CORONADO, Calif. – The premier of “Travis: A Soldier’s Story” sold out Tuesday night at the Village Theater in Coronado.
The documentary film features quadruple amputee, Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne, who lost all four limbs after an IED blast in Afghanistan in April 2012. He was on his third tour of duty.
SSG Mills was at the premiere with his wife and daughter. Some of the special guests also in attendance included, actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise and the navy medical team who saved the soldier’s life.
“I’m so grateful for what the [navy medical team] did and how many decisions they had to make was astounding, but to keep me alive and keep my heart pumping blood through me, I can’t thank them anough,” SSG Mills said.
Mills was jovial at the premiere, even joking, proving his sense of humor was still very much in tact. He mentioned the harsh reality of coming home and facing his wife for the first time after the blast.
“The first three or four days I wouldn’t even talk to [my wife]. Because I got hurt and I was one of the best I thought [chuckles], and just embarrassment, really ashamed,” Mills explained.
“I told [my wife], ‘Take all the money in the account,’ I said, ‘Take that, take my kid and you go.’ And she said, ‘If you weren’t so bruised up and bloody, I’d beat you. [Chuckles.] So she stayed by my side and we just celebrated our six year anniversary,” Mills said.
Proceeds from the premier’s event will go toward building Mills a customized smart home in Maine to ease daily challenges he faces. This will be done with the help of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. Program.
Sinise, best known for his role as Lieutenant Dan in “Forrest Gump,” said he was touched by the film, because Mills reenacts some scenes with the same soldiers who were with him the day of the blast.
“There were only so many takes in the guys, because they were just reliving it too much,” Sinise said.
“The two men that saved my life that day and two guys that got hurt with me… reenacted everything with me, so it was harder on them to do the blow up scene,” Mills explained.