Erin Healy Blog

Southern Grind Marine Pens Poem Of Combat

Zac Brown shares the stage with Southern Grind spokesman, Johnny Joey Jones.

Zac Brown’s Southern Grind deploys formidable spokesman, Johnny Joey Jones, a double amputee Marine staff sergeant.

Johnny Joey Jones, Triple J to his friends and Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician to his Marine Corps brethren, wrote a poem about a particular day, a particular explosion, a particular knife, while on patrol in Afghanistan.

Jones, a double amputee and motivational speaker, is the spokesman and more for Zac Brown’s Southern Ground, which is an umbrella company that represents numerous 100-percent American-made and -sourced products, including the knife company, Southern Grind. Proceeds from the sale of these patriotic items benefit Camp Southern Ground, which strives to give kids of all races and religions, and especially those with neuro-developmental challenges, the positive influence of a camp experience. The camp also helps military families by offering the same experience to children who are dealing with a deployed, injured or deceased parent.

In May 2010, about three months before Staff Sergeant Jones would step on an IED and lose both legs above the knee, he was on patrol with a group of Marines. (In the Corps, EOD units go where they are needed, with whom they are needed.) They came to a small canal. “There is always lots of learning,” Jones said, and in this case, it was that you don’t want to use foot bridges to cross waterways. Such crossings would create bottlenecks, ideal spots for the enemy to booby-trap.

Double amputee Johnny Joey Jones is a motivational speaker and Zac Brown Southern Grind spokesman.

Prior to losing both legs above the knee Johnny Joey Jones was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician in Afghanistan.

To get across, first the sweeper, the Marine with the metal detector, went and then the mine-detecting dog and his handler went. “We think the dog stepped on the mine,” Jones said. “The Water So Cold” tells the story.

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Water So Cold

By Johnny Joey Jones

They say it passes

The pain so cold

Even atlas shrugged

Or so I’m told

 

He was out of sight

Walking on water

A fallen tree bridge

A bomb rang louder

 

His steps stopped so abrupt

Smoke and dirt were to breath

Gone in an instant

His bloody face screamed

 

I still see his face

Bloody and scared

The water so deep

Wet blood in his hair

 

He was screaming so loud

When I jumped in

I grabbed his body

I reached for his hand

 

The water a mess

Water touching my chin

I opened my mouth

The water rushed in

 

He yelled and screamed

I panicked and pulled

This boy would not die

In water so cold

 

I knew I had to do it

I was so frightened beneath

I had to reach down through it

The water so deep

 

I stalled for a moment

Whispered,” it’s gonna be ok”

“I’ve got you, they’ve got you”

He quieted his bloody face

 

They came to the bank

Reached down and pulled

This time I didn’t think

Lifting him high once more

 

In water so cold

I grabbed at his knees

Scared and surprised

I felt legs beneath

 

My mind rejoiced

His bloody face still screamed

Yet, his hand, his face

Torn open and bled

 

In the mix of it all

His knife in my hand

I meant to cut off his gear

He was missing only a hand

 

The bird came loud

So fast and fluttered

The shots rang out

From afar, from cover

 

I couldn’t shoot back

The bird flew, scattered

 

Frantically I scratched

 

To climb out of the water

 

His gear still a drift

His knife in my hand

Miles still to sift

Of this mine filled land

 

Days later, I stalled

Reached down, nervous sweat

My legs were still their

His knife, still wet

 

I gave his knife to the man

“Tell me he lived” I begged

“He lost a hand and an eye-

But he’s still got his legs”

 

Joey Jones mentored other recovering veterans and went on to become a motivational speaker.

Joey Jones not only took the lead in combat, he became a mentor to recovering wounded veterans like himself.

The knife was a folder issued to Marines. “I was going to cut off his gear, but guys reached down to pull him out. Days later I realized I still had his knife in my cargo pocket,” Jones said. “I gave it to his first sergeant to give it back to him,” Jones said. That first sergeant is the man in the poem of whom the speaker asks about the Marine’s condition.

Jones has had a poetic streak most of his adult life. Since separating from the service, he has earned his Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in public policy. “I don’t go back and edit,” Jones said. He wants the poems to represent him authentically, as he was at the time.

Check back to read more about this inspirational wounded warrior.

To learn more about how Jones and Brown met and the knives made by Southern Grind, be sure to subscribe to BLADE® Magazine.

 

 

 

‘Fighting Folders’ Offers Class Instruction At Home

'Fighting Folders' is cheaper than a class and can be watched repeatedly from the comfort of your living room.

In “Fighting Folders” Michael D. Janich instructs viewers on the myths surrounding folding knives and how to employ them in a self-defense situation.

You don’t have to have been in combat to know that sometimes Plan B—the knife—can quickly become Plan A when it comes to self-defense. Often our everyday carry is a folder. This DVD can get you started on proper grip, one-handed openings and other tactics using folding knives. The $39.95 price is less expensive that a class and can be watched repeatedly in the comfort of your home.

 

 

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