Art Classes at the Travis Mills Foundation

In previous posts I’ve eluded to the fact that I teach/lead an art class once a week at the Travis Mills Foundation.  So first, how about I explain WHAT exactly that is?

​What is the Travis Mills Foundation?

    It is a 100% completely ADA/handicap accessible resort style retreat in Rome, Maine.  Travis was able to raise funds to purchase the old Elizabeth Arden estate and transform it into a haven.  It is a place where the Veterans feel safe and comfortable to relax without their prosthetics.  A place for the family as a whole to relax and spend time together without having to stress/worry about accessibility issues.

  The resort itself sits high up on the hill (as you can see behind me in the photo above).  Directly in front of me is the “boat house” with water front access.  So far, we’ve done my classes on the deck overlooking the water.  It’s a rough place to have to teach, let me tell ya 😉

From the website,

“..Travis Mills founded the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization, formed to benefit and assist wounded and injured veterans and their families. Travis continues to inspire wounded servicemen, women and their families by showing them they can overcome their physical obstacles and emotional challenges and find purpose by staying the course through their recovery and beyond.”

Who is Travis Mills?

      Like me, Travis avoids using the labels/terms like “disabled”.  We are not disabled.  I personally choose to see myself as DIFFERENTLY-ABLED.  He and many of the Veterans that will be attending the retreat this summer have some form of amputation and use prosthetics…so to Travis…they are “re-calibrated warriors”.  I love the term!  It’s one of my favorites, by far!

     His motto/slogan is simple and profound.
“Never Give Up.  Never Quit”

​     On his Facebook page, SSG Travis Mills, he shares a lot of what he is doing at the retreat as well as in his own life.  Because ya see, he refused to let being a quadruple amputee get him down.  He has become a motivational speaker…an author (Tough As They Come)…and even starred in his own documentary (Travis: A Soldier’s Story).

Travis, the person, is a hoot.  I WISH he could/would have been my NCO when I was in.  But he
was 82nd Airborne, and I was 3rd ID.  Full of jokes, positivity, encouragement, and a love for his family; I am honored to be among those who are helping him bring his vision for his retreat to life.  #VetsHelpingVets – the way it should be.  🙂

​If you want to learn more about Travis, his foundation, his book, or even about his movie; I encourage you to follow the links embedded in this post.  As a non-profit, the work doesn’t stop once the retreat opens….it’s just getting started.  I know Travis and all the folks that make the retreat happen would be forever grateful for your support.