Staff Sergeant (Ret.) Johnny “Joey” Jones Speaks at USBC Convention
Combat-wounded Staff Sergeant (Ret.) Johnny “Joey” Jones turned a traumatic, life-changing disability into a personal mission to improve the lives of all veterans. Joey is the Chief Spokesperson for Zac Brown’s Southern Ground, which produces an array of quality products and services as well as television and music production, all for the purpose of financially sustaining Camp Southern Ground, a 400 acre camp and retreat for children ages 7 to 17 and military families. Joey is also a regularly appearing analyst for Fox News. Joey has been featured in television and news on many networks through both his personal experiences and expert analysis. In 2016 he was the subject in the series premiere episode of DirectTV’s docs-series “Religion of Sports” detailing Joey’s upbringing and current involvement in NASCAR. On the big screen, he appeared in the Academy Award-winning film “Lincoln,” the veteran written produced and starred independent film “Range 15” and was a technical advisor for the independent film “Bad Hurt.”
Known to his friends as “Triple J,” Jones was raised in Dalton, Georgia and enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school. During his eight years of service, he worked as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (bomb) Technician, deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan on separate tours. During his last deployment to Afghanistan, Jones was responsible for disarming and destroying more than 80 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and thousands of pounds of unknown bulk explosives. On August 6, 2010 Joey was struck by an IED, resulting in the loss of both of his legs above the knee and severe damage to his right forearm and both wrists. He recovered at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington D.C.
Determined to make the road to recovery easier for his fellow wounded veterans, Jones founded a peer visit program at Walter Reed, providing opportunities for others recovering to mentor and encourage newly-injured Marines and Sailors. His dedication and relentlessness led to an unprecedented year-long fellowship with the House of Representatives Veterans’ Affairs Committee, his work resulted in the creation of an annual fellowship for a wounded Marine.
After his initial recovery, Jones enrolled in Georgetown University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree.. During his time at the university, he was a leader within his student body and co-founded the first veteran student organization at the school. His time at Georgetown fostered relationships and efforts that are still changing the lives of veteran students on campus today.
After losing his childhood best friend to PTSD-related suicide in 2012, Jones decided to make veterans’ issues a key part his professional work. Throughout his post-service career, he has carefully fostered relationships with key players in politics and the media in an effort to keep those issues at the forefront of discussion. He’s shared his experiences and insights on the challenges facing active duty and retired service members as a dinner guest of President Obama in 2012, and later with former President George W. Bush in 2014. He has also visited with multiple cabinet officials and military generals and still enjoys a close personal and working relationship with many political leaders. From 2014 to 2016, Joey served as the Chief Operating Officer of Boot Campaign, a national military nonprofit and currently serves on their Board of Advisors. In 2015 Joey joined Marcus Luttrell, Taya Kyle and others for Patriot Tour. In 2016 Joey joined many candidates on the campaign trail as a national voice for veterans in upcoming elections.
Jones’ easy rapport with civilians, military leaders and celebrities alike has led to a long list of speaking opportunities. His message focuses on overcoming adversity, finding a positive perspective in dire situations, leaning on those around you, and finding strength in yourself and your community. Rather it be on live television, in writing, or speaking to a live audience, Joey’s genuine demeanor, thoughtful approach and innate humor allow him to masterfully connect with people of all walks of life on a gambit of issues.
You can read more about Joey and his story in his biographical coloring book for all ages “Blown Away” available on Amazon and hear his unique perspective as he interviews celebrity and inspiration friends on his podcast “Blown Away with JJJ” available on iTunes and other major platforms.