Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Soldier who lost all 4 limbs hopes to inspire others

02 December 2015, 19:04

Augusta — A U.S. soldier who lost all four limbs during an explosion in Afghanistan hopes to inspire others with his story of how he recovered from his injuries and got on with his life partly by helping other amputees.

Travis Mills is raising his family, delivering motivational speeches and helping other wounded warriors through his foundation.

With his book, "Tough As They Come," he's added author to his accomplishments.

"My message is pretty clear. Never give up. Never quit. Find your motivation. Find your goals. And keep moving," he said Tuesday.

He joked with people at a bookstore, patiently signing books with a Sharpie, using his prosthetic hand. He's right-handed and the prosthesis is on the left hand, making it even more difficult to write.

Mills, 28, was an Army staff sergeant on his third deployment when an improvised explosive device detonated when he dropped his backpack on the ground during a foot patrol on April 10, 2012. The blast disintegrated his right arm and leg. His other leg was left dangling and his remaining wrist was shredded.

The former 6-foot-3, (1.9-meter) 230-pound (104-kilogram) athlete awoke four days later, on his 25th birthday, to learn he had no limbs. He endured 19 months of rehabilitation. He told his wife to leave, but she stayed by his side.

Mills isn't alone in having lost parts of all four limbs. He's one of five quadruple amputees to survive the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he's met the others.

Mills' recovery was remarkable. He's been snowboarding and mountain biking. He's jumped out of planes. He's started a foundation that bought property formerly owned by cosmetics pioneer Elizabeth Arden with a goal of transforming it into a fully accessible summer retreat to help other wounded veterans and their families.

He's visited war amputees at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington and traveled to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston to meet with Boston Marathon bombing victims who lost limbs.

He's happy to be able to provide hope.

"I'm able to inspire and change people. I don't do it by saying, 'You think you have it bad? Then look at me.' I'll never play that card," Mills said.

Mills said part of maintaining a positive outlook is keeping things in perspective. He said he's lucky that modern medical care saved his life. He's grateful that his wife, Kelsey, stuck with him. He's happy to be able to make waffles for breakfast and to drive his 4-year-old daughter Chloe to pre-school every day.

It's common for people to refer to Mills as a "wounded warrior."

He said he's living with scars, but he's no longer wounded.

"I don't want people to pity me. I'm not a sob story. People need to understand that it's up to them to change their outlook on life and how they view themselves," he said.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- AP


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Its a 1 horse race to State House...

Its a 1 horse race to State House, DP William Ruto has mocked the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Enjoy your time left in power, We...

CORD Co Principal Moses Wetangu'la has told the Jubilee Coalition to enjoy its last few months in power before it is voted out in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Stop hiding in State House and sa...

ODM MP's have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to release drought aid and to stop sitting on public funds. Read more...