Wounded in Afghanistan, former soldier shares his story of resilience

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 6:58 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A retired Army staff sergeant shared his story of struggle and resilience at Jefferson Community College Thursday night.

“I’m going to make the best out of my situation because I was given that chance to still be here,” Travis Mills said.

In April 2012 Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills lost both arms and legs to an improvised explosive device, or IED, on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.

“When it happened, I mean, I was thinking I was probably going to die,” he said. “And then after I made it through my injuries, there were a lot of questions of how am I going to live my life? How is this going to be something that I’m actually going to be able to do?”

Nearly 10 years later he’s a motivational speaker, author, actor, and more.

If you think you’ll need some tissues for this motivational speech, think again.

“I think adding humor breaks down a lot of the barriers,” Mills said. “At first people see me and they’re kind of stunned, kind of shocked. I use humor to make people feel more comfortable around me.”

And they were. Audience members say he brought a whole different view on what it means to inspire.

“You never know what’s going to happen in life,” Kindrie Roy said. “It’s all about the way you view it and your perspective.”

“He made it very clear to us this was not something he considered pushing him back and making it harder for him to move forward with his life,” Emma Roy said.

And despite his trials and tribulations, he’s giving back.

In addition to being a husband and father of two, Mills and his wife started the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit to assist post-9/11 veterans who have been injured in active duty or as a result of their service to the U.S.

You can learn more by visiting his website, travismills.org.

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