Staff Sergeant Jose Luis Sanchez, a Marine from Texas, lost the lower part of his left leg while serving in Afghanistan in 2011.
Monday, he ran the 121st Boston Marathon while carrying a United States flag signed by many of those who served alongside him in Afghanistan across the finish line.
After the race, Sanchez told CBS affiliate WBZ that for years after the accident he kept to himself.
It took him five years to open a gift -- an American flag with notes of encouragement -- he received from his fellow Marines. But seeing that flag changed his outlook on life, Sanchez explained.
“Instead of putting it away, I wanted to fly this flag again in their honor,” Sanchez told WBZ after finishing the race in five hours, 21 minutes and 56 seconds.
Sanchez said he ran the marathon to inspire and motivate others.
“We live for others I’ve learned that throughout being angry, and frustrated, and with all that PTSD," Sanchez told WBZ. "I’m channeling it to be positive and to give back to whatever I have taken away from the community.”
Sanchez certainly achieved his goal of being an inspiration to others. He drew cheers along the course and was praised on social media.