U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills
Travis is a retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant who was part of the 82nd Airborne when he was injured. It was April 10, 2012, when Travis was on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan he was leading a patrol through an abandoned Afghanistan National Army security post. They just finished checking the area for the second time, looking for improvised explosive devices (IEDs). They stopped to rest and Travis removed his 125-pound pack from his back and set it down. Travis unintentionally placed his backpack on an IED.
The explosion instantly amputated his right arm and his right leg. His left leg was amputated in the initial surgery. His left arm was removed two days later. Travis is one of five surviving quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Travis’ road to recovery, was long and bumpy, and while he was laying in his hospital bed he wondered, why did this happen, he was embarrassed, he was angry, he questioned if he was a bad person, and was being punished and why didn’t I just die. He asked Kelsey (his wife) to take the house, car, and any money that they had saved up, and go, as he didn’t want this life for her, but she stayed!
Travis found his motivation and will to live in Kelsey, who has been by his side for the entire ride. Travis also found motivation from Marine Cpl, Todd Nicely, who is also a quadruple amputee.
Today, Travis does not consider himself disabled, but instead, he is a “recalibrated warrior“. Today he is a motivational speaker and the author of the book “Tough As They Come”. He and Kelsey stood up a non-profit organization known as the Travis Mills Foundation that provides post 9/11 veterans and their families with an all-inclusive, all-expenses paid, barrier-free vacation to Maine, where they participate in adaptive activities, bond with other veteran families, and enjoy much-needed rest and relaxation in Maine’s great outdoors.
Travis and Kelsey have two children together, a daughter (Chloe) and a son (Dax), who is named after the two men that saved Mill’s life; Combat Medics Daniel Bateson and Alexander Voyce, who worked together to place tourniquets on all four of Mills’ limbs and pumped fluids into his body while assuring him he was going to survive.
Watch for the soon-to-be-released movie “Tough As They Come” about Travis’ life, directed by Sylvester Stallone and starring USMC veteran Adam Driver.
Travis also has an autobiography with the same title of “Tough As They Come“
Thank you SSG Travis Mills for never giving up and never quitting.