Alex was born in Dalton, Georgia. Raised in Trenton, Georgia and attended a high school in Warren County, Tennessee. He was adopted at the age of four and raised with eight brothers and four sisters by his adopted parents Lisa and Bob Edwards. He was awarded the presidential fitness award as a Senior in High School while preparing to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon graduation he would spend thirteen weeks training in Platoon 3076 – 3rd Recruit Training Battalion at Parris Island, South Carolina then directly to the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, North Carolina to train as an Infantry Assaultman. From there, he reported to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
In March 2013, Alex suffered the loss of seven Marines from his platoon during a live fire training exercise. Even though numerous Marines were wounded or killed in this training incident, his unit would still deploy overseas before the end of the year. Alex was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal within three months of being assigned to his unit.
He deployed to Afghanistan in September 2013 where he and his battalion would spend the next eight months as part of Operation Enduring Freedom; they were tasked with providing security for Camp Leatherneck while the draw down took place. During the first months of the deployment he and his squad would preform security patrols to disrupt enemy movement in Helmand Province. The month of October was particularly devastating to his squad. On October 20th they lost their first Marine during an attack and shortly after their squad leader was wounded by small arms fire along with other members. On October 31st of 2013 Alex was in the gunner’s turret of a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle returning to base after a mission when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. The massive explosion caused Alex to lose consciousness and sustained permanent hearing loss and multiple contusions to the face, shoulder. He would later be diagnosed with a spinal injury along with severe nerve damage that resulted in permanent chronic pain on his right side. He was treated in Camp Leatherneck and recommended to receive the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in combat by the examining medical officer. The remainder of the deployment Alex was assigned to a Security Force Advisory and Assistance Team (SFAAT) where he was tasked with providing protective services detail to high ranking individuals in Afghanistan. This allowed him to remain with some members of his squad while also being treated for his PTSD and TBI related injuries.
Upon returning from this deployment LCpl. Edwards would be awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Certificate of Commendation, Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign with one-star Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, NATO Medal- ISAF. LCpl. Alex Edwards continued rehabilitation at Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital and the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic Intrepid Spirits in North Carolina until being retired medically from the Marine Corps in 2015 due to his injuries.
To this day Alex continues to receive medical treatment at his local VA hospital due to severe pain from his service connected injuries. He states that exercise and pushing himself physically & mentally have helped overcome many obstacles he has faced since retiring medically from the Marine Corps. Alex’s goal is now to give back by opening a gym which would offer handicap accessible gym equipment and an environment that caters to other Veterans, First Responders and others with disabilities that would benefit from this type of functional fitness atmosphere. He plans to continue his journey with the help of his large and amazing support system comprised of his immediate family, friends and Dog “Reed”.