Staff profile: Alexander Hall
Story and photos by Chris Peters, NewsNetNebraska
He was trained as a member of a Special Forces team in the Air Force. His job was to eliminate threats to the United States as a member of a four-man team.
He was prepared to kill, though he never got the chance to do it.
His father, who served in the Old Guard at the White House during the Reagan administration, was proud that his son showed the same dedication that he did. The 25-year-old Hall, who moved around the country with his family, wanted a future in the Air Force like his father had with the Army.
When a training exercise went awry, he was forced to change his plans.
Hall was riding in a helicopter near Travis Air Force Base in California when it malfunctioned, ejecting him and a pair of other soldiers out of the helicopter and onto the ground 15 feet below.
“I got about 15 steps until I realized. I thought ‘okay, that hurts, but that’s because we just fell out of a (helicopter),’” Hall said. “Then I turned, it buckled, and I completely collapsed.”
His lower femur and his upper tibia were shattered. His ACL, MCL and meniscus were torn in his right knee.
He wouldn’t walk right for another year. He was medically discharged from the service.
“The incident rocked my world,” said Hall, who had to have a titanium plate inserted in his leg.
He needed a new plan, with his military future uncertain. So he enrolled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He wanted to design sports cars for General Motors.
But Hall’s dreams took another hit when General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009. Hall felt like he no longer would fit with the company and decided to change his major from electrical engineering to journalism.
“I figured I do so much with cars, why not write about them?” he said.
Instead of designing cars, he would design stories about cars, helping inform gearheads like himself.
While he finishes out his fourth and final year at UNL, Hall continues to work on cars from Camaros to Aston Martins at Airidine, where he does logistics just south of Lincoln.
If he can’t find work writing about automobiles, he would rather to go back to the Air Force before he would cover something else.
“(Cars) are the only reason I’m here,” Hall said. “You’ll never catch me on the 6 o’clock news wanting to be the anchorman.”