On Memorial Day in 2014, actor Mike Rowe shared a post on his Facebook page about his encounter with military veteran Travis Mills.
Retired United States Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne is a recalibrated warrior, motivational speaker, actor, author and an advocate for veterans and amputees. On April 10, 2012, Mills was critically injured by in IED on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. This caused him to lose portions of his both legs and both of his arms. He is one of only five quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries.
Rowe was touched by Mill’s story and stated in his Facebook post that he will continue to think about Mills as “a guy who went out on a limb for me, in every way possible.” He never forgot about Mills, and last season on “Return the Favor” – a reality web TV series featuring Rowe – he told Mills’ heartwarming story to the world.
Rowe praised the veterans for creating a lodge in Maine specifically for veterans and their families. According to Rowe, more than 10 million people were touched by the story. Now, Mills intends to star in his own show, “We Bought a Lodge.”
The Lodge that Mills purchased was historically known as the Maine Chance Lodge. The building was once an 11,000-square foot spa that sat on 17 acres. Mills discovered the lodge and purchased it through his foundation, the Travis Mills Foundation, and transformed it into a solace for veterans.
The foundation invested $2.5 million in renovations to make the retreat fully handicap-accessible, add a movie theatre and install a library with the help of the Barbara Bush Foundation. As of June 2017, it is now known as the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat.
The Retreat has eight suite-style bedrooms that are meant for hosting eight veteran families each week. As of February, the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat has big plans for 2018. The organization plans on hosting 128 veteran families during 16 weeks of programs. In May, they will be installing a playground on site for children of veterans to enjoy during their stay.
They’re also lobbying to land a spot on the small screen with the help of Rowe. Rowe’s Facebook page shared a trailer of what the show might look like if it landed a spot on television. When describing the show to his Facebook fans, Mills told viewers to “just think Duck Dynasty, but with yours truly.”
The trailer also includes the backstory of how Mills came to buy the lodge and the hilarious struggles he faces during the day to day operations.
You can watch the video here: