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Travis Tullis

February 26, 1979 – April 10, 2017

3rd Infantry Division

“Travis lived in Beech Island SC, and had one child, Jade Madison Tullis. He lived most of his life in Aiken County. He was a veteran of the United States Army, serving in Iraq. He was married twice. His dad is Baxter Vinson, brother, Felix Vinson, sister, Jennifer Tullis, nieces Alia and Harliann, a nephew, Mason, and myself, his mom, Rose Tullis.”

He loved the Carolina Gamecocks, the Atlanta Braves, and the Falcons and was a die-hard fan. He played sports: baseball and football from the first grade on. He was his daughters coach during soccer and T-ball, and also coached girls fast pitch softball. Travis was a mentor to many of the young people in the community. He loved his family and his daughter was his world, and he was hers.

He was as close as it comes to being a perfect son growing up – he never gave me any problems and never got in any trouble. Every teacher loved him and so did his classmates. He was the first to offer help and the last one to ask for it. He had a good job at Halocarbon Chemical Co. He loved get-togethers with friends and family, and just having a good time.

He loved his country and was a true Hero even in death, because he was an organ donor. His heart never stopped before he was put on the life support. I would love to meet some of the people whose life he saved. Travis was my Hero long before that. He was my Hero the day he was born. He showed me what love was – loving unconditionally. He is My Hero, My Son and always his momma’s baby boy, although he would get all embarrassed if I said so. He is loved and missed dearly.” Shared by Rose, his mother.

Spreading awareness of veteran suicide and prevention was a cause Travis embraced. Suffering from PTSD himself, on an April night, he went to the VA and urgently stated he needed help. A security officer escorted him to the ER and said he needed to wait for the social worker. In completing the paperwork, he wrote “I almost shot myself.” He then waited and waited. Someone came to take his vitals. He stormed out, receiving no treatment. When they finally read his paperwork and realized he was in crisis, they ordered a welfare check at his home (using the wrong address). He returned and shot himself in his car, literally in the shadow of the VA Hospital.

Taking up the cause of suicide awareness and prevention, his family has gone on to participate in Out of the Darkness walks in his honor and memory in order to reach others that need support and crisis intervention. They have also raised money to assist the efforts of the organization Stop Soldier Suicide.