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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

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Frank Malvar


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