MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sgt. Scott Adams, from St. Bonifacius, has served six different tours of duty in the U.S. Army.

His final mission left him with burns, PTSD, a broken back and blood clots. He is now joining forces with a Minnesota group and hopes others will do the same.

A family photo makes it all look OK, but life has been anything but OK for the past eight years.

“I’m an adrenaline junkie,” Adams said.

And that is how he ended up in the Army, riding in a Humvee in Iraq. It was in January of 2007 that Adams’ life changed forever.

“The vehicle blew up, it came down. They opened the vehicle door, all that oxygen came in, I lit up like a candle. I fell out the vehicle, jumped up and started running and I remember the screaming, I don’t remember the pain,” Adams said. “I looked at my hands, this one looked normal and this one was like the … Freddy Krueger movie. It was all red and no skin left on it. One of my soldiers tackled me and they put me out with a fire extinguisher.”

And like that, the firefighter and soldier became a patient, spending two years at a burn hospital in Texas. His family lived in a two-room unit nearby. There was no mobility and no family income while his wife nursed him back to health.

“I was too proud and I kept saying, you know, ‘No, I’ll get by,'” Adams said.

Then a friend told him about the Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund.

“Within 72 hours, they award me a $10,000 grant and next day serviced it,” he said.

Adams’ family used the money to move back to Minnesota, where the cool climate could help his burns heal, and their heavy hearts could be home.

“It’s Minnesotans taking care of Minnesotans,” Adams said.

The group cuts a check to every soldier who returns home from war. They get the money from donations.

“You just need to know that the money is going and changing and impacting a life of a Minnesotan and that Minnesota family,” he said.

PTSD and memory loss are now part of Adams’s reality. But he battles the pain, spending free moments volunteering for MMAF because he says they offer honor to those who have offered up their all.

“It goes a long way,” Adams said. “It changes and effects families and lives, and it saves families and lives.”

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Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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