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Travis Mills Foundation, Franco Center plan “Maine Remembers” veterans tribute

In 2012, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills lost both arms and portions of both legs to an improvised explosive device while on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The Travis Mills Foundation will team up with the Gendron Franco Center to present “Maine Remembers,” a musical tribute to our veterans on Saturday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m. Performers will include the center’s executive director, Mitch Thomas, and other local artists. The concert will be followed by a reception.

The purpose of the event is to entertain, inspire and raise awareness of veterans’ organizations in Maine. Festivities will begin at 4:30 p.m., when representatives of several veterans’ support agencies, including Honor Flight Maine, will be in the center’s Heritage Hall to answer questions and provide information about their work. At 5:30 p.m., the award-winning documentary “Travis: A Soldier’s Story” will be presented in a free viewing in the center’s Performance Hall. The film chronicles the life and recovery of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, who in 2012 was critically injured while on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan,

Following the film, a social hour in Heritage Hall will lead up to the 7:30 p.m. concert. The Franco-American War Veterans Color Guard of Post #31 will present the flags of the United States and the five U.S. military branches, and Brandy M. Cain of the Travis Mills Foundation will speak. Highlighting the event will be a special tribute to the 81 Maine service men and women killed in combat since September 11, 2001.

After the concert, a reception with light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will take place in Heritage Hall. Reserved tickets for the fundraising concert and reception are $20, or $15 for veterans and members of their immediate families. Proceeds will benefit the Travis Mills Foundation. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the Box Office at 783-1585, visiting Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m., or online at FrancoCenter.org.

Retired United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne is a recalibrated warrior, motivational speaker, actor, author and advocate for veterans and amputees. On April 10, 2012, while on patrol during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, he was critically injured by an improvised explosive device, losing both arms and portions of both legs.

Thanks to his strength, courage, will to live, the heroic actions of the men in his unit, prayers of thousands, and the healthcare providers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Mills is one of only five quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries. He remains on the road to recovery. 

In September 2013, Staff Sergeant Mills founded the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization working to create a unique, fully-accessible retreat where combat-injured veterans and their families can go to relax and enjoy adaptive sports and family recreation.

Wheelchair accessible, the Gendron Franco Center is located on the corner of Cedar and Oxford Streets in the “Little Canada” section of Lewiston.

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