Wounded Cleveland Soldier: 'I Did My Job'

The 45th Infantry's Ashley Jones, now an amputee, said her hometown of Cleveland has "helped me through this more than they'll ever know."

Saturday, March 17th 2012, 9:08 pm

By: News On 6


The community of Cleveland is grateful to have Specialist Ashley Jones back home.

Her tour with the Oklahoma National Guard's 45th Infantry Brigade in Afghanistan ended in December when she was injured by a roadside bomb.

Doctors were forced to amputate most of her leg below the knee.

But Saturday, thousands cheered her on as she walked the streets of Cleveland.

The stars and stripes waved proudly as Specialist Ashley Jones waved to the crowd.

What her army fatigues camouflage -- a prosthetic shin and foot guiding the way.

"She's like the town hero," Triston McLean said.

"She's probably one of the strongest people I know," Victoria Butcher said.

3/17/2012 Related Story: Crowds Cheer As Cleveland War Hero, Amputee Walks Parade Route

Specialist Jones embraces the compliments but says she was a combat medic doing her job.

"It could really happen to anyone. I was just not the lucky one that day," Jones said.

"They said that I was awake the whole time, actually helping and telling them what to do because there was another person injured also," she said.

Emily Baucum, reporter: "Do you remember that?"

SPC Ashley Jones: "No. I don't."

Emily Baucum: "Do you want to remember that?"

SPC Ashley Jones: "Yeah, I do."

"I still feel like I have my foot there. It's kind of like it's asleep but ten times worse. Needle feeling," Jones said.

Specialist Jones looked to her fellow wounded warriors for encouragement.

"There's people up there who have no legs up walking around and running, so that was a big inspiration," Jones said.

Now, she's the inspiration to an entire town, one that proclaimed today, "Ashley Jones Day."

"They've helped me through this more than they'll ever know," Jones said.

Injured Cleveland Soldier Welcomed Home With Parade

It's a show of support that made her reflect on the power of patriotism.

"I've gotten the chance to serve for my country," Jones said. "I didn't get to stay the whole time like I would have wanted, but I think I did my job."

A job well done, Specialist Jones, with thousands of thank yous.

The homecoming celebration continues as Specialist Jones turns 21 this weekend. When things calm down, she hopes to pursue a degree in either nursing or physical therapy from Oklahoma State.

12/26/2011 Related Story: Wounded Cleveland Soldier Speaks Of IED Attack, Recovery

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