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Army Veteran Shares Story as Quadruple Amputee

PEORIA - Staff Sergeant Travis Mills will be showing his documentary at the Peoria Riverfront Museum Monday evening.
PEORIA - Travis Mills has a story to tell.

"You wake up, and you don't know what's going to happen," he said. "Real sad. You wonder why you made it, like, 'Is this a cruel joke?'

While on his third deployment to Afghanistan in April of 2012, Mills was hit by an IED. He lost both arms and legs in the explosion.

"I hit the deck, rolled over, this arm and this leg disintegrated, never found," he said. "This leg was a couple pieces of meat. They said, 'You shouldn't be awake. You shouldn't be coherent right now with how much blood you lost.' They knocked me out. They medically sedated me. April 12th, they cut my hand off. April 14th, they woke me up for the first time. Once I had my arm, I was like, 'Cool, let's go do this myself now.' It's an eye opener to think how selfish it would be to give up, how selfish it would be if I were just down on myself."

His story is a powerful one - and it's been put together for others to see..

"The documentary covers everything," he said. "I'm one of five quadruple amputees ever to make it home. I'm pretty open about it."

Congressman Aaron Shock wanted to show that documentary to Central Illinois. So he brought Mills to Peoria to host a screening of the film at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

"People want to host it and have us come in, so they take the time to prepare a big screening," he said. "I don't mind talking about my story. Heck, if I'm helping people, it's a good thing."

Mills wants to tell his story - and he also wants to send a message.

"I don't want people to take pity on me," he said. "Yeah, what happened to me was horrible, but I am a story of resiliency and strength. If I can do it, anybody can do it."

"Travis - A Soldier's Story" premiers tonight at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

There will be a meet and greet at 6:15 and the film begins at 7.

Tickets are 50 dollars.

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