UNITY, Maine — A soldier who lost all four limbs in an explosion in Afghanistan and created a foundation to help other war-injured veterans had some advice Saturday for graduating seniors at Unity College.
Travis Mills told the group that it’s impossible to change the past, so it’s important to keep looking forward. He also told them that it’s important to remember that they can control their attitude even when they can’t control their circumstances.
“No matter what, life goes on,” Mills told the crowd. “It’s going to always get better if you make it that way.”
The Travis Mills Foundation brings war-injured military personnel to a retreat in Maine to continue their recovery surrounded by family and those who understand.
Mills mixed his inspirational talk on Saturday with self-deprecating quips, such as one about how he never gets a speeding ticket when he gets pulled over. He also received an honorary doctorate and joked about finally getting a degree. Mills attended community college in Michigan before joining the Army.
Elsewhere, Democratic Gov. Janet Mills delivered the commencement address at the University of Southern Maine. She talked about the importance of adversity, and not giving up. “I hope that you are never afraid to fail and that you dare greatly,” she said beforehand.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, delivered the commencement at Husson University in Bangor.
Bridget Ziegelarr, operations manager for NASA’s International Space Station Research Integration Office, addressed her alma mater at the University of Maine, in Orono.
Commencements also were held Saturday at other University of Maine System campuses in Augusta, Farmington, Presque Isle and Fort Kent, while the University of Maine at Machias will hold its commencement exercises on Sunday.