ARLINGTON, Va. -- For a tough guy like U.S. Army retired Staff Sgt. Adam Blow, the little ones in his life were the reason he joined the military.

"I wanted my kids to look up to someone they could be proud of -- I wasn't going to be a nobody," said Blow, who also spent six years in the Navy before his Army career as a motor transport operator. Blow deployed a total of five times between the services, leaving him with battle wounds even a tough guy can't hide.

While on a mission in Afghanistan in 2010, Blow and his team took an improvised explosive device (IED) blast that would leave him with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Blow tried to work through his PTSD for years, but his symptoms only got worse.

"I was sent home to Fort Hood, Texas, where I [went before the medical board] for PTSD and TBI in 2015," Blow said. The reality was a huge hit to a Soldier who wanted to serve his country and be a role model for his kids. The Mansfield, Texas native knew he had to find a way to persevere.

The world of adaptive sports was his new life line.

"Adaptive sports has helped me re-define myself. It makes me feel like I still have a purpose," said Blow.

He will take that purpose with him to Fort Bliss, Texas for the 2019 Army Trials where he will compete for the chance to represent Team Army at the 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, Florida.

At Army Trials, Blow will compete in cycling, rowing, shotput, track, sitting volleyball, and wheelchair basketball. He says the competition will be fierce, but fulfilling.

"I love competing with my fellow Soldiers and veterans. I feel as if I am still serving my country, but in a different manner this time," he added.

His service to his country may be different, but he is still cognizant years later that those little ones, who are not so little any more, still need that same role model.

"I love the way my kids look up to me. They see that daddy is still pushing and striving to be better. I hope I am showing them no matter how bad things get, or how hard you fall, you get back up and keep pushing."