On April 10, 2012, Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne, United States Army was on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while on foot patrol in Afghanistan. Travis lost both of his legs above the knee, his right arm above the elbow, and his left arm below the elbow, making him the fourth quadruple amputee to survive from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thanks to the heroic actions of the men in his unit, Travis' amazing strength and courage, and the support of friends, family, and the community, he survived the blast and arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, MD on April 17, 2012.
America's Fund caseworkers met with the Mills family shortly after they arrived at Walter Reed. America's Fund assisted with travel, lodging, lost wages, and renting a wheelchair-accessible van, eliminating financial stressors on the family and allowing Travis to focus on recovery with his family by his side for support.
"America's fund has helped my family tremendously, from financial support to moral support. They have been so giving; helping us rent an accessible van, even providing my husband with a camelback so he can drink independently! They have made it possible for both Travis' and my parents to take an allotted amount of time off of work to spend time and help us with recovery and rehabilitation. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts!" – Kelsey Mills, Travis' Wife
Currently on the road to recovery, Travis, his lovely wife Kelsey, and their young daughter, Chloe, live in an apartment on the grounds of Walter Reed, which is convenient for his daily routine of physical and occupational therapy at the hospital.
Travis has been fitted for his prosthetics and spends most of his day perfecting the use of them. On June 7th, 2012, Travis took his first steps and walked around the entire track at the Military Advanced Training Center. With the use of his new prosthetic arm, which allows his hand to open, close, or rotate, he is able to feed himself and help with his daddy duties such as feeding baby Chloe.
Travis has big plans for his future. He is pursuing a career as a motivational speaker, and is considering staying in the military as an instructor.
Travis is an inspiration to all with his positive can-do attitude and his determination. Travis states, "My life is not over. It just got a little more unique."
Visit the America's Fund website to learn more about this amazing new program and how it can help other heroes like Travis from every branch of military service!