CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - He lost both his arms and legs fighting for our country, and now one army veteran wants to give back.
His name is Travis Mills. You may have heard about his incredible story and his incredible work already.
It was 2012, 25-year-old Travis Mills was on a daily patrol with his U.S. Army Troop in Afghanistan.
Mills took his 120 pound backpack off for a quick rest.
“I set it on the ground on top of a bomb and when the bomb went off it took off my right arm, right leg automatically and eventually took off my left leg and arm too,” Mills said.
Mills spent 19 months recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with his wife and his 6 month old daughter at his side.
“I was able to learn how to feed myself again, dress myself, use my hands, and was able to start walking again,” says Mills.
Mills said he felt so much love at Walter Reed, he wanted to pay it forward.
He created the Travis Mills Foundation. He eventually purchased an 11 thousand square foot compound in Maine and restored it into a place for relaxation and vacation for injured vets and their families, but with full participation for everyone.
“We show them how to live life to the fullest, not on the sidelines,” Mills said.
Military families whose loved one have suffered a physical injury like paralysis or amputation can spend a week here free of charge.
“They come up and learn how to do things adaptively with their families, including kayak, canoeing. In the winter, skiing,” Mills said.
A new expansion is in the works that includes a weight lifting and fitness facility and indoor pool.
Local businessman Dave Mortach has pledged up to $500,000 in matching funds to help raise one million dollars.
Mortach said he was beyond moved and inspired by Travis’s story.
“You gave two arms and two legs for your country and now he wants to give back. It’s an amazing story,” said Mortach of Mortach Financial.
“I wake up every day, my arms and legs are gone, but I have the ability to be here. I have so many friends who have not made it home. I personally think it’s selfish if I give up on them and their sacrifice,” Mills said.
This year, more than 200 families will visit the Travis Mills Facility.
If you would like to donate to the Travis Mills Foundation, head to www.travismillsfoundation.org/dave