Marine who lost leg in Afghanistan finishes Boston Marathon, Ame - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Marine who lost leg in Afghanistan finishes Boston Marathon, American flag in hand

Jose Sanchez, of San Antonio, carries the United States flag across the finish line in the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17, 2017, in Boston. (Source: AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Jose Sanchez, of San Antonio, carries the United States flag across the finish line in the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17, 2017, in Boston. (Source: AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

(RNN) – Staff Sgt. Jose Sanchez ran in the Boston Marathon on Monday because he can.

In 2011, he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost the lower part of his left leg. While doctors were able to save his right leg, it sustained serious injuries. 

“When I was recovering, I couldn’t stand up for three seconds or walk for more than two feet,” Sanchez told Runners World. “I fought for four or five years to be able to walk and lift my body. Then I wanted to push it further by doing a marathon.”

On Monday, that grit was on full display as he ran for hours through the streets of Boston, wearing a smile and waving the American flag.

The flag was a gift from his unit, received while he was in the hospital. He retired from service in 2013. 

Sanchez finished the course in 5:46:13 representing the Semper Fi Fund, which serves wounded veterans.

He says it’s his third marathon.  

“I do this to inspire people. It’s to inspire people to say 'yes' to something they are afraid of,” Sanchez said.

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