Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat

Updated: Apr 14

Hubby and I had the honor and privilege of volunteering at the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat in October! It was nothing short of amazing and a blessing to be a part of such an incredible ministry. If you have a heart for volunteering or donating to give back, the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat just might be for you. What a wonderful way to give back to our combat wounded military veterans and their families for the huge sacrifices they make on our behalf!  The Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat is a part of the Travis Mills Foundation which is a special nonprofit that is in constant need of donations to make it possible to invest in a personal way to our much appreciated veterans and their families.

This beautiful property was previously owned by cosmetic pioneer Elizabeth Arden. In 2015 Travis Mills and his wife Kelsey purchased the property with the intention of investing in recalibrated veterans and their families.  After major construction improvements (which also means a HUGE face lift!) the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat celebrated their grand opening in June 2017.  The Foundation even hosted Veteran Families from Houston & Florida impacted by Hurricane Harvey & Hurricane Irma that same year in December. The Travis Mills Foundation has created a fully accessible retreat for combat injured veterans and their families.

Meet Retired United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne, his wife Kelsey, daughter Chloe and son Dax (named after the two medics who saved Travis’ life on the battlefield).  As of October 2018,  there are five surviving quadruple amputees who were injured in Iraq.  In 2012, Travis lost all four limbs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan while serving his country during his third tour of duty.  Since that time he has been a motivational speaker speaking initially to hospital patients at Walter Reed when he was a patient himself and then to audiences all over the country. His motto is “Never Give Up. Never Quit.” Words of wisdom from a man who has worked so hard and continues to do so.

Travis is a recalibrated warrior, motivational speaker, actor, author and an advocate for veterans and amputees. Check out the grit and determination that Travis uses when faced with obstacles.  He is a true inspiration as he encourages others to use the same grit and determination.

The constant flow of volunteers and small staff are full of kindness, a strong work ethic, organization and lots of compassion with genuine smiles. Hubby and I can’t wait to return with the intention of volunteering a full week!

Veterans are supported at this nationally recognized retreat which is located in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Maine. It’s absolutely gorgeous in this area of Rome Maine. The purpose of this retreat is to provide an all-inclusive, all-expenses paid, barrier-free vacation in Maine where the veterans and their families participate in adaptive activities such as archery, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, fly fishing, boating, challenge ropes course and so much more! The retreat hosted 84 veteran families in 2017.

Check out this adaptive ropes course!! So incredibly cool and well done! Guess who was instrumental in building this? None other than Mike Rowe and his Facebook Show, Returning the Favor! What a gift for the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat! During the filming of this particular episode, Mike asked Travis if he had any bikes. The Foundation did not have any bicycles yet, but come next morning, a dozen bikes were delivered. How nice is that?!  Another welcomed addition to the property.

Thank you Mike Rowe!!

Look at this beautiful view on an overcast Fall day from the backyard of the retreat. Just imagine what this lake looks like frozen over in the Winter!! Just the perfect spot for ice fishing!

Just a closer look. I am noticing how peaceful it is being surrounded by Lake Pond. This lake is where all of the water and boating activities take place in the Summer.

Another picturesque view down just the street on Blueberry Hill. It’s breathtaking!

The Foundation acknowledges that the entire family is impacted by the injuries that the veterans endure. The Retreat is the perfect location for families to reconnect, be pampered, rest and play together. What a relaxing atmosphere for the veterans to have the opportunity to meet and encourage one another.

Contact to learn more about Corporate Giving. Travis Mills himself would be an asset to your corporation as a motivational speaker. To possibly have your donations go even further, check with your corporation to see if they match gifts. Also, if you are a Federal Employee please consider giving through the CFC (Combined Federal Campaign). The Travis Mills Foundation offers you the opportunity to join their mission to encourage and assist combat-injured veterans and their families.

John Romac, the Volunteer Coordinator, at the Travis Mills Foundation will be only too happy to assist you with any questions you may have. The Retreat has hundreds of volunteers from Maine alone. There are also volunteers from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, Florida, Connecticut, Texas, New York, Colorado, New Hampshire, Maryland, Virginia, Vermont, Wyoming, California and Georgia. It speaks volumes that these volunteers are repeat volunteers. They come from near and far to do what it takes to make this Retreat successful for the families. So fly to Maine, rent a car and be prepared for a life changing experience as you give back in a mighty and intentional way.

There are so many ways you personally could help build up the Travis Mills Foundation. Donations are always accepted and deeply appreciated. Volunteers are always needed in many capacities at the Retreat such as yard & building maintenance, food preparation, washing dishes, housekeeping, carpentry, children’s activities, babysitting for date nights, adaptive paddle boarding, hiking and even more. The possibilities are endless! Hubby and I helped with yard maintenance, food prep and washing dishes.

As I was sitting in the movie theater with my daughter on Veterans Day this year watching Indivisible, it struck a deep cord with me. As a daughter myself of a Retired Army soldier, who received 2 purple hearts in the Korean War, did 2 tours in the Vietnam War and ultimately died very early due to the poisons of Agent Orange, I understand the sacrifices a soldier and his family faces. The time away from home and missing holidays, family dinners, school plays, birthdays, months and years, including dangerous deployments, takes its toll on families and marriages. Not to mention the impact war injuries cause. As healthy Americans, we need to do what we can to recognize and assist those who have sacrificed so much on our behalf.

I am thankful for the Travis Mills Foundation and what it means to Veterans and their families. Thank you for letting me be a small part of it.

Thankful for our Veterans, Rose

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