My Red Cross Story: Ken Jones
By Ian Levine, Volunteer
I shouldn’t be telling you this. But in the late 1980s, I lived a life punctuated by the staccato of flying bullets and shrapnel. I used to be Frank Woods, Master Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps. My mission was simple: kill Raul Menendez. Raul was the leader of a terrorist network hell-bent on wiping out 99% of the world's population.
That’s the plot to one of the most popular video games of all time, named Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Retired Army Specialist Tim Senkowski immersed himself in it as a sort of therapy. Tim (and soldiers like him) valued their video games so much that after getting wounded, their first question would be, “Do I still have my hands?” And their second question would be whether their reproductive systems were still intact. So, when Tim gnarled his dominant hand and lost both of his legs, he didn’t know what to do. His mother took him to a Super bowl party, where he met American Red Cross volunteer, Ken Jones.
Ken was an engineer who specialized in adaptive technology for the military. As a teen, he tinkered with radar jammers. But he evolved to customized weaponry for the United States Department of Defense. Although Ken had grown up around the military, he hadn't spoken with a soldier like Tim. Little did Ken know, their talk would alter the status quo for injured soldiers worldwide.