Alex McElree

Alex has dedicated his life to ensuring that no veteran suffers the indignity of homelessness and isolation upon their return home. After three tours of duty in Vietnam, Alex lost everything: he became homeless and battled alcoholism and PTSD. Alex founded Operation Dignity in 1993, renting a house in Oakland and buying a few beds, then inviting his fellow homeless veterans to move in. He worked tirelessly as the Executive Director until his retirement in 2015. In 2009, the California Legislature Assembly selected Alex as the 16th District Veteran of the Year and in 2016, he was named Oakland’s Humanitarian Citizen of the Year for his contributions to the veteran community.