A pair of veterans, one having served in the Army, the other in the Marines, have captured the hearts of American viewers through their tremendous determination and spirit during this week’s Boston Marathon.

The first, retired Texas Marine Staff Sgt. Jose Sanchez, was wounded in Afghanistan in 2011, and lost his leg.

Despite that, Sanchez ran the entirety of the Boston Marathon in about five-and-a-half hours … while carrying the American flag the entire length.

 

Via Men’s Health:

In 2011, Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez lost his left leg to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Today, the retired marine ran the Boston Marathon, and he carried an American flag while doing it. (Here’s how his fellow marines are also becoming elite athletes.) Amazingly, this isn’t the first time he’s run the marathon while bearing the Stars and Stripes. He completed this same feat last year.

This year, Sanchez finished the race in 5 hours, 33 minutes, and 49 seconds while competing with Team Semper Fi, a group dedicated to helping service member who have suffered major injuries, or deal with PTSD and other critical conditions, per The Boston Globe.

This particular flag has special meaning for Sanchez. According to the Washington Examiner, the flag was a gift from his fellow Marines, signed with notes of encouragement and inspiration.

Sanchez said the gift helped him break out of his shell, and he now runs with the flag to honor those Marines and inspire others.

“It’s for others to be inspired, to be motivated,” he said.  I don’t do it for myself.”

In another story, wounded Army veteran, Earl Granville, also lost his leg due to an IED in Afghanistan.

He ended the marathon by carrying his race partner and guide across the finish line.

The video has been viewed over 8 million times:

 

Via Fox News:

A wounded Army veteran carried his race partner across the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Wednesday while she held an American flag.

Earl Granville, a 9-year-veteran of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, lost his leg when a roadside bomb hit his vehicle in Afghanistan, WCVB reported.

After his injury, he competed in multiple marathons including Boston, New York, Chicago and Detroit all using a hand-bike.

However, on Monday, he walked.

In a moving finish, Granville picked up his race partner and guide and carried her over the finish line over his shoulders. It’s unclear if she was injured.

These warriors, these heroes, are an inspiration to everyone, and an embodiment of the American spirit.

Incredible!

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