Local relatives of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, severely injured in an explosion while on patrol in Afghanistan on Tuesday, want people to send him greetings via a Facebook page for his 25th birthday today.

Mills’ wife, Kelsey Buck Mills, and her brother, Josh Buck, grew up in the Gardiner area before the family moved to Texas, according to their aunt, Tricia Harriman of Augusta.

Kelsey Buck Mills still lives in Texas, and her husband of four years and her brother serve together as staff sergeants with the 82nd Airborne Unit, based in Fort Bragg, N.C. Both men were deployed to Afghanistan when Travis Mills was injured and both are now in Germany, where Travis Mills has undergone a series of surgeries. Family members said he lost both his arms and legs in the explosion.

Harriman said Josh Buck calls his sister with updates about her husband’s condition. Mills’ parents, who live in Vassar, Mich., also get updates. Residents of Vassar planned to hold a rally Friday night to show their support for Mills, according to news reports there.

The Mills have a daughter, Chloe, who is six months old.

A Facebook page “Support for Travis Mills and Family” has updates about Mills’ condition and offers a way to donate $25 to help his family or to contribute to the Wounded Warrior Project, which aids families of wounded service personnel.

“We know the things the Army will take care of, but it’s the things the Army won’t take care of,” she said. “We just really want to get his story out and help him and other soldiers in general.”

Harriman said Friday Mills is due to arrive back in the U.S. soon.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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