Top positive review
Every American should read this book.
Reviewed in the United States on August 24, 2017
This is an excerpt from the Facebook post I wrote immediately after finishing this book:
You know when you finish a book and just can’t stop thinking about it? When it sticks with you. Leaves you wanting to immediately read it again. When it makes you want to be a BETTER PERSON… I spent this week in paradise, reading the autobiography of a man who’s been through hell. It’s a book I feel certain every human should read.
About three years ago, I read an article about actor Gary Sinise’s foundation that builds adaptive houses for wounded veterans. Researching that charity, led me to a video of the home he built for SSG Travis Mills and his beautiful family. I started following Travis on Facebook, reading about his incredible story, finding inspiration in his posts. Last fall, I bought his book, Tough as They Come, the day it was released.
Now I have a bunch of author friends who keep my kindle overstocked and my ‘to-be-read’ pile way too long, but I think I put off reading this story because I thought it would be hard
His words are like a salve. You laugh and cry. (Sometimes at the same time. Literally laughing with balls of snot rolling down your face.) Travis Mills is funny. He’s one of those guys whose big personality takes up more space in the room. One of those guys you instantly feel safer being around. A person people gravitate toward. You can tell all that by the second chapter. You can also tell he’s made of something a little different than the rest of us.
His book tells simple front-line truths about war – the day-in-day-out of three tours in Afghanistan – that every single American should know. Hint: it’s not the picture we get from CNN. (Four showers in one year?) He talks about brotherhood and duty and never quitting. And you realize that our world is safe solely because men and women like Travis are still sleeping somewhere in the dirt tonight, surviving only on MREs and their incredible sense of honor.
Travis is one of only five surviving quadruple amputees. Days shy of his 25th birthday an IED claimed both his legs and arms. Think about that for a minute. (As he jokes in his book – snap your fingers and wiggle your toes… life’s not that bad.) The story of his recovery is inspiring. Almost as much as the journey he and his (AMAZING) wife, Kelsey, are now taking to help other men and women like him.
He’s never quit. He’s still serving his countrymen.
“To live a life in freedom is cherished, desired, worth fighting for, worth getting wounded for, and even worth dying for.”
I stopped ¾ of the way through the book and said to my husband, ‘I don’t know how guys like this aren’t totally pissed off at the rest of us.’ Here they are sacrificing for us and we are trying so hard to screw it up. They’ve gone across the world to live in dirt while people shoot at them. We sit at home behind our entitled keyboards and hurl nastiness. We stand in streets and fight with one another like school children who’ve forgotten old lessons.
We owe it Travis to be better Americans.
To be better humans.
To honor the superheroes among us.
Lay down your keyboards. Pick up his book.
You'll be better for it.