A veteran and quadruple amputee has been impacted by theft three times since moving to Maine, and trying to build a retreat for other wounded warriors.
Power tools worth thousands of dollars were recently stolen from contractors building a retreat for the Travis Mills Foundation in Rome, Maine.
“It’s just unfair the way people think it’s okay to steal,” said Travis Mills, founder of the foundation.
In 2014, someone stole tools from Mills’ personal home in Manchester, Maine. Then in 2015, three people were charged with breaking into the Augusta Elks Lodge and stealing $15,000 earmarked for his foundation.
Now, the contractors turning the old Elizabeth Arden estate into a veterans’ retreat are out thousands of dollars and lost a day of labor.
“We’re going to keep pushing forward,” said Mills. “We’re going to live by the motto that I have, ‘Never give up, never quit.’ And we’re going to get this job done.”
Lynn Harvey, Executive Director of the Travis Mills Foundation, said their goal is to open the estate to families next summer. First, veteran amputees and their families will be able to stay for a week during the summer.
“Kayaking, boating, tubing, pretty much whatever they want, we’re going to absolutely make happen,” said Harvey. “They don’t have to live life on the sidelines.”
It’s a $2.7 million project to update the Arden estate.
“Every dollar is going to help us, and really make this Maine’s gift to the nation,” said Harvey.
Anyone with information about the tool theft in Rome is asked to contact Maine State Police Sgt. Alden Bustard at Alden.E.Bustard@Maine.Gov.