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Hometown Hero: Adam Alexander turns tragedy into triumph, shares inspiring message with others

Hometown Heroes

Oshkosh, Wis. (WFRV) – Adam Alexander enlisted in the Army while he was a student at the University of Wisconsin Platteville.

“I ended up signing, I always tell people it’s because it was laundry day and I needed a free t-shirt,” said Alexander.

While a free t-shirt seemed like a nice perk for the college student, Adam Alexander found much more when he joined the Army in 2008.

“During my Bachelor’s degree, I kind of became friends with some veterans and just kind of realized that everything I had done in my life seemed so mundane compared to their experiences,” he recalled.

Alexander enlisted with the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011.

“It’s an interesting job because basically, our job was to communicate with the local populous and find out how to get them on our side and win hearts and minds, that’s the cliché we used. But we did a lot of projects, like digging wells and renovating schools,” Alexander said.

But it was a day in 2011 when Alexander’s life would change forever: He was on a conference call with his Deputy Commander when his base came under attack. He jumped into action to defend his base and his men, when he was struck in the head by a sniper’s bullet.

“I told him, ‘Sorry Sir, but I’m going to have to bug out and go defend our base, we’re being attacked,’ and he told me to keep my head down and be safe and unfortunately I didn’t follow that order,” recalled Alexander. 

“That’s pretty much the last thing (I remember) before the lights went out and the next thing I really remember was being in Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and that was weeks later,” he said.

Alexander was given just a five percent chance to survive. Then began Alexander’s road to recovery; Learning how to walk, talk, and see out of his remaining eye.

But he had a little extra motivation.

“My now wife and then fiance had a wedding planned and if I didn’t do the work and they didn’t release me, that would’ve really made her mad. I’ve always had a knack for beating the odds and this was no different,” he said.

Alexander medically retired from the Army and married his wife, he now volunteers with the Disabled American Veterans and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, spreading his message of positivity and perseverance.

“No matter who you are or where you are, everybody is going through something and some things may be a little smaller and some things are bigger,” Alexander said.

“But everyone is going through something and it all seems big when you’re going through it but if you just keep going eventually you get through it.. What’s that old country song? ‘If you’re going through hell, keep on going,” he said.

Have someone you’d like to nominate for Hometown Hero? Let us know below!

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