Alex Minsky, a name synonymous with heroic determination to overcome adversity. He gave his right leg for his country, stands tall with a sense of freedom and hopes to inspire others with his story.
Born and raised in Orange County, CA, he’s the eldest of four children in what he describes as an “average American family”.
He stands about 5’10″ and carries 165lbs of lean muscle that’s colored with tattoos over the majority of his body. His demeanor is that of a playful prankster with the gaze of a wary and restless soldier, veiled by the charm of a carefree youth. Some scars still show through on his left arm and neck. The slur in his voice is lost in his humor and it’s easy to forget the devastation he’s endured in the light of his smile.
Six months after graduating high school, he made the fateful decision to enlist in the US Armed Forces.
I just up and decided to become a kick ass Marine, so I went to the recruiter and I said, ‘sign me up’
Alex was assigned to the 4th Infantry where he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. Just two weeks later he faced the greatest challenge of a soldier’s life. While out on a night patrol his Humvee hit an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) and the explosion left him in a coma for 47 days at the National Medical Center outside of Washington, D.C.
The Minsky family waited and hoped he would regain consciousness, but with little information on if he would ever wake up. They didn’t know the severity of his brain injury or whether he’d be able to speak again. No one knew how he would take the news that his right leg had been amputated from mid-thigh.
His mother was quoted as saying, “We thought he’d never be the Alex Minsky that we knew before”. They stood vigil and eventually nursed him back to health. Through rigorous hours of physical therapy, multiple surgeries and the support of his friends and family, Alex was able to leave the hospital 17 months after the explosion changed his life forever.
When asked how he took the news that his leg was gone, Alex responded with reflexive honesty,
I guess you can say I haven’t even really realized it’s a disability at all yet. Still. It’s just the way it is. I have one leg now. Life goes on. Life really is what you make it.
In spite of his experience, Alex Minsky is often candid and genuine in his responses. When asked what has been his most powerful motivator for staying healthy, he replied simply,
“I wanted to look good naked.”
The loss of his leg wasn’t the only challenge he had to overcome. His return to civilian life wasn’t all about his assent to semi-stardom and he had had several encounters with the law due to his substance abuse, It came down to a simple choice, get sober or go to jail. Seven months later he’s quick to attribute his positive outlook on life to Alcoholics Anonymous.
“After a few weeks of staying sober I got to be honest with myself. I knew then that I needed it. Now it’s almost a year later and I couldn’t be happier with the decision to stay sober long term”
Minsky also credits health and fitness to his success in sobriety and admits that learning to create smaller, more attainable goals has given him the opportunity to take it one goal at a time. It’s clear from the rapid growth of his modeling career that he stands true to his word and works hard to stay strong in spite of adversity.
When asked about the most important lesson he’s learned in his life, he responded in his typical Minsky fashion,
Don’t be a knucklehead!
Looking ahead, as champions must do, Alex Minsky has plans to continue his modeling career with hopes he will inspire others who suffer and maybe land a Nike deal. He plans to travel and see the world and hopes to take his story, “anywhere and everywhere and inspire anyone he meets.”
As for his future he just wants to “do cool shit with whatever time I am given”
Alex Minsky is a true inspiration to us all and the epitome of Manning Up USA. He can be found posting photos from his professional shoots, candid pics and video Q/A’s on his fan page at https://www.facebook.com/AlexMinskyFanPage
Press Addition Courtesy of www.goodmorningamerica.com
Photos by www.romegrantphotography.com