South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and host Johnny ‘Joey’ Jones taking a break after an afternoon … [+]
Watch a few minutes of the Fox Nation Outdoors series (part of Fox News’ subscription streaming platform) with Johnny ‘Joey’ Jones (“Triple J” to his friends) and the first thing you notice is his passion for being in the wild, his love of life. It’s the kind of revelation that often comes after a near brush with death. On August 6, 2010, while serving as a bomb technician in Afghanistan, Jones stepped on an IED, losing both of his legs above the knee and causing severe damage to his right forearm and both wrists. The trail back was long and arduous but the Joey Jones who has emerged, in many ways, is healthier and stronger than ever. Meet him and you will find that he is, in a word, remarkable.
An IED blast took away Jones’ legs, but could not take away his courage, leadership, and moral fiber … [+]
The second season of Fox Nation Outdoors recently debuted and Jones’ penchant for being in America’s countryside with fellow hunters and conservationists—far removed from the set of Fox News where he serves as a contributor—is on full display as he beams at the stunning sight of the Colorado Rockies or the sweeping grasslands of South Dakota. The more he steps outside the stronger he becomes, at least that’s the feeling you get as you watch Jones avail himself of the lifestyle shared by more than 60 million of his fellow Americans.
“I don’t profess to be an expert outdoorsman,” he says, “but I love sharing the lifestyle and the stories of our unique guests with Fox Nation viewers. Even if you don’t hunt or fish, this series is about sharing a passion for life and how the wonder of the outdoors binds us as people.”
That’s on full display in a particularly engaging episode this season in which Jones’ is gifted a highly coveted tag to hunt moose in Maine by another hunter—who had never met Jones—but who simply wanted him to have the unique opportunity to hunt one of the animals. Friend and fellow Marine (also a wounded vet) Jake Schick joined Jones and, together with a guide and volunteers all wanting to see Jones succeed, they turned what seemed like mission impossible into another memorable semper fi moment. The episode delivers plenty of emotional highs and lows that take you from laughter to tears and ultimately to jubilation.
Jones celebrates his first moose with the hunting guides and TV crew who worked together during a … [+]
“A guy with no legs could not have done this alone,” said Jones. “I’ve learned not to be afraid to ask for help. I’ll never forget those guys who made it possible—and you see a lot of generosity and caring people in this series. It’s the America and our great people that we too seldom see in our news casts and I love being with them. I think that heart shines through in this series.”
Jones grew up in north Georgia, the son of a brick mason and a stand-out athlete. He enlisted after the attacks on September 11, 2001, and soon found himself in boot camp at Paris Island in South Carolina. In season one of Fox Nation Outdoors, while fishing with retired 4-Star General Walter Boomer just a few miles from Parris Island, life had come full circle for the young former Marine. “All the time I was working and sweating at Paris Island I never thought I’d one day be fishing with a Four Star General in the same neighborhood.”
While stalking mule deer in southern Colorado, 2-time World Series champion David Wells shares the … [+]
“He’s nothing short of an inspiration,” says Boomer, who spent two days fishing and hunting with Jones while taping an episode. “He represents our finest.”
For veteran television producer Kevin Fay, Jones is a quick study. “He’s very gifted on camera and is never at a loss for the right words,” he says. “Whether a governor, general, movie star or sports legend, he does his homework and has an uncanny ability to instantly engage any personality.”
A key part of that skill is his quick wit and sense of humor. But while speaking in front of large gatherings or on TV didn’t always come easy for Jones, he reminds himself of a trick to defuse his anxiety. “When I stand in front of thousands of people or go live on TV to do an interview, the first thing I tell myself is, at least it’s not a bomb.”
But watch him head outdoors, however, and there’s no question he’s having a blast. So, too, do his viewers.
I am the founding partner of Denver-based Dorsey Pictures, a leading producer of lifestyle television programming for a wide variety of networks including HGTV, National