Staff Sergeant Travis Mills tells the true story of what happened to him after he stepped on an IED during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan while serving in the U.S. Army. Prior to his accident, Sgt. Mills shares with the reader how terrible the daily conditions are for those stationed in another country. While I enjoyed reading this book and I appreciate his honesty, there were times when I felt that Sgt. Mills was giving the reader too much information. Case in point: while I realize that living conditions are very rough for the men and women serving over there, did I really need to know how long the men have to go without showering and what it feels like in detail for a man? Mills describes the sensation of going on patrol, with a lingering odor, while your sticky, unwashed, thighs, cling to your uniform. To be fair, Mills does give a good description of his life before and after his accident. While on patrol with his men, he steps on an IED (improvised exploding device) placed by the Taliban, which damaged both of his arms and legs, leaving him a quadruplegic for life. The man is just twenty-five years old. Travis describes the difficulty in accepting this difficult news, and the transformation that his life took, before being able to come home to his young wife and children. Despite his very difficult hardships, the man never gave up. He even went as fas as stepping up his recovery schedule in therapy against his doctor’s orders. Mills succeeds and is now able to function without his limbs. He travels around as a motivational speaker for others who have gone through similar situations. He is able to help other soldiers who have lost limbs, and have to cope with this new way of life. Travis Mills is a hero without a doubt. I’ve read several books written by soldiers serving in Afghanistan, but never one as precise and detailed as this one. If you have ever wondered what a soldier goes through both mentally and physically on a daily basis while stationed in the middle east, and what they have to endure, this book answers your questions. This book is an excellent read, and once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. It is that good! It is rare when I find a book so good that I look forward to reading it again just to see what I may have missed. I’m happy to report that Tough as they Come, is one of those books, and I can’t wait to read it a second time through!
Today, Travis Mills is retired, and spends his time as a motivational speaker and an advocate for veterans and amputees. He is 1 of only 5 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 helps wounded and injured veterans. For more information, please visit: http://www.travismills.org.
This book was sent to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.