: Johnny Joey Jones." In an interview with Townhall, Jones provided some more background to the thought process behind the special and how being alive ten years after he should not be is a gift each and every day.
"I call that my 'Alive Day' because that's when I lived when I shouldn't have. And it's not what happened to me that day, but it's that fact and I've said for a long time, hey I've had one bad day...and every day after has been a little bit better cause I'm a little further away from it and a little bit closer to being normal again," Jones explained.
Two prosthetic legs now serve as Jones' new way of getting around. Jones said he was up and around on the prosthetics around a year after the explosion, noting he was able to because he was really young. Now ten years later, he finds he's starting to have trouble doing certain things that weren't as big as a challenge before.
"Now I'm 34...and I have to fight really hard every day to not let something go I can't get back," he said, using the example of having trouble simply sitting up in bed to the point where he has thought of having a pull rope at the end of the bed, but he has decided against it.
"I'm not going to do that because the moment I do, I'll never not have to have that."
When my country needed me to defend it, I became a Marine and fought. When the hardships of life gave me a voice I went to school, went to work, and earned a platform to use it. It’s never been about being the best, it’s only about showing up when you have the chance. pic.twitter.com/EGzJa9Ufii— JJJ (@Johnny_Joey) August 12, 2020
Jones said he never envisioned working in media but now that he has a platform, he wants to inspire others to tackle any challenge that life throws their way.
"Whatever your struggle is, pick a day and make that the last worst day of your life. Make that your 'Alive Day' and that's kind of how I view my 'Alive Day' and hopefully that's the message that we got across in that special," he said, adding "perspective is everything."
As for the next ten years? Jones wants to put down roots in his native Georgia community with his wife and two kids.
"Continue my work, which I enjoy, but fill that backend with a very local community aspect of life and to really get to know the community I've decided to live in."