EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Army Spc. Alec McGee is taking life lessons from his childhood to shape his roles as a professional boxer, solider, and father.
McGee's parents were both drug addicts. His father went to prison and McGee even spent some time in foster care. But the hardships he faced as a youth helped prepare him for a better life.
“I was able to learn from the mistakes of my family, my parents, and the people before me," McGee explained.
He started boxing at 12-years-old after having a hard time fitting in at school. He has now fought 76 amateur fights and is 5-2 in his professional career.
McGee was working as a bouncer at night clubs while trying to raise two kids, when he realized he wanted to make a change in his life and add more stability and structure.
“I had to mix it up. I had to do something that was going to put my life on the right track,"
McGee joined the Army and is stationed at Fort Bliss as he prepares to be deployed for the first time to South Korea. He will be there for nine months where he will miss birthdays and holidays, but while he is there, he looks to continue his boxing career.
“If you're still a fighter that’s not doing anything, that’s not fighting, you’re not going anywhere. You’re a dead fighter essentially," McGee explained.
McGee told ABC-7 that both of his parents are now doing better and are cheering him on in the ring.