WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — “Never give up, never quit” is the motto of Retired Veteran SSG Travis Mills.
Ahead of a scheduled appearance in the North Country, Retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills sat down with ABC50 to share his story. Mills, who now lives in Maine is originally from Michigan. He enlisted in the United States Military out of college where he joined the 82nd Airborne.
However, during his third duty tour in Afghanistan Travis found himself heading into retirement after he was injured by a improvised explosive device in 2012. This injury resulted in the loss of parts of both his arms and legs.
Now, almost ten years later, he is one of five surviving quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He runs a non-profit foundation called the Travis Mills Foundation which has been helping injured soldiers after Mills started the organization with his wife Kelsey in 2013. He also has his own podcast and was the topic of the documentary “Travis: A Soldier’s Journey.”
However, aside from being a father of two, the main role he now holds is traveling around the country to talk to groups and individuals to share words of motivation. Although some may think the stories he shares will be heavy, speaking with Mills is quite the opposite. He incorporates humor and truth to address the realities he and others may face.
“I use humor to really set the tone so that people can break down the barrier of staring at me and being like, ‘oh, that’s terrible.’ And just really see me as a person,” Mills shared. “You’ve just have to live out my slogan of ‘never give up, never quit.” And I do that every day and I don’t look at myself as injured anymore, I’m just a regular, everyday guy, just having fun.”
And as this is his slogan for all roles he’s taken on since his injury, he also shared additional advice.
“I just like to let [people] know, ‘hey, you’re not a bad person, nothing that you did made you deserve anything like this and life is going to go on.’ So the worst is probably over, I would hope and it’s time just to get better,” he shared. “And I think when people really get past the, ‘why did this happen to me’ and look more at like, ‘what can I do to get better,’ and ‘how can I keep pushing forward,’ your life does get better.”
The North Country community can hear SSG Travis Mills’ full story on September 2 at the Jefferson Community College Sturtz Theater. Doors for the event will open at 6:30 p.m., with the event beginning promptly at 7 p.m. Pre-registration can be completed on the Jefferson Community College website.