GLADEWATER, TX (KLTV) - Dylan Sells has passion for football. Devotion to his family.
"I love my family," said Sells. "I'd take a bullet for any of them. I don't know what I would do without my mom, dad and sister and two brothers."
Sells nearly lost his step father Albert last year to a heat stroke. His dad's other medical expenses has left his family in a financial struggle.
"Like normal people, we've went through all the savings we had," said Sells mother Angela Ethridge.
Not good timing with Sells and his younger sister Katlyn both hoping to attend college. A talented football player and champion power lifter, Sells decided to drop everything for family and country.
"His argument was mom if I go to the Army, I can pay for my education and you guys can help Katie," said Angela Ethridge. "It will take a burden off of you. "
It was emotional decision for the family.
"When he went into the Army I didn't think it was for my benefit," said Katlyn Ethridge. "But when he told me that he was going to the Army to help me with college. It's just you can't have a brother better than that."
Too young to vote, Sells was ready to serve. There was no summer vacation for the teenager. Just basic combat training in Oklahoma. The 17 year old returned for the start of football season, hoping to for one final playoff run.
Instead, Sells suffered a knee injury on opening night. He's decided to sit out the rest of his senior year.
"I could probably play on it now, but if I take one more hit, it could destroy my knee and I wouldn't be able to stay in the Army," said Sells. "The Army is more important to me than football."
Sells will be headed back to Army training after graduation. His mother is proud.
"I've watched my son go off and come back and become a man," said Angela Ethridge. "He's one of the best men I know."