Alek is a former Oregon National Guardsman, who served in Afghanistan. In 2015, while traveling on a train bound for Paris, Alek, along with four others, jumped into action to stop an Islamic Terrorist who tried to open fire on a passenger train. His heroism earned him several awards and medals around the world including, the United States’ Soldier’s Medal.
After serving as a National Guardsman for 5 years, Alek left military service in November 2017. Upon completing his service, Alek voiced his inspiring experience by authoring 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of A Terrorist, A Train, and Three American Heroes describing the events that led up to the attack on the train ride to Paris from Amsterdam. He worked with legendary director Clint Eastwood on the film 15:17 to Paris that portrayed the harrowing attack in which Alek starred as himself.
Alek’s experience stretches beyond the military. With a strong belief in service to his community, Alek has toured the country encouraging others to take control of their lives and the importance of duty to the community. Alek stays active by advocating for responsible forest management in Southern Oregon. He lives in Roseburg where he spends his free time hiking and exploring all that Oregon has to offer.