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Retired Marine Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, Who Lost Leg In Afghanistan, Crosses Boston Marathon Carrying U.S. Flag

jls143_ / Instagram

In 2013 the Boston Marathon was viciously attacked. When a home-made bomb went off at the finish line, three people lost their lives and 264 were injured, including 14 who needed amputations. Since then, the running of the annual marathon has become a symbol of perseverance for many, with some of the victims of the bombing returning to run again. Runners have come from all over to show their grit, determination and for many, their patriotism.


Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez a retired marine and amputee completed the Boston Marathon with a U.S. flag in hand.

A post shared by Laura Vitalini (@lkv117) on

This year’s breakout Boston Marathon story of perseverance and patriotism is undoubtedly that of retired marine, Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, who lost part of his leg in 2011 after stepping on an IED while on duty in Afghanistan. Sanchez completed the 26 mile race in under 6 hours, while wearing a “Semper Fi” shirt and waving a giant U.S. flag the whole way. Whatever your politics, there’s no denying his strength and bravery, coming back to run after not being able to stand for more than three seconds at a time.


In a video from The Boston Herald, Sanchez commented on his journey from not being able to stand, to running 26 miles.

Credit: Boston Herald / Youtube

“I wanted to not only recognize veterans and stuff, but everyone that thinks that they’re unable to do something. I couldn’t stand up for more than three seconds or walk more than two feet, and I fought my way for four, five years, just to be able to walk farther, be able to lift my body up. And I kept on pushing it. Mentally and spiritually I was good, so I wanted to push it even further and do the marathon.”


There were tons of images of Sanchez running with his flag on social media.

According to an interview with Runner’s World, the flag he ran with was given to him by his patrol unit as he recovered. The flag has positive messages written on it in marker. Of the flag, Sanchez told Runner’s World “I boxed it up for three or four years because I didn’t want to acknowledge it.” He then went on to say: “One day I opened it back up and read through the inspirational quotes they sent me and I was motivated.”


The crowds were all about it, cheering him on loudly while he pushed forward.

He looked strong from start to finish.


But no image was as powerful as seeing him actually cross the finish line, with the crowd cheering and his flag waving.

A fellow runner offered to help, but Sanchez was strong on his own.


If you’re not crying yet, put on your seatbelt and grab some tissues. He ran with his wife, who recorded and cheered him on the whole way, hugging him at the end.

They crossed the finish line together and shared a big hug.


As beautiful as it all is, according to his Instagram account, it was a long and difficult road and inspiration was only the beginning.

♠I HAVE BEEN SCARED AND FUCKING TERRIFIED OF THIS BOSTON MARATHON. IM AFRAID OF FAILURE AND LOSS AND TO LET EVERYONE DOWN, BUT THROUGH THE LOVE AND SUPPORT. I’M REMINDED THAT IT’S NOT ABOUT BEING THE BIGGEST , STRONGEST OR FASTEST PERSON. ITS ABOUT NEVER FUCKING GIVING UP. NEVER FUCKING QUITING. NEVER FUCKING SURRENDERING. IT’S ABOUT FIGHTING BACK WHEN LIFE PUSHES YOU AROUND. YOU FUCKING PUSH BACK AND PUSH BACK FUCKING HARD. IT’S ABOUT BEING FUCKING RESILIENT, KEEPING THE MOTHER FUCKING DRIVE ALIVE AND PUSHING THE LIMITS OF FUCKING POSSIBLE. THAT’S WHAT THE FUCK IT’S ALL ABOUT!!!!! ________________________________________________ #FUCKIT #FUCKSHITUP #SEMPERFI #DRIVE #DESIRE #MOTIVATE #INSPIRE #NEVERGIVEUP #NEVERSURRENDER #BERESILIENT #FITSPIRATION #FITFAM #AFFLICTIONSPORT #AFFLICTION #FIGHTHARD #LIVEFREE #LIVEFAST #LOVEHARD

A post shared by Jose Luis Sanchez (@jls143_) on

According to him, it all started with fear, but an immense sense of hard work and determination has brought him all the way to where he is today.


Sanchez went on to work amazingly hard and used his Instagram account to inspire others with his journey, amassing over 30k followers along the way.

A post shared by Jose Luis Sanchez (@jls143_) on

 The man is a beast.


After the marathon, Sanchez took to Instagram, to drive the inspirational point home.

“Just wanted to let you know this is not about me. It’s about what this represent(s). It’s for you all to see how we all impact each other for a greater good.”


Hang on while I go find a gym to sign up for and hug my mom. No, you’re crying.


[H/T] Marine who lost leg in Afghanistan runs Boston Marathon with American flag

READ: This Former Marine Had To Self-Deport To Mexico Before He Could Become A U.S. Citizen


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First DACA Recipient To Be Deported Sues Trump Administration

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First DACA Recipient To Be Deported Sues Trump Administration

National Immigration Law Center

Every “Dreamer’s” worst nightmare under the Trump Administration has become a reality: A Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient has been deported.

On February 17, 23-year-old DACA recipient Juan Manuel Montes was walking to a taxi stand after hanging out with his girlfriend in Calexico, CA when he was approached by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. The officer asked for ID, which Montes could not provide because, according to the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), he left his wallet in a friend’s car.

Montes has been in the United States since he was 9 years old. According to his attorney, Montes has been granted protection from deportation under the DACA program twice and his status is valid until 2018.  Presumably because he couldn’t provide proof of his protected status, the CBP officer arrested Montes. Three hours later, he was deported to Mexicali, Mexico.

Wait, WHAT?! DACA recipients are not supposed to get deported. DACA was set up under the Obama Administration for qualifying immigrants that were brought into the country as young children to protect them from being deported and to allow them to apply for work permits.

Although Trump has made good on his campaign promise to ramp up efforts to deport the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, for a minute it seemed as though “Dreamers” would be spared. “They shouldn’t be worried.” Trump told ABC News in January, “I do have a big heart.”

And yet, Montes got deported in February and remains in Mexico. His story is just now getting coverage because on Tuesday he filed a federal lawsuit “demanding that the federal government turn over key information about his sudden deportation.” According to the complaint, Montes wasn’t given an explanation or any documentation as to why he was deported.

It comes as no surprise that Montes, who has spent most of his life in the U.S., wants to come back. “I was forced out because I was nervous and didn’t know what to do or say, but my home is there,” Montes stated. “I miss my job. I miss school. And I want to continue to work toward better opportunities. But most of all, I miss my family, and I have hope that I will be able to go back so I can be with them again.”

For now he’s staying with an aunt and uncle in Mexico as he waits to see if he’ll be allowed back into the country where he grew up.

Find out more about Montes and what this could mean for other DACA recipients here.

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