Shirlington 5K to Benefit Army Quadruple Amputee

by ARLnow.com August 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm 5,977 23 Comments

A 5K race in Shirlington next month will benefit an Army staff sergeant who lost all four limbs to an IED in Afghanistan earlier this year.

The 9/11 Heroes Run Shirlington, scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, will feature a 5K race and a 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk. The event is one of nearly three dozen 9/11 Heroes races around the country.

Registration for individuals is $35, while registration for a family of four is $80. Half of the proceeds will benefit the Travis Mills Fund. Sgt. Mills was the fourth quadruple amputee from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries. A father and husband, Mills has been living at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he has been learning to walk on a new set of prosthetic legs.

Mills, a Michigan native, appeared on TV last month and discussed his road to recovery and his optimistic outlook on life. The Mills Fund helps his family pay travel and living expenses that aren’t covered by insurance or the military. The race aims to raise a total of $5,000.

A post-race party will be held at The Bungalow Sports Grill in Shirlington (2766 South Arlington Mill Drive).

Another, unrelated 9-11 memorial race, the Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9-11 Memorial 5K in Crystal City, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8.

Photo via Facebook

  • YTK

    My heart goes out to that brave soldier and his family. I hope the race raises more than $5,000.

  • Rebecca

    I mean this comment for explination purposes only but why doesn’t the military pay his family’s living expenses? That just seems so wrong to me… the man suffered these losses in a war so is that not covered by something? I agree with YTK that i hope he raises more than $5k but I would have also hoped that the military/gov’t would have stepped in further to help his family during his recovery. I don’t know anything about military benefits so perhaps someone could elaborate.

    • Lauren

      Because funding for the military gets cut…people forget that the Defense budget is more than just big bad guns and warships. It includes benefits, schools, healthcare and more. Guess what goes first?

      In order to maintain military readiness, a good thing, resources get cut from all the other areas.

      So, these families have to rely on charity, organizations like Fisher House, and sometimes, they just stay separated because we have so few military hospitals left that can handle these injuries and they just can’t afford to relocate.

      • Contact the Hill

        Not exactly true, Lauren. Congressmen of both parties have appropriated tens of billions [it’s between $40B & $55B in 2010 or 2011, I don’t remember off-hand] for Veterans’ health care and the VA tries to spend every dime … in accordance with the appropriation language that the Hill stipulates. I won’t say that the VA has too much money, but I will say that the rules for spending the money – imposed by Congress – are not coordinated and integrated to ensure that expenses like Sgt Mills’ are always completely covered. The challenge is that each Congressman wants to be “supporting the troops” generally and in their respective districts, specifically, so they put language in the bills to upgrade specific facilities or support programs that are of specific interest to veterans in their districts and/or similar districts. None of this is bad in principle, but it is cumbersome, inefficient, and sometimes ineffective is addressing all scenarios. What this does is create a web of funding that covers some issues/facilities/treatment programs redundantly and leaves gaps for others. Due to the language in the appropriation, the VA doesn’t have the latitude to move money around to fill in the gaps because the Congressman involved would have a subsidized cow if the money HE appropriated was re-directed to some other purpose. Hope this helps.

        • Lauren

          Um, the VA and the branches of the Armed forces, one of which is responsible for Walter Reed, are entirely different. When a member is injured, the VA does not step in. The care for…veterans. You don’t automatically become one when you are injured.

          I stand by my statement because I live it every day.

          • Contact the Hill

            Same holds true for Defense Health Care. Same OMB office. Same klugy appropriations language.

    • Jackson5

      For starters, I don’t know all of the details of his injuries or his retirement. I work in the DoD finance world but not in VA Benefits. But wether he is active duty still or out of the service at 100% disability he is not being paid much.

      He is a staff Sgt, a E-6. If he is still active duty and say an average of 8 years in service, then his pay is $3143 (not including other pays he may receive) a month (source http://www.militaryfactory.com/military_pay_scale.asp)

      But as you can see at http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/Rates/comp01.htm The maximum amount of VA reimbursement for a 100% disabled soldier with spouse and child is $3121, which is $37.4K a year. I don’t know what additional pays he receives is he is no longer active duty.

      I provide this for basic info…and as a very general guide.

  • JackFan

    Thanks for linking to this Arlnow. I’m all signed up and raring to go! God bless you Travis.

    • Excellent!

      • novasteve

        Is there a way we can sponsor runners if we’re going to be out of town?

  • Director Shirlington 9/11 Heroes Run

    As a matter of fact, you can sponsor a person. If you click on the link to the registration, there is an option to find a runner/team that you can sponsor. Thanks for the help!

    • novasteve

      Thanks, when people start appearing on it I will sponsor.

    • YTK

      WOW that is GREAT!! I hope the newspapers and local TV stations pick this up.

  • Alex

    This is such a wonderful demonstration of generosity and compassion!

  • CrystalMikey

    If I’m in town, I’m so running it. If not, at least donating. Thanks for putting the word out ARLnow!

  • Wow

    That guy lost four limbs and is still smiling. Much, much respect.

    I should never complain about anything again.

  • Bdgrgl

    Can ARLNOW promote this in the right side column until race day? Or at least write up about it the week of?

  • Casper

    I’d love to run this race to support Sgt. Mills! However I do have a question. According to this article and the race website only 50% of race proceeds will benefit the Travis Mills Fund. Where will the other 50% of my donation go? I can’t tell from the race website. I’m fine with the rest of the money going to help another wounded military person and their family but I’m not fine with 50% going to a charity’s overhead costs, including charity employees’ salaries.

    • Jdoew

      I think the overhead costs are associated with the race itself, not the charities salaries. The race sponsors have to pay for the road permits, EMS personnel, police personnel, race bibs, timing equipment, etc. It’s not cheap to put on a road race.

      • CrystalMikey


  • Director Shirlington 9/11 Heroes Run

    For the sake of those asking, the money raised for this event is split 50/50 with the Travis Mills family and also the Travis Manion Foundation. When I decided to put this run on, there were a lot of unexpected costs that come with making a race happen. Road closures, timing equipment, registration websites, water, etc. These costs were going to come out of the money that came in from registrations and donations. The costs were very significant. When I teamed up with the Travis Manion Foundation who hosts the 9/11 Heroes Run Race Series, they told me they would pay for all costs of the race, and then we would split the money that comes in 50/50. This way, the Travis Manion Foundation can continue helping the families of other soldiers. They were a real blessing when it came to this. If it weren’t for them, we would’ve needed over 400 people to sign up for the race just to cover the costs and break even. Now even if only 10 people sign up, we still raise money for the Travis Mills family. Granted, we still want as many people as possible to join us for this event! Hope this clears things up. Please spread the word!!

  • Casper

    Race director, thank you for your response on the cost of the race. I’ll gather as many running friends as I can and will see you on September 29!


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