Later that first day [at Landstuhl hospital], Travis asked Josh, “How are my soldiers?”
“They’re great, man,” Josh said. “They’re alive. They’re happy you’re alive.”
Then Travis asked another question. “Am I paralyzed?”
“It’s OK,” Travis said. “You don’t need to lie to me.”
“Listen, Travis, you’re not paralyzed,” Josh said, finally. “But your arms and legs are gone.”
Travis shook his head and closed his eyes.
The story of Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, 25, a seven-year Army veteran on his third combat deployment to Afghanistan with the legendary 82nd Airborne Division, is one of courage, even humor, in the face of horrific injury.
But it is also a story of advances in medical knowledge, training and equipment that are saving more gravely wounded soldiers who likely would have died in previous wars.
From the moment a bomb exploded underneath him, Travis embarked on a seven-day, 7,000-mile odyssey that took him from a remote village in southern Afghanistan to a Level 1 trauma center in Germany and, finally, to Walter Reed, a long-term medical and rehabilitation facility. He was treated by trauma nurses on an airplane configured as an intensive care unit, and by surgeons operating in hospitals close to the battlefield — a chain of care that began when a medic knelt next to him.
David Tarrant's story about Travis Mills at DallasNews.com is a must-read.
Family of wounded Soldier requests birthday wishes
To follow Travis Mills on Facebook, go to: Support For Travis Mills and Family.
For daily updates and information about donations, visit travismills.org.