With four missing limbs and an award-winning smile, Travis Mills is a sight to behold. It’s no wonder those who know Mills describe him as “tough as they come.”
The United States Army Staff Sergeant who became a quadruple amputee from the war in Afghanistan joined Glenn’s radio program to share his fascinating story on Monday.
“I was a staff sergeant in 82nd Airborne Division. Very proud paratrooper,” Mills said.
He told Glenn when he first woke up to find out what had happened, he didn’t want to call his family. When he finally spoke with his wife, among his first words to her were “Leave me.”
“It wasn’t because I didn’t want to be with her anymore or anything, I didn’t love her. I actually just didn’t want to be a burden on her,” Mills said. “I was embarrassed, upset.”
The journey Mills took to becoming “tough as they come” didn’t happen overnight. Listen to the hero’s conversation with Glenn or read the transcript below.
GLENN: United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills is with us. Travis Mills is a quadruple amputee from the war in Afghanistan. And the author of the book Tough as They Come.
And you can tell already you’re as tough as they come. I saw a short video of you, where — I mean, you’ve — you actually — when you had your legs and arms blown off, you actually told your wife — you had a new daughter.
TRAVIS: I did, yeah.
GLENN: And you said, “Leave me.”
TRAVIS: And it wasn’t because I didn’t want to be with her anymore or anything, I didn’t love her. I actually just didn’t want to be a burden on her. After getting everything blown off on April 10th. The 12th, they cut my left hand off the rest of the way. Then the 14th, I woke up for the very first time. And that’s my birthday. So my 25th birthday, I woke up for the very first time to find out what happened. I didn’t want to call my family. I was embarrassed, upset.
STU: You didn’t want to call your family?
TRAVIS: Didn’t want to call my family. My wife. I just felt like I let everybody down. I was really good at my job. It was my third deployment. And the Taliban wasn’t supposed to get me, and they did. And I was angry at that fact. But I was also embarrassed and upset.
But then I finally called, talked them a little bit on my birthday. That’s the person that woke me up from my medical sedation because I was actually awake until the operating table on the 10th. And the doctor said, “I don’t know how you’re still awake. You need to go to sleep.” So 14 hours of surgery, nine doctors, and seven nurses worked on me. Two doctors actually — or, two nurses pumped air in my lung for two hours straight — or, I mean, nine hours straight to keep me alive. Thirty blood transfusions.
But, yeah, I made it to the hospital on the 17th and went to immediate surgery. My wife, the very first thing she had to do was sign a paper. She was in charge of my medical care. So she had to sign a paper to cut off two more inches of my right leg because my sutures ripped open. I was bleeding out. Like, he’s going to die if we don’t take him to surgery. You’re in charge now. She’s just like, oh, just pull the plug. And I was like, what?
No, it’s a joke, obviously.
No, no, no. But, yeah, so then the 18th, she came me into Walter Reed, which is a wonderful facilitate. And I didn’t think I had much self-worth. And I said, “Look, there’s no reason for you to put yourself through this, financially. Anything we have is yours.” Not that I have a lot. You know, I was a staff sergeant in 82nd Airborne Division. Very proud paratrooper. And I said, “The house, the money, the cars, it’s all yours. Anything I make — you know, keep the same bank numbers. You can have the account numbers, and it’s yours. And you can go.” And she’s like, that’s not how this works at all. I’m going to be with you.
And, you know, between her and my little girl, the support of my family — of course my parents and everybody. But my little girl who looks up to me, who I thought was going to be scared. You know, her dad now, no arms, no legs. He has tubes out of every limb. Pick lines out of his neck. Stuff all over my chest, like little monitors. And I thought, boy, she’s going to be just so scared of this monster. And she came in. It turns out, when you have no arms and leg, you’re really short now, and you have a hairy chest, you’re the world’s best teddy bear. She’s just playing with me. Squeezing my nose. My wife is like, oh, look at them play. And I’m like, get her off my nose. I’m trying to swing —
But, yeah, once my wife was going to stay with me and my daughter was going to look up to me and I was going to be the dad I was expected to be, I just went full force in recovery.
TRAVIS: And I’m very thankful for Walter Reed. The technology out there — you know, I walk. Wherever I go, I walk. I drive a truck. I mean, with my feet, prosthetics, I’m actually so stubborn. I didn’t get hand controls put in my truck, and I drive with my feet
GLENN: Well you don’t have any hands, so…
TRAVIS: Yeah, it’s true.
GLENN: Do the thing with your hand where you can —
TRAVIS: Absolutely. I can do this all day. It doesn’t even hurt. No, it doesn’t hurt.
GLENN: Yeah. So he can turn his hand all the way around. So when you’re steering, you —
TRAVIS: Well, I’m locked on a try pin (phonetic), which is like a suicide knob here, here, and here. I just rock around with it. I have pump systems. So I hit a button and it will do left turn, right turn, horn, kind of everything. My legs are Bluetooth, so they have a driving mode in them. So I use a remote. Lock it in. And it locks at a 25-degree angle. And I just press down on the gas and the break, and I drive a truck.
GLENN: Your legs are Bluetooth?
TRAVIS: They have Bluetooth connectivity. They don’t play music or anything.
GLENN: What exactly does the Bluetooth technology do?
TRAVIS: Well, it locks it to modes.
GLENN: So if I had my iPad, I could make you dance or something, just as a joke.
TRAVIS: Depends on what song you put on. I dance — but, no, they come with their own remote. They’re waterproof. They’re microprocessors. Every time I’m standing and I move, over 300 adjustments get made every second to make sure that they work out. They take away 30 percent of muscle needed to walk. I mean, they don’t walk for you, but they help out when it kicks back.
GLENN: Wow. So this technology — you see people who have lost their limbs, you would have been in a wheelchair for the rest of your life ten years ago?
TRAVIS: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And I’ve had a lot of Vietnam vets. Which I’m very thankful for the vets. And I had a lot of people from the Vietnam era say, boy, we just didn’t see people come back like you. It’s too bad that you had to come back this way. And I said, “Well, think about the battlefield medicine that’s come so far that guys that wouldn’t have made it home in that war came back in this war.”
GLENN: Well, I mean, honestly —
PAT: That was one of the things they said during the Bush administration, against the war. Look at all these guys that were coming back maimed. Well, but they’re alive. I mean, you’d rather be alive, right? At this point.
I had the opportunity — the documentary we had. We had the GI Film Festival winner. Tough as They Come. I wrote the book because of the documentary doing so well. But in it, I mean, I just — I get asked, you know, would you do this all over again? Serve in the military? I would. I would. I had a bad day of the work. Case of the Mondays. I wouldn’t get blown up again. You guys are lovely, but if I could be there any second, I still would be there. But through this process, this ketamine coma which is revolutionary, having no more pain, I don’t take any medication. And —
GLENN: Explain — because phantom pain is wild. Phantom pain makes you feel like you still have hands and legs, but you don’t. And then —
TRAVIS: Yeah, it’s painful too.
GLENN: And it’s painful because it feels like people are stabbing you or they’re on fire.
TRAVIS: Yeah, they were worried that I was going to actually get too immune to the — I was getting so immune to the drugs and everything, the Oxis and what not. Dilaudids. And they were like, he’s just going to OD, and it’s not going to be his fault. He’s just getting too immune. So they had three different case studies. And I signed a paper. Like, yeah, let’s try this. Yeah, let’s try that. And finally, they said, well, we have this ketamine coma. It’s been done one other time in the US.
GLENN: What is it?
TRAVIS: They do a mathematical equation for how big you are. They give you so much ketamine per hour.
GLENN: What’s ketamine? I don’t know.
TRAVIS: Actually they call it Special K on the streets.
JEFFY: It’s a tranquilizer.
TRAVIS: It’s a tranquilizer.
STU: Leave it to Jeffy to know.
GLENN: No, seriously, so they gave you a horse tranquilizer.
TRAVIS: They did. And they gave me 600 milligrams an hour for five days straight, and I was knocked out. And when I woke up, it’s such a hallucinogen, anything that was on TV, I was in. So Seinfeld, Kramer from Seinfeld hung out for three hours one day. Just talked with me.
GLENN: That sounds like —
JEFFY: Is that a problem?
TRAVIS: No, not anymore. I mean, we just hung out, you know. Hey, what’s up? And then there was also like Ghengis Khan. Somebody was watching something on the history channel. And Ghengis Khan and me were fighting. Arrows flying. Zipping through.
STU: You fought on Ghengis Khan’s side?
TRAVIS: I mean, I didn’t choose sides.
GLENN: You just happened to find yourself on that side.
TRAVIS: Come on. It’s cool. It’s part of my story.
GLENN: All right. So then you were hallucinating for how many days?
TRAVIS: About four days, it was real heavy. The last one I had at 10 days, where I thought someone was stealing my little girl, like taking her across the field. And I was yelling at 3:00 in the morning. “I’m going to get you. Give my kid back here. My daughter.” And there’s more things I said, but we can’t because we’re on TV or radio. But I was echoing through the hallway. But it was such a great thing that five months after that, six months into my recovery, I quit taking all medication. And the pain is gone.
Everybody asks me, like, how is the VA care? VA has been great to me. But I don’t go.
GLENN: Only the phantom pain is gone?
TRAVIS: All my pain. I don’t have any.
GLENN: You don’t feel any pain?
TRAVIS: No pain.
GLENN: But if I punched you in the face, you would feel that?
TRAVIS: I mean, possibly.
STU: He’s very weak.
GLENN: I’m not going to try. I’m not aggressive really by nature.
TRAVIS: As the book states, I’m tough as they come, so I’m not so sure if that’s going to hurt.
A Recalibrated Warrior
You know, it just really came down to a choice. I told my wife to leave me. She didn’t. It came down to, if I was going to get better. I was going to feed myself. I was going to do things. My recovery, I want people to know, I’m not a victim, nor am I a sob story. Please do not label me as a wounded warrior. I cannot stand the term wounded. I’m not wounded. I have scars. They’re pretty awesome. But, you know, in the book, I state I’m a recalibrated warrior, if anything. But I just like to be called Travis. I take my daughter to school every morning. I take my wife on dates. We go out and get ice cream. And I’m the one driving. I’m the one unbuckling her from her car seat and putting her in the car seat. And what a great day we live in where I can do this stuff.
And I’m so thankful. So, you know, I’m fortunate with what I’m doing. I got the podium to stand and tell people, like, don’t sob. Don’t feel bad for me. And let’s keep pushing forward in life.
“My Body Overheats”
PAT: So, Travis, you have both legs. Prosthetic. And then the arm on the left side. Why not the prosthetic on the right side too?
TRAVIS: I used to be a magician. I made it disappear.
PAT: Wow. That’s impressive.
TRAVIS: No. My body actually overheats. Because when you lose your arms and legs, your heart when it beats, it pushes the blood normally to your fingers and toes. Mine goes to my residual limbs. So it comes back warmer. So my body overheats that way. When you release heat from your body as head, hands, and feet, missing four of the five, so my head always sweats. And, you know, I had a liner that would go on here. It would just kind of sweat off throughout the day eventually and fall off. And real rigid and hard. And then one more thing is your skin is porous. Even though you got pants on, when the wind blows, you can feel it. Well, mine, I have three layers. So a third of my body is capped off. So it just made more sense not to wear it. And it makes it more comfortable when I don’t wear it.
PAT: Oh, you do have it? You just don’t wear it?
TRAVIS: Oh, I have it. I use it for extreme sports or whatever, if you want to call it. Or adaptive action activity. Whatever. I go snowboarding. I wear it for that.
GLENN: You go snowboarding?
TRAVIS: Well, I go falling down a hill usually. But I pick myself back up. I go downhill mountain biking. I went out in Colorado. I was on a four-wheel bike.
GLENN: Okay. Shut up. Seriously. Seriously, don’t you feel like a slug? Here’s a guy with no arms and no legs, yeah, I go mountain biking, and I go snow skiing. I barely get out of bed in the morning.
STU: I complain. We don’t have an elevator. We only have stairs to go up to the second floor.
GLENN: And everybody in this building complains.
STU: Oh, yeah. All the time.
TRAVIS: Like really?
GLENN: So it’s really uncomfortable being in a room with a guy with no arms and legs who is in better shape than I am too.
TRAVIS: Don’t say that.
GLENN: Yeah, I actually — I don’t remember what I was watching, but I watched something where somebody had lost their ability to walk, and it was about their treatment and everything else. And how they did that. And it took them a year and a half to learn how to walk again and really get back to somewhat normal. And I thought to myself, “I don’t think I’m that dedicated.” I don’t know if — I don’t know — and you wouldn’t know until you get there. Were you at all worried — did you have a time where you were like, just, I’m not going to do it.
The Mental Game
TRAVIS: You know, it wasn’t that. It was more — the mental game was the worst part for me. The physical was easy. I used to be 6 foot 3. 250 pounds. Work out all the time. The military obviously was strenuous. And I was part of the 82nd Airborne Division. So, you know, best of the best, literally. If anyone has any rebuttals on that, please don’t write in because there’s no reason to. You’re wrong.
So the physical wasn’t the hard part. It wasn’t the working hard that was going to get me. It was the mental part of, how can I still be a dad? How can I take care of my family? Can my wife ever really still love me? And am I going to be a burden? And once she didn’t leave my side, she’s like, no, we’re going to get through this. I mean, my wife sat by my bedside 20 hours a day when I was in a coma. And she knew I was going to wake up.
GLENN: You’re a damn handsome man. Maybe that’s what it was. You’re just a damn handsome man.
TRAVIS: Actually, at that time I wasn’t. Oh, I went from 250 to 140. I lost 110 pounds in seven days.
GLENN: Wow. But how much of that was your arms and legs?
TRAVIS: Well, no, I was pretty small too. But a lot of it was that. But I got pretty small too. Lost a lot of weight. And then, don’t worry though, Philly cheesesteaks, got me right back where I needed to be. I might not be the same 250, but, boy, am I there — no.
STU: Philly cheesesteaks are essentially medicine.
TRAVIS: Oh, easily.
GLENN: It really is.
STU: It’s almost antibiotics.
GLENN: We haven’t talked about how this happened to you.
How It Happened
TRAVIS: Oh, absolutely. So April 10th, I was walking along. On patrol. Normal day in Afghanistan. Third deployment. I actually had orders to take me somewhere else, to Fort Hood, and I didn’t want to go. So I cancelled those to go on this deployment. And I told my sergeant major, I’m 82nd. Like, do I have to really go? And he said, no, no, you’re a paratrooper. We can keep you here. After that though, you might have to go somewhere else. I said, if they pull me again, I’ll go.
GLENN: Do you regret that?
TRAVIS: I don’t. No, I can’t — I can’t justify one bad day at work, one unfortunate mishap to, you know, look at my whole military career.
GLENN: That is pretty amazing — I mean, I’ve had bad days at work.
TRAVIS: Well, a case of the Mondays, you know.
GLENN: I keep my arms and legs. It’s different — it’s an amazing attitude you have. Anyway…
TRAVIS: So we’re walking along. Everything is going great. All this is at TravisMills.org. Like the trailer and the documentary and everything is there and the book. And what we offer.
So I was walking along. And we came to a short haul. We had the minesweeper out front. And Brandon, he’s the private. One of my soldiers. He swept the ground, up and down. Not once, but twice. The minesweeper didn’t go off. Didn’t — nothing. Didn’t alarm us. I said, okay. Cool. Took my backpack off. My backpack was about 80 to 100 pounds on any given day. I set it on the ground in front of me on this mound. And when the backpack hit the ground, I mean, the bomb went off. The IED explosive went off. Immediately ripped off my right arm, right leg. Disintegrated. Never found. Left leg was there with a couple of pieces of muscle and tendon, but hanging down. So like my foot was by my thigh. And my left hand was still there, wrist blown out, pinkie and ring finger mangled up real bad. But my thumb, index and middle were still there. So I reached out to my trucker mic after I rolled over. I hit the ground real hard, my left side of my face. I rolled over. And I looked at the damage of my myself. I said, hey, six. This is four. I just hit a bomb. I need your medic with mine as soon as you can get over here. My medic ran up to me. I said, hey, save my guys. Get away from me. Like, leave me alone. He’s like, let me do my job. I said, look, you can’t save this. I’ve seen a lot of guys go for a lot less.
And as sad as that sounds, it’s just the truth. I wasn’t suicidal. I didn’t want to die that day. But I just figured if my guys had injuries that were lesser and they could be saved, instead of bleeding out because they’re working on me because I was the most catastrophic, then let them go work on them.
And my medic said some choice words, and he said, “Let me do my job.” And my platoon sergeant, my medic put on tourniquets. Within 20 seconds, locked off the arteries. And that’s where Vietnam has changed. Vietnam had that quick clot, that sear your arteries and try to sear your blood in. Where tourniquets, you can put them on for up to 12 hours, and no damage will happen. But it just turned it right off, just turned the blood right off. Then I looked up on the helicopter. On the helicopter, I yelled at the flight crew a little bit because they weren’t taking care of my guys. Because one of my guys was yelling out in some real bad pain. He had every right. Lost his right testicle. And I don’t say that as a joke. I tell you that because he actually came home, got married, and had a kid, and named a kid after me, which was pretty impressive.
TRAVIS: Either way, we made it to the operating table.
GLENN: You’re worried about somebody else’s pain on the helicopter. And I would imagine you were blinding pain.
TRAVIS: I wasn’t. I wasn’t in a lot of pain. I think that the shock or adrenaline kicked in. I was probably supposed to be knocked out, but I didn’t. I stayed calm. I really sat there and thought, “You know what whatever is going to happen is going to happen. I can’t change the outcome of this. The only thing I can affect is my attitude.” And that happened on Valentine’s Day in 2010. I was on a mission that was supposed to go six hours and ended up getting two grenade kills. Long firefight. Long drawn out day. Ended up being like a 28, 36-hour day, something like that.
By the end of the day, when we were coming back, our truck broke down. We had to wait on the side of the road. Get attacked, what not. At the moment, you kind of broke down, and you laugh or cry. I started laughing. And I said, “You know, the only thing I can affect is my attitude in this situation,” and I’ve had that mentality ever since 2010 on that deployment. And I kind of kept that. So when I was laying on the ground, I thought, you know, the one thing I’m not going to do is go out like Saving Private Ryan, when the medic starts yelling for his mom. My guys are not going to see me afraid. I wasn’t afraid of anything anyway. And I wanted them to remember me like, wow, he — at least how he went out, he was like, “Hey, we’ll see you guys. Thanks for everything. Keep fighting.” And then going. It was a pride thing, I think.
Where Was God?
GLENN: How much does faith play a role? Or did faith play a role in this whole attitude and everything else?
TRAVIS: It did. It did. And also, it was kind of like, I’m not in charge. You know, I’m not driving the ship. It’s just whatever happens happens. Now, when I made it to the hospital, I was angry. I got to Walter Reed. I didn’t know why this happened. I pay made my taxes. I take care of my family. I have a wonderful little girl. You know, my life was going very well. I was going to come back as a recruiter. Become an officer. Finish my 20 years. Twenty-five years. Whatever it was going to take in the military and have a good life as a high school teacher and a football coach. And my sister-in-law brought a plaque, and it said, don’t be afraid for your Lord God walks beside you. And I’m paraphrasing. I’m just trying to not take too long. And I got angry. I said, Mom, turn that over. I don’t want to read that. It was the only thing I could read. I was laying in the hospital bed, looking over at the window sill. And my mom said, “I’m not turning that over. Knock that off.” And it was a real question for me — and that’s just — and hopefully that’s not too brutally honest.
GLENN: Yeah. Where was God?
TRAVIS: Where was God? I actually asked, what, did he take a smoke break? I know it’s not nice, and I get that. But I just want to be as true to the story.
GLENN: I don’t think he smokes.
TRAVIS: No, I don’t think so either.
GLENN: I can imagine him out in the front stoop because he can’t smoke in the mansion because of the laws and everything else.
TRAVIS: That’s why I said, did he take a smoke break? Did he turn around, then, oh, crap, now let’s save him, after I just let this happen. My mom said, don’t — knock that off, Travis.
It took about two weeks. But then you have to realize, it’s not — you can’t just be a believer when everything is going your way, when you’re paying your taxes, and you have your house, and your life is going good. It’s just, there’s a mission, there’s a plan out there. The only thing I can affect and the situation I got blown up and the situation I’m in today is my attitude toward everything. I can’t affect the situation where I will it to be better. So people like, did you ever think, what if you didn’t do this? I said, I could what if it all day, but what’s the point in that? I can dwell in the past, or I can reminisce it. Hey, I had 25 years with my arms and legs. It was great. But I don’t dwell on it. I mean, I drive my kid to school. You know, the first thing that happed this morning, my little girl FaceTimed me. Hey, Daddy, you’re coming home today. I’m so excited. And that’s truly just amazing. And I live in a world where I can do that.
“Shut Up, Slugs!”
GLENN: Do you ever — you know, you listen — I don’t know if you listen to the show. Do you listen to our show?
TRAVIS: Every chance I get, to be honest with you. I travel a lot.
GLENN: Yeah. He has no idea who we are.
TRAVIS: That’s not true.
GLENN: So — so if you listen to us and you — and you walk around — do you ever just — you’re in the supermarket and you hear someone whining about their day or anything, do you just look at slugs like me and say, “Shut up?”
TRAVIS: So I really don’t. Because you know, until you’re facing my situation, you have your own problems. So in the author’s note in the book, it actually — before it was all finished, I said, “Look, I really want this to say this, exactly, and I won’t sign off on the book to be done until this is done.” And Random House was great. Don’t get me wrong. They weren’t like giving me any flak for it.
The first thing it states, if you served, thank you for your service. I did not serve any more. I didn’t fight any harder or any longer. I had one bad day at work. I did the same thing as everybody else that raised their right hand and took an oath. Just I took the oath twice. I reenlisted already once at this time in my career.
The next thing I tell people, I do not consider my problems any more than anybody else’s. We all have our own things. So I know people see me. And, yes, visually, I look different. Physically, I have a few limitations. Not much. But a few. But I don’t know what everybody is going through. I’m not sure that there’s going on in your life. I don’t know what people in my crowd, when I speak throughout the nation, what’s going on in their life. But I tell them, we’re all on the same playing field. And hopefully with the things I talk about, goal setting, motivation, the health care, I talk about the technologies that are out there, and my perspective on life and how I get through it, it has somehow positively affected that and changed their outlook on life.
But, no, I don’t get upset when people complain about things. I mean, if I see someone park in a handicap spot that’s not handicap, I’m kind of like, oh, come on. But, you know, maybe they have something going on that day that I don’t know about. Ingrown toenail or something. Whatever.
PAT: Oh, my gosh. You use handicap parking, as well as you get around? Can you believe this guy.
JEFFY: I know.
GLENN: You have motorized legs. We actually have to work on yours.
PAT: That’s unbelievable.
TRAVIS: I told my wife, she stayed for the — like VIP parking. Travis, I got to go to the store. Come on.
I don’t want to go to the store. She goes, oh, no. You’re going to go. I want —
GLENN: Just sit in the car. Just sit in the car.
TRAVIS: VIP status.
GLENN: That’s right.
TRAVIS: No, I’m not — I do listen to the show. I just didn’t want to tell you guys I can do it every day. I’m on the plane quite a bit.
JEFFY: Of course.
GLENN: So are we. We’re on a plane.
TRAVIS: I saw that. That’s what happened last time you were out saving — either way. Either way.
GLENN: We’re here every damn day listening to this show.
TRAVIS: Okay. Thanks for your guys’ time.
GLENN: You have Bluetooth legs. Let’s work it out so you can listen to the show no matter where you are.
STU: So going around the country, doing really stupid stuff like this, but also really important things with the foundation.
TRAVIS: Crazy things like this. The foundation. We started a 501(c)(3). I wanted to give back in some way, and we were going to send care packages overseas. And it just turned into —
GLENN: What are you doing now? What does it do?
TRAVIS: Well, I was able to learn how to kayak, canoe, boat, swim, fish, tube, everything.
GLENN: Shut up.
TRAVIS: And I thought — well, this is part of the story. I thought, you know, we could really do this in a camp form up in Maine where we’re going to live. And we did two proof of concepts where we brought up previously wounded soldiers and their families, and we showed them how to kayak, how to canoe, how to go out and do things and not live life on the sidelines. Be an active member in society. And most importantly, an active member in their family instead of —
GLENN: Really important for people in the service. You know, this happens to me. I mean, I’m not an active person. But almost everybody I know in the military. They’re so active. They were so into sports. I mean, physical people. You lose that ability, and it — it just eats at you.
TRAVIS: And I can talk someone through hitting a softball. Like my little girl, I can tell her how to hit a softball. I can tell her how to play volleyball. But I can’t physically do it. Now, kayaking with the family, I can do. Downhill mountain biking, I can do. Going out fishing, I can do. Tubing, I go tubing all the time all summer. My little girl and me, we hop on. Got a tritoon with a big motor. So it goes fast, even though it’s a pontoon.
So we did one proof of concept. It was four families came up. Then we did another one. The next year was six families. It was such a great, you know, feedback that we thought, we can do this and raise the money. And it turned from three to 5,000 a year overseas packages to $2.7 million project. We’re not done with our funding. But we’ve raised about a million dollars this past year. And we’re going forward. I will let everybody know. I don’t pay the board. Myself included. I’m the president. I don’t pay myself. And I will never pay — I will never pay the board. If they want a paycheck, they can go somewhere else. And they know that. And they’re okay with it. Well, they’re happy about it because this is all about giving back.
So Everything can be found at TravisMills.org. I also have to let you know, just on a side note, my friend Reese, who is my best friend and business partner, he wanted to be here today. Loves your show. You met him. They’re having a baby — they’re having a baby right now as we speak.
STU: Oh, wow.
TRAVIS: They are. Katie and Reese. So say a prayer for them.
GLENN: Actually, she’s having it. He’s just there.
TRAVIS: That’s what I tell people. A guy says, yeah, we had a baby. I said, actually what happened was, she had the baby, and I got blamed for everything. A lot of things, she said I didn’t even do. At that point in time, you don’t rebuttal. You’re like, you’re right. I’m so sorry.
GLENN: The name of the book is Tough As It Comes. The website is TravisMills.org?
TRAVIS: TravisMills.org. Send me an email. Check out my LinkedIn. Please — the best thing people can do to help me out if they want to help me out is just get involved with the website and see where that leads you. Because, hey, Kourtney Kardashian was beating me on the best-sellers list. If you think that’s wrong, help me out. But either way. I just appreciate your time. Thank you so much for having me.
GLENN: You’re great. You’re really, truly inspirational and great. Thank you very much.
TRAVIS: Thank you.