PLACENTIA (CBSLA.com) — A former Placentia police lieutenant and Army veteran is being remembered as his final wish to become an organ donor was realized on Veterans Day.
Ken Alexander lives on after his kidneys were donated to two people within the past 24 hours, a move his family says was his final act of giving.
“He gets to fulfill the wish that he wanted,” said Ben Alexander, the decorated veteran’s brother.
“His dying wish was to be an organ donor. And for this to work out is icing on the cake for our family.”
The 48-year-old patrol commander, who was an avid cyclist, died Sunday after his heart stopped.
He’s not only being remembered in the halls of his department, where he was a beloved DARE and SWAT officer, but also as an American hero.
When Alexander was in the special forces as a green beret, he gathered crucial intelligence leading to the daring rescue of POW Jessica Lynch during the first Iraq war.
“He received a Bronze Star for his efforts in that operation. But he was just very humble. It wasn’t something that he would talk about, it was something he kept to himself. That was the kind of guy he was,” his brother said.
Alexander did three tours of duty, and his list of accomplishments continued with his work as a policeman.
There was the Medal of Valor with the Los Angeles Housing Authority police, and the Medal of Distinguished Service after the deadly Metrolink crash.
“The motto of the Special Forces was: ‘So others may live.’ And that was everything that he lived for — was to help other people,” said Alexander’s friend, Sgt. Darren Wyatt.
“He gave of himself so freely and unconditionally every single day.”