Baird Brothers Hometown Hero: Chris Miller

Baird Brothers Hometown Hero: Chris Miller

On the road of life, sometimes certain people are meant to cross paths. Corporal Chris Miller is one of those people for Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods. We met Chris a few years back when he stopped into our showroom with a small project.

After talking with him, we quickly learned more about his story and how he is using his own experiences to support other veterans in need. Chris himself is a retired wounded Marine who has made it his life’s mission to advocate for other veterans, specifically bringing awareness to three incredible organizations: The Travis Mills Foundation, Dogs For Our Brave, and The Independence Fund. 

The “Why” Behind the Action…


Throughout our 60 years, Baird Brothers has always been American made and American proud. And, while we try to do our part to make a difference throughout our community, we also love to see the ways in which our customers make an impact. Chris, for instance, works to help his fellow veterans deal with the scars, both seen and unseen, that they return with after working to defend our freedoms.

The Travis Mills Foundation

In 2013, Travis Mills (U.S. Army Staff Sergeant and recalibrated warrior / motivational speaker / advocate for veterans and amputees) and his wife founded The Travis Mills Foundation, an organization that assists veterans injured as a result of their service to our nation. Travis, who overcame a quadruple amputation from an IED in Afghanistan, envisioned The Travis Mills Foundation to be an organization that supports recalibrated veterans and their families through long-term programs that help them overcome physical obstacles and strengthen their families.

The organization’s retreat offers an all-inclusive, all-expenses-paid trip to their facility in Maine where families can bond with other veteran families and enjoy rest and relaxation in the great outdoors. Chris and his family were lucky enough to visit the Travis Mills Foundation Retreat, and Chris is quick to note that the experience changed his life in many different ways. 

“While staying at the retreat, you don’t have to feel like a burden. You can be a father, a mother, and don’t have to look at your disabilities as an issue or a problem,” says Chris.

After his stay, Chris was asked to be an ambassador for the Foundation.

To learn more about Travis’s story, check out Travis: A Soldier’s Story, an award-winning documentary, starring Travis himself.

Dogs for Our Brave

Dogs For Our Brave is a nonprofit organization that provides professionally trained service and companion dogs—at no cost—to veterans with special needs. Founder Andy Gladstein and his friend, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Roseberry, came up with the idea in 2013, and Dogs for Our Brave officially placed their first service dog (Gabby) with Chris in 2014.

In realizing that the training and caring for service dogs is extremely expensive (roughly $25,000), and that the average veteran can’t afford such an expense, Andy knew that in order for the organization to be successful, Dogs For Our Brave needed to completely cover all the costs associated with their service dogs. After meeting with trainers, experts, shelters, and veterinarians, he put together a plan that would result in the placing of numerous service dogs with veterans in need. 

While at the Travis Mills Foundation Retreat, Chris was told about Dogs For Our Brave. Not long after returning home from his retreat, he received a phone call about getting his own service dog from the organization. 

Zulu, a Lab and Rottweiler mix, joined Chris’s family and has quickly changed his life forever. Ask Chris, and he’ll tell you that Zulu has “saved his life,” helping him perform daily tasks that he’s battled with since sustaining his injuries and being a source of comfort in times of hardship. 

To help other veterans who may be in need of a service dog companion, Chris became an ambassador for the Dogs for Our Brave organization.

The Independence Fund

The Independence Fund was founded in 2007 and is committed to empowering wounded, injured, or ill veterans to overcome their physical, mental, and emotional wounds from serving in the line of duty. They provide resources and tools (like mobility devices, adaptive sports, and family programs) that enable veterans to regain and sustain their independence. 

Chris was presented with a Trackchair from The Independence Fund while on stage at a Florida Georgia Line concert. And yes, Zulu was right there by his side! 

Because of his Trackchair, going outside is no longer an issue for Chris. The all terrain power chair is the first of its kind and comes complete with tank tracks, allowing users to go anywhere, both indoors and outside.

For more information about The Independence Fund, visit their Facebook page.

Getting Involved

After seeing the ways in which Chris was making a difference with these organizations, Baird Brothers knew that we wanted to do something to help him in return! 

Earlier this year, Chris and his family started building their ADA compliant home so that Chris could age in a place, despite his injuries. We knew right away this would be a great opportunity to give back to our local hero, and we proudly worked with him to help install character grade hickory flooring, which provides a suitable, wheelchair-friendly surface that gives the look and feel he and his family envisioned for their dream home. 

Baird Brothers Hometown Hero: Chris Miller

Baird Brothers Hometown Hero: Chris Miller

At Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods, we proudly salute the current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces today and every day!

God Bless America!