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Isles Honor Wounded Warrior

by Peter Kaplan / New York Islanders
Staff Sergeant Travis Mills drops the puck for John Tavares and Zdeno Chara during a ceremonial faceoff. (Getty Images)

On April 10, 2012 United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills was on patrol in Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded near him. Already on his third tour of duty, Travis lost portions of both arms and legs in the explosion, but lived through the attack. Currently, Sergeant Mills is one of just five quadruple-amputees, from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to survive.

Fitted with two prosthetic legs, Travis proudly walked out to center ice prior to Monday’s Islanders game against the Boston Bruins and dropped the puck at the ceremonial faceoff. Travis was a guest of Colin McDonald’s Wounded Warriors initiative and met the Islanders grinder after the game.

Monday night as the Islanders hosted the Bruins, the Islanders welcomed Travis and his family to the game while inviting him to participate in the ceremonial puck drop.

“I am from Michigan so I am obviously a Detroit Red Wings fan, but after tonight I may have been converted to an Islanders fan,” said Mills. “Dropping that puck was an awesome experience with everyone in the crowd was chanting ‘U.S.A.’ I was just trying not to slip and fall.”

Mills was in New York with Operation Warrior Wishes to attend the Super Bowl. Operation Warrior Wishes is a charity that takes wounded veterans to sporting events and offers them unique – usually football – experiences. The organization is treating Travis and his father to the big game on Sunday.

Travis is also in New York to attend the screening of, Travis: A Soldier’s Story, a documentary based on his life. The documentary was screened in Times Square on Wednesday January 29, at 7 p.m.

The movie features intimate eye-witness interviews from the events on that April day, a look into the life of a wounded soldier and the daily inward and outward struggles of a difficult rehabilitation process that wounded veterans face.

A trailer of the movie can be seen at: http://travisthemovie.com/

To find out more about Operation Warrior Wishes please visit: http://operationwarriorwishes.org/

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