He lost his legs in action. Now he's achieving big goals to change the stigma around vets.
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Just two weeks after Rob Jones had both his legs amputated in 2010, he decided to train for the Paralympics.

Jones lost his legs below the knee in Afghanistan after he accidentally stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device) during a routine clearing. In his online journal, he wrote that it felt "like my lower legs had fallen asleep for so long that it hurt. Except magnified by 50 times."

Before he deployed, he'd decided that if he lost his legs above the knees in action, he'd rather bleed out than live like that. The limb losses he sustained, however, ended up requiring him to have above-the-knee amputations. And when he learned about all the advancements that had been made with knee joint prosthetics, he changed his tune.


Jones in physical therapy. All photos via Rob Jones, used with permission.

"[When I realized] that my mission for my life, namely to make it meaningful and enjoyable, had not changed, I was able to accept the situation quite quickly," writes Jones in an email.

With his lofty goal in place, Jones set out on a year and a half of grueling physical therapy.

After a month of debridement surgeries every other day and another few months of recovery in the hospital, he was finally able to start the long process of rehabilitation.

He trained five days a week up to four or five hours a day and did everything from core strengthening to balance drills to maneuvering stairs, hills, and uneven ground on prosthetics.

"The prosthetic progression started with me being on very short legs called 'stubbies' and graduating to taller legs as I got better [at walking]," Jones explains.

Jones training on stubbies.

Soon he started using prosthetics with bionic knees, which allowed him to relearn how to run and cycle.

And, even though he'd never tried it before, he also picked up rowing, which ended up taking him far in the Paralympics.

Jones saw his recovery in milestones. At first, the milestones were little things like sitting up in bed and making it outside in a wheelchair. Once he started training, they escalated to athletic milestones, like being able to do 18 pull-ups or pushing past a personal rowing record. And the more goals Jones set for himself, the brighter his outlook on the future grew.

Eventually this led him to compete and win the bronze medal in the 2012 Paralympics rowing competition. He also biked over 5,000 miles across the country to raise money for wounded veterans.

Follow on Instagram: @robjonesjourneySurvive. Recover. Live. Guess what? You're alive. Your heart beats. Your...

Posted by Rob Jones Journey on Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Despite these incredible feats, he was nowhere near done. In his effort to keep moving forward, Jones set a monumental new goal — he'd run 31 marathons in 31 days.

Initially, the "Month of Marathons" idea came out of a disappointment — he didn't make it into the Paralympics triathlon. However, his ultimate mission became about much more than achieving a personal milestone. He wanted to change the conversation around veterans from one of struggle to one of hope.

"I knew that something needed to be done to change the perception of wounded veterans," writes Jones. [People] think all veterans to come home with PTSD, and I was concerned that this expectation would cause returning veterans to manifest symptoms in themselves."

So, he decided he'd craft a new narrative — one where instead being overcome by PTSD, a veteran found a way to grow stronger in spite of it. He'd also raise funds for wounded veterans while he was at it.

Since Jones had always been an athlete and had been training relentlessly for the Paralympics, he knew he was in prime condition to take on this challenge. However, he still put himself through18 months of intense running and cardiovascular training to get his endurance up.

Jones training.

Finally, it was just a matter of planning the route and figuring out where the RV would park at the beginning and end of every day — a job his wife selflessly took on along with many other tasks. His friend Colin volunteered as driver, and Jones' mom became the RV's resident chef.

The actual Month of Marathons was long, repetitive, and exhausting to put it mildly. But the outcome more than made up for the struggle.

He started in London (his wife's birthplace) on Oct. 11, 2017, and continued on a criss-cross tour of America that spanned over 10,000 miles.

"[I'd] wake up at 5:30 am, run a marathon, do interviews, talk to supporters, hop in the RV, eat, sleep repeat," Jones writes.

Mind you, these weren't official marathons Jones was running — each day he ran loops he plotted out himself in city parks and on trails.

As days went by, more and more people began to follow him, some who'd never run a marathon before. Soon, his journey started to resemble a scene out of "Forrest Gump."  

Jones running with his followers.

When he finally reached his personal finish line on Veterans Day, near the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., his body was feeling all sorts of pain, but his mind only felt one thing — thankful.

He was thankful "that I live in a country with so many people willing to show veterans they are loved," Jones writes.

By the end of his journey, he'd raised over $200,000 for veteran charities, inspiring many people to see veterans in a new light in the process.

He also inspired himself to continue his mission of advocating and raising money for veterans who are struggling to adjust to civilian life. He knows more than most how challenging it can be to find your purpose again after going through a traumatic experience. However, he's also a testament to what the human spirit is capable of in the midst of a challenge.

While there's no magic trick to coping with trauma, Jones' milestone motivation is a good place to start. Every step forward, no matter how small, is an important part of getting to the finish line.

After all, it's a marathon, not a race.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.

via US Secretary of Defense / Flickr and The Today Show

As the nation braces itself for the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, President Biden has embraced the family of George Floyd at what has to be an incredibly stressful time.

Following closing arguments in the Chauvin trial on Monday, Judge Peter Cahill has sent jurors to deliberate. The verdict is expected to come in the next few days.

"He was just calling," George's brother, Philonise Floyd, said about the president. "He knows how it is to lose a family member, and he knows the process of what we're going through. So he was just letting us know that he was praying for us, hoping that everything will come out to be OK."

Biden lost his wife and one-year-old daughter in a tragic car accident in 1972 and his son Beau to cancer in 2015.

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True

2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.