Last week, we revisited the story of sexy Marine turned underwear model, Alex Minsky. As we took another look at his battle to recuperate from an IED (improvised explosive device) explosion that left him as an amputee and his fight to stay sober, we were introduced to Manning Up, an organization that Alex is passionate about. Manning Up USA, founded by Army Vet Jeremy Manning, hopes to walk alongside those who are facing personal adversity by sharing inspirational stories of people who have regained control of their lives through health and fitness.
Joining Alex and Jeremy in this endeavor is another war veteran turned model, Richard Rocco. Richard first met adversity head on when he was a child, growing up around drugs, death, and poverty. On his second tour in Iraq, he faced the death of his best friend, an experience that he feels only those who have been in his shoes can understand completely. While in Iraq, Richard suffered many blows to the head causing a traumatic brain injury and broke his back after an IED explosion.
Today, life is different for Richard. As he does push ups poolside in Los Angeles for a promotional video for Manning Up USA, wearing sunglasses and black Geovanny briefs, you could never tell that this man of steel was once physically and mentally broken. The latest video by Manning Up USA featuring Alex, Jeremy, and Richard begins with a quote by Steve Maraboli that says, “Let today be the day you love yourself enough to no longer just dream of a better life. Let it be the day you act upon it.”
During physical therapy, Richard could have let injury dictate his life or move forward. He cites desire and perseverance as the two motivating factors that got him up everyday and create his own comeback story. Since those days, Richard has become a name in professional power lifting, dedicating his life to health and fitness. He views his modeling career as a way to encourage people to keep striving for their health goals.
Check out Alex, Jeremy, Richard and the rest of the Manning Up USA crew in the gallery and video below.
Photo/Video Credit: RomeGrantPhotography.com