Mike Rowe of Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs" took to Facebook
this Memorial Day to call attention to Retired Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, one of only five surviving quadruple amputees from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
"I met Travis a few weeks ago in D.C. at the Science and Engineering Festival, and spent a half-hour talking, mostly about 'Dirty Jobs.' He wanted to tell me how much he and his buddies appreciated that show while on active duty," Rowe wrote in the post, NBC's "Today" show reported
"He wanted to know what it was like to work in so many 'difficult and dangerous situations.' Can you imagine? How exactly does one answer a question like that from a guy like this?"
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Mills, formerly of the 82nd Airborne, US Army, is the subject of a new documentary, "Travis: A Soldier’s Story," about overcoming challenges and putting family first. It chronicles his time in the Army, including his near-fatal injuries, and details both the physical and emotional struggles of returning to his role as a full-time husband and father.
Mills is now a motivational speaker, and even started a foundation, the Travis Mills Foundation, "formed to benefit and assist wounded and injured veterans and their families."
Rowe said he asked Mills why he hadn't seen him in any of the PSA's for wounded veterans, and was stunned by Mills' answer: He didn’t consider himself to be wounded.
"I’m not a victim, Mike. And I refuse to be portrayed that way. Case closed," Mills told him.
"Fact is, Travis is missing more than a few original parts; he’s missing all traces of self-pity. And that presents a challenge for mortals like me," Rowe wrote.
"That’s called a gut-check, and I could use one from time to time. Especially on Memorial Day, when the biggest decisions I face are what to grill and which type of frosty beverage to enjoy. This year, as I resolve these and other important issues, I’ll think of Travis Mills. A guy who went out on a limb for me, in every way possible."
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