TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Joey Jones could have taken the day off. He's more than earned it. Serving in Afghanistan as a bomb technician in 2010, Jones stepped on a road side bomb.
"I lost both of my legs above the knee and a lot of damage to my right arm," said Jones.
Jones survived. Many of his friends did not.
"Memorial Day is a day I look at my five year old son and say you will grow up in a free and happy and prosperous country," said Jones to a large group at Premier Crossfit in Tyler. "Because of the 24 friends of mine and the thousands of family members of friends of you all, who have given their lives for this country."
To help honor those that paid the ultimate sacrifice and many more that continue to serve, Jones joined several East Texans this Memorial Day at Premier Crossfit, hoping to make a difference with Pushups for Charity.
Pushups for Charity helps serve the Boot Campaign, which helps veterans by providing jobs, housing, education, wellness, urgent assistance and family support.
"Across the country the goal is 1.4 million pushups and one million dollars raised in cash," said Cuny Pena of Premier Crossfit.
For 90 seconds, men, women and children, gave it their all, to honor the armed forces.
"It was pretty tough," said Christina Delatorre. "I think I might have fallen down a couple times. It looked liked a belly flop and not a pushup."
"When I got to that 60 second mark I started thinking about Joey (Jones) and what he was sharing," said Michelle Pena. "It helped me push through."
Jones says Memorial Day is every day in his life. He hopes others begin to see it the same way.
"We've got this whole group of people here and I promise you they will leave here today with a different perspective and a new appreciation for my friends and all those that have given their lives for this country."