When Alex Minsky was at war in Afghanistan, he suffered a terrible accident that would turn his life around. He almost lost his leg when he was standing next to a roadside bomb. Though he went through a successful surgery, he then fell hard into depression. Find out about the story behind this brave war veteran who found a silver lining and got back on his feet—pun intended.
WHO HE WAS
From Venice Beach, California, Alex Minsky was an U.S. Marine who served in Afghanistan during 2009. He is 24 years old and suffered an accident that would change his life in a way no one expected.
HARD AT WAR
When his truck ran over a roadside bomb, Alex was badly hurt and went into a 47-day comma. This near-death experience costed him his right leg and caused him a hard-to-overcome depression that came after his recovery.
After his accident, Alex was awarded the Purple Heart, a military decoration given in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving. He earned a honorary discharge from Marine Corps.
Back in his home town, a now one-legged Alex fell hard into depression. He started drinking way too much and not caring about his appearance at all. After losing his job and his leg, he had a difficult time coping with it all.
BACK ON HIS FEET
However, the 24-year-old didn’t give up and decided to get back on his feet. He sobered up and joined the gym twice a day to start taking care of his body to feel useful and better about himself again.
SEIZE THE MOMENT
One regular day at the gym, Alex met a photographer who would change the course of his life. He first thought the photographer was a gay man trying to hit on him, but then discovered that the guy saw a unique potential in him.
THE SHOT OF HIS LIFE
Los Angeles photographer Michael Strokes is known for taking out-of-the-ordinary pictures of veteran soldiers. He stays away from solemn amputee photos and rather focuses on naked bodies to highlight the real beauty in handicapped people.
VETERAN TURNED MODEL
Michael was right about the potential he saw in Alex. When the veteran’s career took off, he acquired fame as an underwear model—his nudes are out of this world, really.
Alex has come a long way after his accident, and he learned many valuable lessons he wishes to share with the world. With his blooming modeling career, he wants to inspire others to keep on fighting even after life has hit them hard.
REDEFINING BEAUTY STANDARDS
Michael Strokes photographs nude veterans to prove a good point: there is no fixed beauty standard. Everyone can be beautiful; everyone can inspire others. All you have to do is to never give up and seize the moment, you never know when opportunity might come knocking.