Meet Travis

Mistakes of our past do not define our future and mirrors rarely lie. If we take a hard look at our reflection and do not like what we see, then we must hold ourselves accountable for our choices, our actions, and our lives.  My name is Travis Salsman, and I am the Red-Blooded American Misfit. I say misfit because for most of my life, I never fit in anywhere. I was born into a military family, your typical army brat for the first 18 years of my life and I bounced around more than a ping-pong ball on a college beer pong table. I was raised to be polite, respectful, and kind. My family emphasized the golden rule, “treat others how you want to be treated,” and I always did my best to live by that rule. I was a good kid, although I got into my fair share of trouble.

Growing-up, I always wanted to save the day and be a hero to someone, most likely because I needed a hero in my own life. I was being bullied at home by my stepfather. He looked at me and most likely seen my biological father, and we rarely got along. The bullies got worse in school, most days it seemed as if there was no escape from torment. I was smaller than most kids, diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, and put into a few Special Ed classes. They saw me as puny, weak, and different. These traits made me a massive target and often it was hard to avoid the cutting arrows of hate that were aimed at me daily.

I was always the new kid, every few years until my stepfather was transferred. Moving around made it hard to make friends or find a group to call my own.  We moved to the Detroit area in the middle of my 6th grade year and the bullying followed me like a predator stalking its prey.  I was even being bullied in my youth group at church, so much for the golden rule. By 9th grade I couldn’t take the abuse anymore, I entered my rebellious years and started fighting with anyone who hurt me or other kids they thought were weaker.

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A short part of this story is shared in a book called “Bully in the Mirror”.  I became the bully to the bullies and started down a dark path. Growing up in the 90’s, I was highly influenced by hip-hop culture, and I started following the other lost, bad boys that were portrayed in the songs that I loved. I searched for a connection with these so called “bad boys”, due to the lack of a trusted father in my own household. I became a volunteer victim of my own emotions, choices, actions, and life. I continued down a dark path for all my teen and younger adult years. I floated through life carefree, working in the nightlife industry as a DJ, and in the hospitality industry between gigs.  I never made plans for my future until one day, I could no longer stand my own reflection and knew that I needed to change before I ended up in prison or dead like many of my unfortunate friends. I saw that man in the mirror and decided that I needed to make many changes.

Changes started to occur in 2008.  I became an entrepreneur and realized the importance of self-improvement and building relationships with others. This realization led me on the journey to my passion project, Make Peace with Police. Given my history and life-choices, I wasn’t a fan of the police, but I wasn’t their enemy either. I just tried to dodge them and avoid the possible consequences of my actions at the time. Through self-reflection and education, I realized that many of my life-choices influenced my views of law enforcement. By developing Make Peace with Police, I began to see myself judged by my appearance the same way officers are often judged by their uniform. This had never been a problem for me when I was part of the problem and not the solution. This also inspired me to take on another endeavor and develop my own brand the Red-Blooded American Misfit, to share my story and experiences as a misfit. My team and I will be working to grow the educational platform, Saving Lives by Changing Lives Academy, to help people take responsibility for their own choices and actions through support and education.  I desire to create a path easier and faster than the one that I had to cut myself.

My life has truly been a journey. And I am grateful for all of life’s lessons and blessings that it has offered me. Sometimes in life, one minor change to your path can redirect the course of your entire life.  I have conquered abuse, bullies, alcohol, drugs, homelessness, and I was able to do that because I never gave up on myself. Now I desire to help others change their lives with the platforms that I created with the help of some talented friends. Join our community on a journey of education, growth and helping lift others up. The Red-Blooded American Misfit community wants to hear your stories of self-discovery/self-revolution. Share your stories with our community at