“Never Give Up. Never Quit.”
Friendly Wheels, Issue 85
With Amigo owner Travis Mills
Travis Mills is a father, husband, motivational speaker, actor and an advocate for veterans and amputees. Many also call him a hero.
“People call me a hero, but I’m not sure what part of it makes me a hero. I just had a normal day at work that turned ugly,” Travis said. During his third tour of duty in Afghanistan in April 2012, Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of Vassar, Mich. lost portions of both his arms and legs when an IED (improvised explosive device) exploded while he was on patrol.
Being one of only five quadruple amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries, Travis considers himself lucky to be alive. While recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center, Travis became passionate about helping fellow wounded servicemen and women.
Living by his motto, “Never give up. Never quit,” Travis worked hard every day to recover from his injuries so he could continue to help others. “Every day is a challenge, but it’s not a challenge you can’t overcome,” Travis said.
After leaving Walter Reed, Travis started the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to assist combat-wounded veterans and their families. Veterans receive a lot of support and camaraderie while recovering from injuries in the hospital, but Travis wants to make sure they continue to feel supported once they return home.
The foundation recently bought a lodge in Maine with hopes of transforming it into a veterans family retreat. By converting the lodge into a fully accessible “smart home,” Travis’ dream is for the lodge to allow veterans and their families to recover, relax and enjoy adaptive sports year-round.
Since Travis’ hometown is close to our own, Team Amigo has followed his recovery from the beginning. In September 2012, Amigo employees participated in a local Trek for Travis 5k in Reese, Mich. to benefit him during his recovery at Walter Reed.
Travis now walks on prosthetics most of the time, but sometimes uses a power wheelchair to get around. While in the market for a new chair, he recently visited the Bridgeport Amigo Mobility Center, where a few Team Amigo members where fortunate enough to meet him.
Jake Priest, who works in sales at the mobility center, was impressed by Travis’ warmth and enthusiasm. “After everything Travis has been through, it was inspiring to see him maintain such a positive attitude,” Jake said. “He was cracking jokes left and right!”
Team Amigo couldn’t be more proud of our hometown hero, and we are forever grateful for his service. We look forward to following all the great things Travis and his foundation have planned for the future.
To learn more about the Travis Mills Foundation Retreat, click here.