Monday, February 8, 2016

Tough As They Come by SSG Travos Mills

Thousands have been wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Five have survived quadruple amputee injuries. This is one soldier's story. 

Thousands of soldiers die year to defend their country. United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills was sure that he would become another statistic when, during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, he was caught in an IED blast four days before his twenty-fifth birthday. Against the odds, he lived, but at a severe cost—Travis became one of only five soldiers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to survive a quadruple amputation. 

Suddenly forced to reconcile with the fact that he no longer had arms or legs, Travis was faced with a future drastically different from the one he had imagined for himself. He would never again be able to lead his squad, stroke his fingers against his wife’s cheek, or pick up his infant daughter. 

Travis struggled through the painful and anxious days of rehabilitation so that he could regain the strength to live his life to the fullest.  With enormous willpower and endurance, the unconditional love of his family, and a generous amount of faith, Travis shocked everyone with his remarkable recovery. Even without limbs, he still swims, dances with his wife, rides mountain bikes, and drives his daughter to school.  

Travis inspires thousands every day with his remarkable journey. He doesn’t want to be thought of as wounded.  “I'm just a man with scars,” he says, “living life to the fullest and best I know how.”

My review:

  I had never heard of Travis Mills until someone shared a video of him on Facebook. I watched it and was amazed at the attitude he had. The very next day, I got an email offering his book for review; so I grabbed it.

  Travis' story is an amazing story. He is one of a very few vets who have survived losing all of his limbs. He pulls no punches in telling how he felt upon waking up and finding out the devastating news, and of his successful struggles to get through rehab faster than they said it would happen.

  His tales of what he went through learning to walk, drive, and do tasks that we take for granted are not just inspiring, but bring up a thankfulness in me for our soldiers and what they face, go through, and give up to fight for our freedoms and go where our country tells them to go.

 I found tears in my eyes at different times in the book. Though this is an encouraging and inspiring book, it is an emotional one. Travis has a great outlook and sense of humor, and it comes through loud and clear in this book. I highly recommend it.

About the author:

Retired U.S. Army staff sergeant TRAVIS MILLS of the 82nd Airborne is a wounded warrior, motivational speaker, and international advocate for veterans and amputees. He is one of only five servicemen from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ever to survive his injuries as a quadruple amputee. He started the Travis Mills Foundation, which benefits and assists wounded and injured veterans.

Tough As They Come is available from Convergent books, part of the Penguin Random House Publishing Group.

Thanks to PRH for the review copy.