Patriots' Day in Boston is not only a huge day in sports, but huge across New England for representing what America stands for.
For Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, what it means to serve and represent his country is something he knows all too well. According to NBC, Sanchez is a retired Marine who lost the lower part of his left leg by stepping on an IED in Afghanistan in 2011. However, the former military man would not be deterred because of his injury when it came time to run in the 2017 Boston Marathon.
Rather, he showed his pride and honor for his country on Patriots' Day on an entirely different level.
Sgt. Sanchez wore a Semper Fi Fund shirt and ran on his prosthetic leg while carrying a large American flag for the entire 26.2-mile race, finishing in 5:46:13.
"I want to recognize veterans and everyone who thinks they can't do something," Sanchez told Runner's World. He completed the race as a charity member for the Semper Fi Fund, which supports wounded veterans, Runner's World reports.
The flag appears to have signatures and messages written on it to Sgt. Sanchez, one message clearly reading "dedicated to SGT SANCHEZ." According to Runner's World, the flag was sent to him by his patrol unit with inspirational messages written to him as he recovered in the hospital and is the reason he decided to run in the first place.
"I boxed it up for three or four years because I didn't want to acknowledge it," Sanchez told Runner's World. "One day, I opened it back up and read through the inspirational quotes they sent me, and I was motivated."
ESPN's Andy Katz even saw Sgt. Sanchez on Mile 18, writing on Twitter, "So inspiring."
Sgt. Sanchez ran last year's Boston Marathon and has previously run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.
The courageous and honorable men and women who serve our country deserve our utmost respect. Seeing Sgt. Sanchez's display of patriotism reminds you exactly why.