Travis Mills Day announced

Marion County has proclaimed the special day for May 16, which will include the screening of an award-winning documentary and a meet and greet opportunity.

Travis Mills speaks on stage with his daughter, Chloe, by his side during the Never Give Up On Country concert to benefit the Travis Mills Foundation at Silver Springs State Park on Feb. 3. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2024.

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Posted May 6, 2024 | By Susan Smiley-Height,

An early Memorial Day event will highlight the life of Travis Mills, a quadruple amputee who is the power behind the Travis Mills Foundation, which provides supportive programming for “recalibrated veterans.”

Mills may be familiar to locals from the recent Never Give Up On Country benefit concert at Silver Springs State Park, the first such event held at the park since 2017. The Feb. 3 concert was the third annual one held in Marion County.

On May 16, Mills will be on hand for the screening of “Travis: A Soldier’s Story,” at 5:45 p.m. at the On Top of the World community’s Circle Square Cultural Center at 8395 SW 80th St., Ocala. The award-winning movie is a production of Fotolanthropy, a nonprofit organization that “captures inspiring true stories through photography and film,” according to the movie website.

The evening will include a meet and greet with former U.S. Army staff sergeant Mills, who was one of only five quadruple amputees from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries.

According to information provided by the Travis Mills Foundation, in 2012, “Mills, a squad leader with the 82nd Airborne Division, lost portions of all of his limbs in an IED explosion during his third tour in Afghanistan. Thanks to incredible support from his family, Travis’s will to not only survive, but thrive, was unmatched.

“His lifelong mantra of ‘Never Give Up. Never Quit’ was more important than ever and it inspired his next important mission: To give back. During Mills’s 19-month recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he became an inspiration to fellow servicemembers. It was there he coined the term ‘recalibrated veteran,’ for a person who experienced permanent injuries while in military service, healed and recalibrated to their new normal,” according to the foundation.

Travis Mills is shown with Linda Bammann of Ocala, who is a board member with the Travis Mills Foundation. [Photo courtesy Travis Mills Foundation]

While at Walter Reed, Mills participated in adapted sports, an experience he shared with his wife. After his recovery, the couple decided all recalibrated veterans should experience what he did, with their families by their sides, and the idea for the foundation was born.

The Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat in Rome, Maine, has served post-911 recalibrated veterans and their families from throughout the country since 2017, including Matt Brady of Ocala.

Brady was featured in a previous “Ocala Gazette” article, which noted that he “decided to enlist in the U.S. Army in 2003, after he graduated from Vanguard High School. It was in Baqubah, Iraq, in 2005, when he was deployed with the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division, that 300 pounds of explosives in what he called a ‘suicide vehicle born improvised explosive device’ hit his vehicle. As the machine gunner, he bore the brunt of the shrapnel, which pounded into his torso. He sustained a brain injury, a fractured jaw, burst eardrums and countless burns and cuts. He remembers crawling out of the Humvee, people running up to him and waking up later in a hospital. He finished his deployment but abandoned his goal of being a career soldier.”

In 2006, at the age of 21, Brady returned home to Ocala. In 2018, he attended a Travis Mills Foundation retreat and said that when he was surrounded by veterans who had been in his shoes, his healing from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) truly began.

“I’ve got this network of veterans now,” he said in the article. “And I’ve got people all over the country… just the bonds that you build with these other veterans that you’ve never met a day in your life is cool.”

According to the foundation news release, “Various programs and barrier-free activities help these heroic men and women overcome physical and emotional obstacles, strengthen their families and find well-deserved rest and relaxation.”

Proceeds from the May 16 movie screening event in Ocala will go toward “programming for our nation’s heroes,” the release noted.

Ocalan Linda Bammann is a board member of the foundation. She wanted to introduce the organization to others in the region and in 2021 helped bring a foundation sponsored Never Give Up On Country concert to the World Equestrian Center, which is also where the second concert took place, in 2022.

During their May 1 regularly scheduled meeting, the Marion County Board of County Commissioners proclaimed May 16 as Travis Mills Day.

The May 16 event at OTOW is open to the public. It is organized by radio station WOCA and the Marion County Memorial Honor Guard. Tickets are $20 for general admission or $100 for a VIP experience. For tickets, call (352) 854-3670 or visit

To learn more about the foundation, go to

For information about the film, visit

To read the complete article that includes Matt Brady, go to

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