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Documentary follows life of quadriplegic soldier

Travis Mills is a former United States Army sergeant with a wife and daughter. In 2012, on his 25th birthday, he woke up in a hospital. Four days before, he had an incident with a homemade bomb, which caused him to lose portions of his arms and legs.

A documentary crew followed him through his recovery process. Now, he’s a motivational speaker who inspires people to never quit. On Monday, Mills will talk at a screening of the documentary “Travis: A Soldier’s Story” at the Cosford Cinema. The Miami Hurricane got the chance to ask Mills a few questions about his experiences since the accident, what filming was like and his plans for the future.

The Miami Hurricane: When you woke up in a hospital bed after the incident, what were you thoughts?

Travis Mills: My brother-in-law was beside me in the hospital. I kept asking him, ‘Am I paralyzed? I don’t feel my legs or arms.’ He told me, ‘No, you’re not paralyzed. You’re missing your arms and legs.’

TMH: When the incident happened, you must have had a strong foundation, right?

TM: I had the support of my beautiful wife and daughter, as well as my family. I was always moving forward, never backwards.

TMH: What got you into the military?

TM: I wanted adventure. I really wanted some fun.

TMH: Is this your first time in Miami?

TM: It is my first time. I’m excited. I’m going to sky dive in Homestead, go to a Heat game and have a good time.

TMH: How did it feel being filmed?

TM: It didn’t bother me at all. I think it bothered the cameramen.

TMH: What was it like to have a screening of the documentary at Times Square?

TM: Awesome. It sold out, over 400-plus tickets. Everyone was into it. People were excited.

TMH: What do you hope people get from the film?

TM: My mantra, ‘Never give up, never quit.’ It’s gonna get better. Reminisce, don’t dwell. Tell me I can’t, and I’ll show you I can. I go work out, fish, kayak and even drive.

TMH: How do you workout? What exercises do you do?

TM: I do lots of abs. I run. I walk with no wheelchair. Pretty much anything that gets my heart racing. Summer’s coming up, and I got to get beach body ready. You know how that is. It’s funny how people forget I don’t have arms or legs, so when someone suggests a product for my nails, I laugh and tell them, ‘what nails?’

TMH: What do you drive? And how do you drive?

TM: I’m currently driving my Ford F250 truck, and I also drive a van. There’s a handle on my right side that controls the acceleration and break. I use my prosthetic hands to control it.

TMH: As a retired U.S. staff sergeant, what do you miss from the military?

TM: I enjoyed the brotherhood and adventure. I got asked to stay, but I choose my family.

TMH: Do you have any future goals?

TM: Be there for my daughter. She’ll watch me fall and struggle sometimes, but never see me fail.

 

SCREENING OF “TRAVIS: A SOLDIER’S STORY”

Where: Cosford Cinema

When: Monday at 7 p.m.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Sgt. Travis Mills. Tickets cost $35 and can only be purchased online at travisthemoviemiami.eventbrite.com.

March 2, 2014

Reporters

Frank Malvar


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.