A local wounded hero is expected to return to the United States later this week.
Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills lost parts of all of his limbs when he stepped on a roadside bomb last week in Afghanistan. Mills is a part of the 82nd Airborne and was on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.
He's recovering at a military base in Germany right now. Originally the Vassar native was to be flown to Washington, D.C., on Sunday. His family tells TV5 the military delayed his return due to further surgeries. Mills' wife Kelsey said she spoke with the soldier via phone Monday morning and he was in good spirits. Once he makes it to D.C., he'll continue his recovery at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Mills is a husband and a father to an infant daughter. He will turn 25 years old this week.
There is no question there's a long road ahead for this family. The family has set up a donation fund for support. If you'd like to donate, please visit this website for more information.
Mills' wife Kelsey received the following post on Facebook written about her husband's evacuation:
My name is 1SG Waite. The other Flight Medic was SSG Hockersmith. Your brother was picked up by SSG Newby. Your belong to a family of warriors. Other Soldiers in the Aircraft were injured and screaming. Your husband was more worried about them then himself. Its very noisy in the Aircraft and you cant hear without a flight helmet. He made SSG Hockersmith take off his flight helmet so he could hear his questions about his men and get an answer. He then apologized to him for making him take his helmet off. I couldn't believe it. Here he was severely wounded and apologizing to us for the inconvenience. His face was dirty and there was dust in his eyes but he never shed a tear. I replay the moment when he looked at that Soldier and winked to reassure him over and over in my mind. My crew is still on duty in his units area now. We go back to Khandahar on Monday but we wont go back the same. I am an E-8 but this E-6 is the example for myself and others to emulate. Respectfully1SG Shane A. WaiteC 3/2-5Lightning Dustoff
Residents in Vassar, Mills' hometown, turned out Friday night to show their love and support and honor the wounded warrior.
Mills' brother, Zach, said when he was taken off a ventilator to assist with breathing, he asked for Oreo cookies.
A Friday night ribbon ceremony and candlelight vigil at Vassar High School drew more than 100 people.
Copyright WNEM 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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