Travis Mills prepares to open retreat this summer
ROME (WGME) -- For months we've been following the progress of Maine’s highly-anticipated veterans retreat.
Soon, the Travis Mills Foundation will host a grand opening of the brand new multi-million dollar facility that will cater to wounded veterans.
A little more than five years ago, retired Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills dropped his backpack on the dirt ground in Afghanistan, setting off an IED.
"My 25th birthday I woke up to find out I had no arms and legs," Mills said.
Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Mills dusted off the things that would no longer matter to him, to make room from the people who do, literally.
"This property and what we can achieve here is going to be phenomenal for not just the veterans, but for the community to know they're giving back to something worthwhile," Mills said.
For the last year and a half, Travis Mills, alongside volunteers, donors, and staff have been transforming the old Elizabeth Arden estate into a paradise for amputee combat veterans.
"Here, we bring the wives together, the husbands together and let them know, ‘Hey, there's other people in your situation,’" Mills said.
In just two months the retreat will be a treat for the men and women who fought for our freedom, so Mills says everything has to be perfect.
"Every little detail that's been put into this house I've been a part of,” Mills said. “With the shower the bathrooms, how high the ceilings are the sinks are, how high the beds are set."
The first group of families will arrive on Independence Day.
For seven weeks during the summer, eight families at a time will call this house on the border of Rome and Mt. Vernon home. Because Mills says the men and women, who protect our lives, deserve a chance to live, "the way life should be."
"We're going to push hard and we've got some really great companies who are coming together to really give it all we can," Mills said.
Mills says this year, the retreat will be only used in the summer.
However, he's currently working with several other veteran-based non-profits who want to utilize the location during the year. He says he can't think of better house guests.
Please visit the Travis Mills Foundation website for more information.