Tough As They Come
by Travis Mills,
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Convergent Books
Released: Oct. 27, 2015
Source: Review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.
Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
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 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.
Tough As They Come is a memoir. The first two-thirds of the book described Travis Mill's childhood and 3 deployments in Afghanistan. He describes daily life and some of the action he took part in. He doesn't "talk technical," so his story is easy to follow and to get a sense of what it's like.
The last third of the book talked about the IED blast and his recovery. From the book description, I'd expected most of the book to be about his recovery, but he's not the type of guy to dwell on the past. It's part of the reason he's doing so well. He's also always up for a challenge, has a positive attitude, and has the support of a loving family. He gave enough details that you can understand what he and his family went through and how they made it through. To give an idea of what Travis is like, here's a quote (from an ARC, so the final version might be different) from page 246:
"Hard times come to everybody. When hard times happen, we have a choice to make. We can become discouraged and bitter, or we can choose to never quit. When life gets hard, the key is just to keep pushing forward. Instead of saying, "It could be worse," the key is to say, "It's going to get better." Then work with all your might toward that goal."
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.