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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/18/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sergeant is only the fourth quadruple amputee in military history to survive injuries

An Army soldier who lost his arms and legs during his third tour in Afghanistan last week has undergone surgery as supporters from around the globe offer up their prayers on a family website. Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, of Vassar, Michigan was injured when he stepped on an IED April 10 while serving with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Recovering at a hospital in Germany, he hopes to return stateside shortly, three days after his 25th birthday.

Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, of Vassar, Michigan, center, blue shirt was injured when he stepped on an IED on April 10.

Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, of Vassar, Michigan, center, blue shirt was injured when he stepped on an IED on April 10.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/18/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Quadruple amputee, U.S. soldier. land mine, support


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "He's in a tremendous amount of pain right now, but he's sleeping," his father Dennis Mills says. "But as far as I'm understanding, his vitals are good. But it's still early."

Mills spoke to his son over the weekend. "He was pretty upbeat," Dennis Mills continued. "He has his moments, but he was doing really well. He sure is looking forward to getting back to the good ol' United States."

A Web site dedicated to Mills' status, www.travismills.org, has updates and links on how to donate money to offset expenses related to his medical care, including some expenses that will not be covered by insurance.

"Travis was scheduled for surgery [Sunday]; however, they said he is stable enough to wait until Monday morning just so everything is freshly done before his flight home," Mills' wife Kelsey wrote.

"The nurse told me what an honor it is to be with Travis, and what a great man he is, and how everyone there loves him (as well as everywhere else). She was able to finally give him a glass of milk and he was so happy."

Mills is only the fourth quadruple amputee in military history to survive his injuries.

Mills was reported "overwhelmed with joy" when a chaplain and a Wounded Warrior representative presented him with a Purple Heart and his wedding ring on Sunday. "He thought it was gone forever," Kelsey Mills wrote.

Dennis Mills said relatives received a call informing them that Mills stepped on an improvised explosive device or IED on Tuesday. Travis Mills was later taken to Kandahar and elsewhere in Afghanistan for treatment before being flown to Germany.

Mills' wife, who lives in Frisco, Texas, with their 4-month-old daughter, Chloe said he underwent a third surgery on Friday to clean his wounds and that doctors did not see any signs of infection.

"I have never been a truly religious person, however, in this time, all I can do is turn to prayer," Kelsey Mills wrote. "I am astonished that my husband has survived against all odds, and he is still in a fight for his life."

Mills lost both of his legs above the knee, his right arm above the elbow and his left arm below the elbow.

"While sustaining the worst of the injuries, he was still trying to help his soldiers, because that is the kind of man he is," Kelsey Mills wrote. "He is the best man I know, and he does not deserve this pain. If I could take it all away, I would. The only thing we can do is be there for him in his darkest hour and help him find his way home.

"Keep the prayers flowing: It's the only thing any of us can do while feeling so helpless. He has sacrificed more than anyone can imagine for this country. He is a true American hero, and he deserves all the respect and love in the world."

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