AUGUSTA – Walking to help the wounded, that’s how almost 200 students at Saint Michael School in Augusta spent their Wednesday.
For their annual walk-a-thon each student raises pledge money for the Travis Mills Foundation.
Mills lost both his arms and legs on his third tour in Afghanistan in 2012, and now uses his experience to inspire others, like the students.
“They get to see that you know what, not everyone out there is like them,” said Rt. SSG. Travis Mills, the president and founder of the Travis Mills Foundation. “They get to experience someone who is half robot but also be comfortable talking to that person, because they’re no different once you break down the layers of what you see.”
At the foundation’s veterans’ retreat in Rome, Maine, wounded combat vets and their families come here from all over for a chance to relearn physical activities.
Thanks to efforts like the walk-a-thon, Mills said they are on pace to host 200 families this year.
“It’s good to know that I’m helping other people to heal and recover,” said Kristina Tran, a fifth grade student.
The walk-a-thon is a joint fundraiser, with half the money raised going to the foundation, and half to the school.
Anyone who meets Mills notices his sense of humor and positivity.
“Even though he’s lost four limbs which seems crazy, he still seems extremely excited just to be here,” said Landon Foster, a seventh grader.
So what keeps Mills going?
“There’s you know the people who didn’t make it back home,” said Mills. “I don’t think I ever see myself quitting because if I did their sacrifices would be for nothing.”
Parents of the students participating said last year this fundraiser made $7,000 for the Travis Mills Foundation.