BOOK REVIEW: Not yet twenty-five years old and already on his third combat tour in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Staff Sergent Travis Mills never backed down from the toughest challenges. But that was before the day when, on a routine mission, an IED exploded beneath him. Against the odds, he lived, but at incredible cost: Travis became one of only five soldiers from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to survive a quadruple amputation. Still, his greatest challenge lay ahead. Would he be tough enough to make a life he actually wanted?
In this remarkable memoir, Travis recalls his action-packed tours of duty with the legendary 82nd Airborne Division, the agony of the explosion, and the traumatic days that followed. Then he takes the reader on the ultimate, odds-defying adventure, where in his darkest hours he finds the willpower to push through pain and reach again for hope, this time with artificial limbs.
TOUGH AS THEY COME is a riveting story of endurance, unconditional love of family, and deep faith that will inspire anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed by the odds. Today, Travis swims, dances with his wife, rides mountain bikes, drives his daughter to school, and travels the country inspiring millions with his never-look-back, never-give-up story.
MY REVIEW: I do not generally like biographies or autobiographies, but this book I enjoyed. The first chapter gives a detailed account of the explosion, then from chapter two on he backs up and tells of his life from beginning to present.
From an early age, Travis's father instilled in him a never-quit attitude. On top of that, Travis was always big for his age; this coupled with his comical, easy-going attitude made him stand out as a fearless, fun, on-top-of-everything guy. He joined the army after one year of college, at the age of nineteen. He decided to join the 82nd Airborne Division, known for its bravery and accomplishments. Travis went on three tours to Afghanistan, each several months long. The first was the easiest one, as he was aid to one of his higher-ups. The second was much worse. They lived for days in the hot, bare dessert, with no running water, no bathrooms, and basically no beds. Their job was to stop the Taliban, who were trying to overtake the country. And then the third one. After only six weeks, Travis accidentally stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device). He was hurled over, and lost his arm and a leg. His other leg was attached by threads which later came off, and his other arm was later amputated halfway between his hand and elbow. This left him one of only five men to survive a quadruple amputation.
It was interesting to read about Travis' recovery. He had a hard time for the first while, just getting used to the idea that he no longer had limbs. And then he decided he wasn't going to quit. He had amazing support from his parents, siblings, and his wife and daughter. He eventually learned to do many of the things he had done before, such as driving, mountain biking, and swimming. He is now running an institute for veteran amputees in Maine and traveling the world as a motivational speaker.
This book was definitely worth the read, and I am very glad I had the chance to do so.
I recieved this book from BLOGGING FOR BOOKS in exchange for my honest reveiw.