Travis Mills Foundation Hosts Never Give Up On Country at Silver Springs State Park

Patriotism and love of country were at the forefront of the Never Give Up On Country benefit concert for the Travis Mills Foundation held Saturday, Feb. 3, at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, Florida.

More than 1,200 people attended Never Give Up On Country, Presented by Chase, the first concert at Silver Springs since 2017. The event featured country music artists Parmalee, Chris McNeil and Johnny and Hiedi

Photo Credit: Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau

U.S. Army SSG (Ret.) Travis Mills, Founder of the Travis Mills Foundation, and one of five quadruple amputees from the Global War on Terrorism to survive his injuries, addressed an enthusiastic crowd:

“On my third deployment to Afghanistan, I stepped on a roadside bomb,” Mills said. “After 14 hours of surgery I came out a quadruple amputee and while in the hospital, I asked myself, ‘What do I have left to give? What is there left in life for me to do?’ I had a decision to make.”

Mills, along with his wife, Kelsey, went on to establish the Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat in 2017, in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Maine, where post-911 recalibrated veterans and their families participate in adaptive activities, find rest and reconnect. 

“I lost my chance to serve my country,” Mills added. “It was absolutely the best job I’ve ever had, a squad leader for the 82nd Airborne Division, but through my recovery process, I realized how much I loved being a mentor, and how lucky I was to be alive.”

Photo Credit: Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau

Mills expressed how grateful he was for the support of Never Give Up On Country.

“We are here tonight because you believe in veterans, you believe in America and you believe in the sacrifices these families have made and you want to give back.” 

“The excitement in our community with the return of concerts to Silver Springs State Park has been palpable,” said Kevin Sheilley, President and CEO of Ocala Metro Chamber & Economic Partnership.

“That this long-awaited return involved Travis Mills and support for our veterans could not be a better gift for our community or more fitting. We are truly honored to have hosted Never Give Up on Country and look forward to future opportunities.”

Ocala former Mayor Kent Guinn was delighted to attend the event and said Never Give Up on Country, in its third year, is an inspiration to the community.

With approximately 42,000 veterans in our county and region it is always important to recognize them and remind everyone of their sacrifices,’ he said. “We live the lives we live because of them. There’s no greater example of that sacrifice than Travis Mills.”

Marion County Commissioner Michelle Stone said Silver Springs State was an ideal venue for the event.

“Along with the great crowd of attendees, many veterans and their families attended, including those who the Travis Mills Foundation has served,” she said. “We can never give up on country and we can never do enough for our heroes.”

Special thanks to Blessed Magnolia.

About Travis Mills Foundation

The Travis Mills Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports post-911 veterans who experienced life changing injuries while in service to our country. The Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat offers our nation’s recalibrated veterans and their families a week-long, barrier free, all-expenses-paid experience at its world-class retreat in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Maine. It offers various programs that help these brave men and women overcome physical and emotional obstacles, strengthen their families, and provide well-deserved rest and relaxation. The Foundation also offers the Warrior PATHH Program (Progressive Alternative Training for Helping Heroes) for combat veterans and first responders, the nation’s first-ever program designed to cultivate and facilitate post-traumatic growth.