Alex Minsky: A War Veteran Turned Model
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Alex Minsky: A War Veteran Turned Model

Growing up in Southern California, Alex Minsky didn’t do too well in school, he would often skip and wouldn’t take it any of the work seriously. He was more concerned with hanging out with girls.

At 18 years old, he surprised his whole family when he joined the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, he didn’t stay in the Marines very long. He was quickly discharged after only one month in Afghanistan because of a life-threatening injury. He was blasted and almost died when he drove over an improvised explosive device with an armoured Humvee (a big armoured SUV).

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The doctors told his mother he might never wake up, and if he did, he might never be the same again. Finally, he did wake up after 47 days in a coma and after going through 13 operations, and missing half of his right leg. At first, he was unable to speak, walk or eat but after a couple of months he was able to walk (a miracle really) for his Purple Heart ceremony, a military decoration awarded to soldiers who were wounded or killed in war.

Heartbreakingly, the post-traumatic stress was too intense and atop from that his brother died from a drug overdose. Minsky fell into a deep depression and started drinking heavily, getting blackout drunk every night for more than two years and getting three DUIs in just three months.

After he got help, he put all his energy into working out. He worked out twice a day to get himself into shape and to concentrate himself on positive things. That is when a fashion photographer, Tom Cullis, discovered him on the beach and thought he would be a perfect model to shoot. He started shooting for gay magazines and with Michael Stokes, another fashion photographer. His fame exploded because of his sexy, almost nude photographs. One picture of Minsky shot by Michael Stokes was removed from his Facebook page because it violated their nudity rules. He also appeared in The Hunger Games sequel’s promotional advertisements, where he represented many of the districts like limber, livestock, and transportation.

Even though he is an amputated ex Marine, he still is seen as a sex symbol for the gay community as well as for women. For Minsky, just because his physical state has changed, it doesn’t mean that he needs to slow down or to stop doing anything he wants to do. He wants people to see him as an example of perseverance. “I just want people to be inspired by me, I just want people to look at me and to not give not quit”, he told NBC4 News.   


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