Travis Mills Foundation to host concert at state park

The Never Give Up On Country benefit on Feb. 3 at Silver Springs State Park is all about helping “recalibrated” veterans.

Parmalee will headline the Feb. 3 Never Give Up On Country concert at Silver Springs State Park. [Photo courtesy Travis Mills Foundation]

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Posted January 24, 2024 | By Susan Smiley-Height,

Concerts are coming back (or at least one) to the Twin Oaks Mansion lawn at Silver Springs State Park.

The Never Give Up On Country benefit concert on Feb. 3, organized by the Travis Mills Foundation, will feature musical guests Johnny & Heidi, Chris McNeil and Parmalee. A pre-concert block party will have contests, food trucks and more. The foundation supports injured, or “recalibrated,” veterans and their families.

Johnny & Heidi will perform at the Never Give Up On Country benefit concert on Feb. 3 [Photo courtesy Travis Mills Foundation]

Travis Mills coined the term “recalibrated veteran” after he lost portions of all of his limbs in an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan, foundation materials state. He was injured and his wounds had healed, so he referred to himself as recalibrated and adjusted to his new normal. Through the foundation, veterans and their families can take part in an all-expenses paid vacation to Maine, where they participate in adaptive activities, bond with other veteran families and enjoy rest and relaxation.

Among the many veterans helped through the foundation is Ocalan Matt Brady. A feature article in the November 2022 issue of Ocala Style magazine, this paper’s sister publication (, noted that a suicide car hit Brady’s Humvee during a combat patrol in Iraq in 2005. He bore the brunt of the shrapnel and sustained a brain injury, fractured jaw, burst eardrums and burns and cuts. He finished his deployment but abandoned his goal of being a career soldier and returned home to Ocala in 2006. He said he didn’t truly start healing from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) until he encountered the Travis Mills Foundation in 2018.

Chris McNeil will perform at Silver Springs State Park on Feb. 3 in the Never Give Up On Country Concert. [Photo courtesy Travis Mills Foundation]

“The Travis Mills Foundation serves our recalibrated veterans solely through donations to fund our great mission. Every penny of event sponsorships and ticket sales, after the cost of the concert, goes to the foundation to further enhance our ability to serve our veteran community. Travis Mills does not take a penny from the foundation. The sole purpose of the foundation is to support other veterans in need and ensure they never have to live life on the sidelines,” said Linda Bammann, a foundation board member and resident of Ocala.

“I have been actively involved with military and veterans’ efforts for many years. My father served in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserves during WWII and after. My husband is a USMC veteran,” Bammann added. “While on the board of JP Morgan Chase, I have been an active member of the Military and Veterans Affairs External Advisory Counsel, where we have a number of key pillars, among them taking an active role in, and encouraging additional firms, to commit to hiring veterans and active-duty spouses through the Veterans Jobs Mission. We also commit capital to veterans’ businesses and actively network veteran businesses with each other to develop connections that enhance business opportunities.”

Travis Mills coined the term “recalibrated veteran” after he lost portions of all of his limbs in an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan. [Photo courtesy Travis Mills Foundation]

“I have been on the board of the Gary Sinise Foundation, which is where my path crossed with Travis Mills,” Bammann explained. “The Gary Sinise Foundation built the Travis Mills family their forever home in Maine after Travis was critically injured during his third deployment in Afghanistan in 2012. After leaving the Gary Sinise Foundation, I was asked to join the Travis Mills Foundation in 2020. How could I possibly turn down the opportunity to serve our ‘recalibrated’ veterans through such a noble foundation and inspirational founder? It is through this connection that we began the Never Give Up On Country, a Travis Mills Foundation Benefit Concert Event in 2021. Travis’ mantra is ‘Never Give Up. Never Quit.’ If anyone could embody that sentiment, it is Travis Mills.”

The concert in Ocala is sponsored by Chase. JPMorgan Chase has hired more than 18,000 veterans across all lines of business and experience levels since 2011 and currently employs approximately 3,000 military spouses, according to an email from banker Abraham Blocker, who has a connection to Ocala.

“As a Marine Corps veteran who continues to serve in the reserves, I am incredibly proud of JPMorgan Chase’s deeply rooted commitment to veterans, a tradition that predates World War I, during which my great-grandfather, Walter Carlyle Ray, an Ocala native, served. JPMorgan Chase’s unwavering support resonates with our shared values, from philanthropy to empowering veteran-owned businesses. Returning to my hometown with the firm, supporting initiatives like the Travis Mills Foundation, and being part of the Never Give Up On Country Concert at Silver Springs feels like a poignant full circle. I am excited to celebrate our veterans and our shared community of Ocala,” Blocker wrote.

According to the concert press release, “The Travis Mills Foundation is heading to Ocala, FL, for Never Give Up On Country, presented by Chase, for a patriotic event to support post-911 recalibrated veterans and their families served at the foundation. It’s the first concert at the park since 2017!”

We are trying to make this a true community event that not only supports a great foundation with a great mission but also brings back concerts to the Silver Springs State Park, a true gem in our local Ocala community,” said Bammann.

Attempts to get comments from park personnel about this concert and whether or not others might be scheduled in the future were not successful before press time.

Tickets for the Feb. 3 concert are $45 for general admission and $65 if you opt to also have a meal from Mission Barbecue.

Get event tickets at

To learn more about the Travis Mills Foundation, go to

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