After losing his leg in combat, a San Antonio Marine put his determination on display as he ran across the finish line at 2017 Boston Marathon holding an American flag.

Jose Luis Sanchez was born and raised in San Antonio. He told KENS 5 via Skype he carried the same American flag his unit carried for him on the battlefield in Afghanistan all 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Sanchez lost his left leg after he stepped on an IED in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan.

“Physically, I’m a train wreck,” Sanchez said. “You ask me personally, ‘would I want to do a marathon, a run?’ No I would not do it. ‘Would I want to do it to inspire others?’ 100 percent yes, hands down.”

The image of him hobbling through gritted teeth, American flag held high, has gone coast-to-coast.

“It was sent to me in the hospital. I received it, it was filled with letters and all sorts of stuff. But I put it away, I put it back,” Sanchez said. “I couldn’t stand up for more than 3 seconds.”

Filled with shame and unable to serve, Sanchez said he hit the gym.

And after four years of pushing himself, he learned a new kind of strength.

"It’s okay to show your vulnerabilities man...it wasn’t me running, it was you all. It was the flag and it was everything it represented," Sanchez said.

The patriot who calls San Antonio home, even trains at Lone Star CrossFit according to his Instagram page.

He’s become an internet sensation through social media, motivating his followers with fitness and inspirational posts.


{"version":"1.0","title":"👀SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DO CARDIO!! STAY AWAY ☠☠☢ FR: ➡#CARDIO !\nBACK AT IT TOMORROW MORNING RAH!!\n#KEEPONKEEPING #POPPING #WHEELIES #YOUSEEMEROLLING #RIDINGDIRTY #24\" #CHOPPINGBLADES","author_name":"jls143_","author_url":"https://www.instagram.com/jls143_","author_id":1639312389,"media_id":"1475112716675176608_1639312389","provider_name":"Instagram","provider_url":"https://www.instagram.com","type":"rich","width":658,"height":null,"html":"&#lt;blockquote class=\"instagram-media\" data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-version=\"7\" style=\" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);\"&#gt;&#lt;div style=\"padding:8px;\"&#gt; &#lt;div style=\" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50.0% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;\"&#gt; &#lt;div style=\" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;\"&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt; &#lt;p style=\" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;\"&#gt; &#lt;a href=\"https://www.instagram.com/p/BR4pzNJFdig/\" style=\" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;\" target=\"_blank\"&#gt;👀SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DO CARDIO!! STAY AWAY ☠☠☢ FR: ➡#CARDIO ! BACK AT IT TOMORROW MORNING RAH!! #KEEPONKEEPING #POPPING #WHEELIES #YOUSEEMEROLLING #RIDINGDIRTY #24\" #CHOPPINGBLADES&#lt;/a&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt; &#lt;p style=\" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;\"&#gt;A post shared by Jose Luis Sanchez (@jls143_) on &#lt;time style=\" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;\" datetime=\"2017-03-21T03:32:40+00:00\"&#gt;Mar 20, 2017 at 8:32pm PDT&#lt;/time&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt;&#lt;/blockquote&#gt;\n&#lt;script async defer src=\"//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js\"&#gt;&#lt;/script&#gt;","thumbnail_url":"https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/s640x640/sh0.08/e35/17438759_655521537964454_5904454084848517120_n.jpg","thumbnail_width":640,"thumbnail_height":640}

The heartfelt moment has since gone viral across social media. Sanchez said he’s just doing what god “spared” him for.

{"version":"1.0","title":"🔺HEY GUYS!!! JUST WANTED TO SAY THANK YOU FOR ALL THE LOVE, SUPPORT, PRAYERS AND POSITIVE VIBES.\n____\nJUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME. IT'S ABOUT WHAT THIS REPRESENT. \nIT'S FOR YOU ALL TO SEE HOW WE ALL IMPACT EACH OTHER FOR A GREATER GOOD. \n__\n🔻GOD JUST SPARED ME TO BE USED AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR OTHERS. \n_\nMF'N R.A.H!!!!!","author_name":"jls143_","author_url":"https://www.instagram.com/jls143_","author_id":1639312389,"media_id":"1495792011940541931_1639312389","provider_name":"Instagram","provider_url":"https://www.instagram.com","type":"rich","width":658,"height":null,"html":"&#lt;blockquote class=\"instagram-media\" data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-version=\"7\" style=\" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);\"&#gt;&#lt;div style=\"padding:8px;\"&#gt; &#lt;div style=\" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50.0% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;\"&#gt; &#lt;div style=\" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;\"&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt; &#lt;p style=\" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;\"&#gt; &#lt;a href=\"https://www.instagram.com/p/BTCHujplTXr/\" style=\" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;\" target=\"_blank\"&#gt;🔺HEY GUYS!!! JUST WANTED TO SAY THANK YOU FOR ALL THE LOVE, SUPPORT, PRAYERS AND POSITIVE VIBES. ____ JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME. IT'S ABOUT WHAT THIS REPRESENT. IT'S FOR YOU ALL TO SEE HOW WE ALL IMPACT EACH OTHER FOR A GREATER GOOD. __ 🔻GOD JUST SPARED ME TO BE USED AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR OTHERS. _ MF'N R.A.H!!!!!&#lt;/a&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt; &#lt;p style=\" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;\"&#gt;A post shared by Jose Luis Sanchez (@jls143_) on &#lt;time style=\" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;\" datetime=\"2017-04-18T16:18:44+00:00\"&#gt;Apr 18, 2017 at 9:18am PDT&#lt;/time&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt;&#lt;/blockquote&#gt;\n&#lt;script async defer src=\"//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js\"&#gt;&#lt;/script&#gt;","thumbnail_url":"https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/s640x640/sh0.08/e35/18013240_1182420891886020_5392837005023379456_n.jpg","thumbnail_width":640,"thumbnail_height":640}

Sanchez and his wife, Dulce, said they’re taking the flag back to San Antonio.

The hometown hero said he wanted to show that no burden is too great to bear.

"I’ve never even done a marathon when I had both my legs when I was in good health. But I wanted to show everyone, to showcase, that it’s possible." Sanchez said.