“We all need inspiration, hope, and motivation, and the students of this school supply me with that.”---Travis Mills
AUGUSTA---“It’s an amazing feeling knowing we’re helping our veterans who served our country. They deserve a place like the Travis Mills Foundation for all they have done for us.”
The words of eighth grader Kyle Douin captured the spirit at St. Michael School in Augusta on Wednesday, May 3, as students, teachers, staff, and parents gathered together to participate in the second annual St. Michael School & Travis Mills Foundation Walk-A-Thon.
After weeks of collecting pledges, members of the school community spent hours walking laps around the school and church property, raising funds for a foundation that has offered warmth and support to countless heroes.
Mills, a retired United States Army Staff Sergeant of the 82nd Airborne, is one of only five quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his recovery, Mills discovered a passion for inspiring fellow wounded servicemen and women and founded the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization, formed to benefit and assist wounded and injured veterans and their families.
“We all need inspiration, hope, and motivation, and the students of this school supply me with that,” said Mills in a speech to the school community prior to the walk-a-thon. “That’s the best part about being Travis Mills, having people behind me, supporting me every step of the way.”
Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students walked 10 laps (four miles), first and second graders walked 15 laps (six miles), third and fourth graders walked 20 laps (eight miles), and fifth through eighth graders walked 25 laps (ten miles).
“I can’t wait to go home and tell my daddy how much fun today was!” said kindergartener Bryce Ryan.
Following the walk-a-thon, all in attendance were provided with a barbecue lunch as well as the opportunity to reflect on the difference they had made for a group of people who have given them so much.
“It’s been a ‘feel good’ kind of day,” said eighth grader Madeline Levesque.