A retired Central Texas Army veteran recently took home his first medal at the Department of Defense Warrior Games.

Michael Helmen competed in five sporting events last week -- including archery, pistol, rifle and swimming events.

He was first injured in mortar attacks while serving overseas, then suffered a botched brain surgery that left him deaf in one ear and with chronic vertigo.

"I can't walk on my own," Helmen said. "I need people to assist me walking, I just can't see right, I get nauseous, sometimes I have to throw up."

But, Helmen's wife Aimee pushed him to get active and challenge his body. Her motivation helped him speed up and pass everyone but the person in front of him during a hand cycling event -- for which he won silver.

"He's amazing," Aimee said. "It takes a lot. He's very driven. I don't know a lot of people like him."

Helmen said he wants wounded soldiers to know life is not about the word "can't" but about being a stronger person than before. He said he was hoping to get access to his own training equipment this year and was aiming for a gold medal at the competition next year in Colorado Springs.