Corporal Garrett Jones, US Marine Corps
Garrett Jones is a wounded Marine combat Veteran who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Growing up, his dream was to become a police officer like his father, but with a war boiling in the Middle East, he felt the call to join the Marines and enlisted in 2005, at just 18 years old.
Upon completion of his boot camp and training, Garrett was deployed to Iraq with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. While on foot patrol during a hot afternoon on July 23, 2007, his squad was walking down a dirt road when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated directly beneath his feet, launching him into air. Once the smoke cleared, his injuries from the explosion became evident: Garrett suffered a grade 3 concussion, lost both of his eardrums, was left with numerous shrapnel cuts, and his left leg was completely mangled and had to be amputated just below his hip. The incident happened just two weeks before Garrett was scheduled to return home.
Never one to give up, after about 20 surgeries and seven months of intensive rehabilitation that included learning to use a prosthetic, Garrett returned to combat; he did not want to let his injuries control his life. Serving as an intelligence analyst and hospital liaison in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Garrett was the first service member in US history to redeploy to combat in under a year from the time of amputation. In November 2008, he returned home and decided to retire in 2009.
Following his retirement from the Marines, Garrett went on to earn his degree in Public Health from Western Oregon University in 2012. After graduation, he took a job at the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA). In 2014, he deployed as a civilian Marine to Afghanistan and was a recipient of MCIA’s Employee of the Year award and the Mr. John J. Guenther Marine Corps Intelligence Civilian of the Year award for his work.
Garrett completed his M.S. in Strategic Intelligence at the National Intelligence University in 2016, and he is a graduate of the Intelligence Community’s Advanced Analyst Program (ICAAP). He currently works as a civilian intelligence officer at MCIA’s Enterprise Operations Center and developed and directs their Wounded Warrior Internship Program that helps wounded, ill, and injured service members gain experience and necessary clearances, provides them with mentorship, and propels them into job placement within the intelligence community. Garrett also joined the Sentinels of Freedom board of directors in the fall of 2016. He has a deep desire to help and provide guidance to other service members who are preparing to make the tough transition from active service member to Veteran, a task that is often not an easy thing to do.
Garrett currently lives in Stafford, Virginia, with his wife and three children. His family was presented with a specially adapted smart home by the Gary Sinise Foundation in early 2017: you can find out more about the occasion and SOF’s support here.
“After traumatic injury, The Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation helped me in numerous aspects of my life. They supported me as I made my transition from active duty to retiree and student. During that time, I had nothing, and they helped me find a home and settle into my new life as a retiree. I received critical mentoring from Mike Conklin (CEO of SOF) and financial support as a student. As I prepared to graduate with my degree, Sentinels’ diverse professional network helped me enter my career field. They helped me move my family across the country into my new job and have continued to stay in close contact with me since graduating from the program. Without them, I firmly believe my transition or success would not have come as quickly. I now feel like I am once again whole, able to make a difference, and be a successful member of our community.”