By Marcus Brotherton
If you meet in person retired Army Staff Sergeant Travis
Mills, 28, or hear him speak, or read his new book, TOUGH AS THEY COME, you’ll
notice right away that Travis doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder.
In fact, he’ll tell you how lucky he is.
This will strike you as pretty crazy stuff, because Travis
has truly lost a lot.
At his peak, Travis was a huge athletic guy, 6’3” tall, 275
pounds, with a 22-inch bicep and a 64-inch chest.
He could run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds—fast enough to
play professional football, although he went into the military instead. He loved
his job, and was married to a beautiful woman, Kelsey, and they had a precious
daughter together, Chloe.
But everything changed for Travis on April 10, 2012.
That day, during his third deployment with the famed 82nd
Airborne Division, he and his men were on a routine mission near a remote
village in southern Afghanistan. They checked the area for mines, and the
report came back okay. Then Travis set his backpack down on the dirt.
That one little action was all it took.
Travis saw a flash of flame and heard a huge ka-boom. His backpack had triggered a
hidden IED. And Travis’ world changed forever.
He lost both his arms and legs, and he became one of only
five soldiers in modern warfare to ever survive quadruple amputee injuries.
At first, Travis hated his new life.
He felt ashamed of how he looked, fearful his wife would
leave him. Scared his daughter would think he was a monster. He felt out of
control, dependent, grieved over what he lost.
At one point he even wanted to die.
But somewhere in the midst of his 13 reparative surgeries,
Travis decided he could either, in the words of Andy Dufresne from Shawshank
Redemption, GET BUSY LIVING, OR GET BUSY DYING.
Travis’ wife and daughter became his new motivation. He knew
he needed to become again the husband and father he’d always been. For their
sake—as well as his own.
Doctors at Walter Reed told him it would take him three long
years of rehabilitation.
Travis attacked it with a vengeance, and did it in 19
There are still challenges to his new life, of course.
But today, despite the loss of all four limbs, Travis walks,
runs, drives, swims, dances, skydives, mountain bikes, snowboards, and does
regular CrossFit workouts.
He’s out of the army now, highly successful in a new career
as a motivational speaker.
He started his own nonprofit organization, the Travis Millis
Foundation, which assists wounded and injured veterans nationwide.
He and Kelsey are still happily married, more in love than
And their little daughter, Chloe, absolutely adores her dad.
This is what Travis would like to say to you:
Even though I’ve been
wounded badly, I don’t think the challenges in my life are any greater than
Sometimes after people
hear my story they say, “Man, I don’t know if I could ever press forward like
that, and overcome challenges like you have,”
But I say everybody
faces challenges in life, big and small. My problems are no greater than yours.
Simply put, yours are yours and mine are mine, and we’re all in this together.
The key is that you’ve
got to believe it’s going to get better. Keep going. Keep persevering. You’re
going to get through tough times.
Never give up. Never
Be inspired by Travis’ new book, TOUGH AS THEY COME, by Travis Mills with Marcus Brotherton. Available now through Amazon, CBD.com, and Barnes
Read more at: http://www.marcusbrotherton.com/what-youll-notice-about-ssg-travis-mills/