Meet Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills: Entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, husband and father of two. Travis inspires everyone, civilian and military alike with his infectious Never Give Up Never Quit mantra, and in his New York Times Bestseller, Tough As They Come, the Army veteran takes you on a journey to and from war and to some of the greatest years of his life after being injured. Travis is one of five surviving quadruple amputees since the start of the post-9/11 conflicts. He'll share his story with us, and we'll discuss his recalibration to life at home, and recovery to a new chapter that brings fulfillment and purpose once again.
Retired Army SSG Travis Mills is simply a leader. On the football or baseball field in his home town of Vassar, Michigan, on patrol with his squad in Afghanistan, or on the floors of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Travis is “that guy” no matter the situation. He’ll pull you up and show you what is possible, while at the same time will tell you the road is not without bumps and turns. He’s that guy who’ll make you laugh, and will also teach you to take yourself a little less seriously. And his “Never give up - Never quit” mantra isn’t just something he came up with after an IED took away his four limbs while on his combat mission overseas, it seems to have followed him around his whole life.
That day was April 10, 2012, on deployment for his third tour in Afghanistan when he was critically injured upon placing his back pack on the ground, triggering the blast. The Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient would become one of only five surviving quadruple amputees to date during the post-9/11 conflcts.
After reading his New York Times Bestseller Tough As They Come, and watching the award winning documentary Travis – A Soldier’s Story,you won’t give up and you won’t quit whatever you are doing or struggling with. Travis has a magnetism about him, and has recruited a staff for a thriving foundation that has become more like a family than an organization. The Travis Mills Foundation hosts all-inclusive and all-expenses paid veteran family retreats in Maine for servicemembers who have sustained injury on or off the battlefield. This is the place to bond with brothers, sisters and families, do some yoga, take out an adaptive kayak, navigate the ropes course, fish, cook, cross-country ski, cycle and hike. Visit up Maine in person or surf the Foundation’s site and you’ll see it is no surprise it’s been made possible through the leadership of SSG Mills, and the hard work and support from his wife Kelsey and family.
Glossary of terms and acronyms:
82nd Airborne Division - Airborne infantry division of the United States Army, specializing in parachute assault operations into denied areas with a U.S. Department of Defense requirement to "respond to crisis contingencies anywhere in the world within 18 hours.
E6 - U.S. Army Staff Sergeant: just above sergeant and below sergeant first class, and is a non-commissioned officer*. Staff sergeants are generally placed in charge of squads, but can also act as platoon sergeants in the absence of a sergeant first class.
*NCO - Non-Commissioned Officer
PSD - A protective team assigned to protect the security of an individual or group. PSD's are typically made up of military personnel, private security contractors, or law enforcement agents.
Pop smoke – this is a military term that, which means to leave or retract from an area quickly.
240 - The nickname for a medium machine gun- either an M240B or M240L depending on the configuration.
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Home Base Nation Production Team:
Cassandra Falone, Charlotte Luckey, Steve Monaco, Armand Hunter, Bill Davidson
Home Base Media Lab Chairman:
Thank you Joe Wallace for photography on location, and Aaron Dowd at Simplecast for your support.
Bookend theme music from colleague and founder of Songwriting with: Soldiers, Darden Smith, with contributions from the David Shaw's Documentary Second Century Stewardship soundtrack co-written by Kevin Oates and Ron Hirschberg, finishing Warrior, but James House and Air Force Veteran Blair Morin
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