Proud American

Quadruple amputee veteran creates free vacation retreat for military families

The Travis Mills Foundation transformed a historic Maine property into a 16-room, ADA compliant vacation resort with the help of $2.75 million in donations.

Former Army Stff Sgt. Travis Mills underwent four amputations after an IED took his arms and legs during a 2012 tour in Afghanistan. Mills didn’t think he was going to live. He is now one of five survivors who are quadruple amputees. After Mills went through a 19-month recovery process at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, he started the Travis Mills Foundation to help other veterans.

Of the project, Mills said “we understand what these families have been through.” Mills lives with his wife, Kelsey, their daughter Chloe, who is 5-years-old and has a newborn on the way. “These vets don’t have to live life on the sidelines and watch their families do things,” he told People.

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Mills refurbished the 16-room estate that once belonged to Elizabeth Arden and transformed it into somewhere “military families with special needs can come to relax, have fun and share their experience with others facing similar challenges” says the magazine.

It was Mills’ mission and vision that helped them secure the property. He told People “we were the lowest big, but the guy that was selling it believed in our mission, so he took our offer.”

The resort will house the nation’s veterans and their families at no cost to them. The money was raised primarily through donations by regular Americans and furniture from Wayfair at Work. Mills told People, “the majority of our donations come from everyday proud Americans. We get letters from grandmas that are 87 that say, ‘I don’t have much. Hope this helps with something.’” Wayfair donated nearly 800 pieces to the efforts, including décor, art and labor. Veterans working for Wayfair helped load in and assemble furniture before the completion of the project.   

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The resort is set to host 56 families this summer. Mills said he hopes his Veterans Retreat will show people the same support he received from his family and the country. “We’re grateful for their service and the sacrifice they’ve made. We just wanted to create this place that really felt like home,” said Mills.

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