Travis Bishop is a former agent with the CIA.
That was all five years before we first meet him. During that half decade away from the Agency, he had been relatively happy living on his horse ranch in Texas. The nightmares from his time with first Delta Force and then as an operative still came to me on many nights but at least the work one ranch, which he largely did himself, was neverending enough to not give him time to think about the old days. He prefers that.
He bought the ranch just a few months before he and the love of his life, Kara, had scheduled to leave the Agency and start a new life raising and training horses. Then Kara went on her final mission to Ecuador and never came back. Now the ranch is his way to deal with her absence.
That and the little sideline he has to earn extra income and to keep in practice - he is a skip-tracer. As he describes what he specializes in is, "It's like being a private investigator. Except I only look for things that have been lost. I don't go after bail jumpers or anything like that. I look for people and things that have skipped town and need to be found and brought back". He does not do it often as he prefers to stay on the ranch but when he does accept a job, he is very good at it.
We learn early on that 6'2" Bishop is a loner. He was also not ""a touchy-feely person. Never had been. He'd spent most of his childhood in foster care, ripped away from the house he knew when his mom died. His heart had broken that day and become shuttered off from the rest of him". The foster home he was sent to was not a nice place and he "spent months trying to avoid nightly beatings when his foster dad .. got drunk. After eight months of it, Travis escaped from the foster home one night, taking what he had in a beat-up backpack and living on the streets until he could join the Army".
"I was with the Army for a while" Bishop tells a guy about his skillset, "was deployed, and managed to pick up a bunch of languages. As my time in the military was coming to the end, I was approached by the CIA. They were looking for people who could speak Russian and some of the other derivatives - things like Croatian, Hungarian, and a few of the other Russian dialects. I picked all those up in my spare time when I was deployed". Obviously someone with extensive spec-ops experience as he had gained in Delta plus the talent with languages made him extremely attractive.
Having served his time and having to deal with the remembrance of some of the things he saw in both services, Bishop was more than ready to leave and with the vanishing of his fiancée, he knew he had no real other choice than to leave.
Now, though, with his recently perfected skills in finding lost things and people that did not want to be found, his usefulness to the Agency has returned.