Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, a retired Marine, lost part of his left leg when he stepped on an IED during a tour in Afghanistan in 2011.
He says the incident caused him to be anti-social and depressed.
But not long after his return to the US, he received an American flag, signed by people in all the places where Sanchez toured.
The flag had messages of support and finally led him to reconnect with society. Not only did he reconnect, but he completed the Boston Marathon.
Thousands gathered to watch him cross the finish line after a grueling five hours, 21 minutes and 56 seconds. And he ran the entire 26.2 miles carrying that massive flag.
As he was running, he told WBZ: “I received this package of flag that was wrapped up and had a bunch of notes in it but I never wanted to read it, I never wanted to acknowledge it.
“Then five years later I opened it up and I read the stories and the inspiration which they wrote for me to get well, to get better. Instead of putting it away I wanted to fly the flag again in their honor; for everyone’s sacrifices, and it wasn’t for me, it’s for everyone that’s here fighting day in day out.
“So I’ve learned that throughout being angry, frustrated with all that PTSD, I’m channeling it to something positive to give back whatever I’ve taken away from the community.”
Watch the video of Sanchez crossing the finish line here: