Army veteran Travis Mills may have been injured in the line of duty, but he has found a way to make a huge impact on others’ lives.
Mills joined the military after graduating high school and eventually became Staff Sergeant for the 82nd Airborne division. Mills met his wife-to-be and the two were married and had a daughter, Chloe.
In 2012, Mills was serving his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. On April 10, during a routine patrol, he stepped on an explosive device and had to have most of his arms and legs amputated.
He went through a strenuous 19-month rehabilitation process, always motivated by his family, noting: “If I’m giving up…I’m giving up on my family.”
He told Ellen DeGeneres in an interview this year: “I had 25 good years with my arms and legs, and now I got the rest of my life to still keep living and pushing forward.”
Mills did push forward, determined to not only overcome his disability, but to inspire and assist others who may be in similar circumstances. His motto? “Never give up. Never quit.”
He visited Walter Reed Medical Center to help other wounded veterans before starting his own Travis Mills Foundation in 2014.
Part of his work involved transforming a property in Maine into a 16-room ADA compliant vacation resort. He told People.com: “we understand what these families have been through,” adding, “These vets don’t have to live life on the sidelines and watch their families do things.”
People.com describes the Maine retreat as a place where “military families with special needs can come to relax, have fun and share their experience with others facing similar challenges.”
Mills explained that they bid on the estate, noting: “We were the lowest bid, but the guy that was selling it believed in our mission, so he took our offer.” He’s raised $2.75 million in donations, telling People: “The majority of our donations come from everyday proud Americans. We get letters from grandmas that are 87 that say, ‘I don’t have much. Hope this helps with something.’”
The resort will host 56 families this summer at no cost to them, with Mills explaining, “We’re grateful for their service and the sacrifice they’ve made. We just wanted to create this place that really felt like home.”
Mills lives with his wife, Kelsey, their 5-year-old daughter Chloe, and they have a baby boy on the way!
In the Fox News video, Mills gives an update about his inspirational story, noting that he now gives motivational speeches about his life lessons, including: “Why dwell on the past? I can’t change what happened, I can’t fix the fact that I have no arms and legs. I might as well reminisce what I had and just look forward and keep pressing on with life.”
People in the YouTube comments section were understandably inspired, with one person writing: “An American bad ass. He makes me feel proud to have fought for my country. Thank you for your service. Love you Brother.”
Another commented: “God bless you Travis and thank you for your service.”