Archive | May, 2016

Tough as they Come By SSG. Travis Mills

5 May

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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!

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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.

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This book was sent to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Clint Hill, an amazing man!

2 May

Clint Hill.clint hill and book If you grew up in the 1950-60’s like I did, then you know the name. If you didn’t, well, all you have to do is Google it. People in my generation usually ask the famous question, ‘Where were you when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated?’ The response’s vary because no two people have the same answer. I was just five years old when this tragic event occurred on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. I remember seeing footage of a United States Secret Service agent jumping off the running board of a follow-up car, and rushing to the aid of the President. That agent was Clint Hill.  Mr. Hill gently pushed Mrs. Kennedy down in the back seat, and then he stretched out his body as a shield to protect them, as he had been trained to do. He stayed in that position all the way to the hospital. He also stayed with Mrs. Kennedy until they arrived back in Washington, D.C. later that evening.

mrs kennedy and me

What is interesting is that Clint Hill was assigned to protect Mrs. Kennedy. In fact, he wrote a book, “Mrs. Kenney and Me,” in which he describes all the good times that he had in doing so. As First Lady, Mrs. Kennedy traveled around the world, and sometimes with her husband, and there was Agent Hill not too far from her, wherever she went. Clint describes the Kennedy children, and President Kennedy himself. The President gave Clint Hill some gifts from time to time, and he still has them, and treasures them. Although Clint was probably considered one of the Kennedy family, often spending holidays and vacations with the Kennedys,  it is interesting to note that Jackie always called him, Mr. Hill, and he always called her Mrs. Kennedy. Very professional of him. They had a great relationship, and it shows.

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Now, Clint Hill has written another book, ” The Five Presidents.” He worked for President’s Eisenhower, Johnson, Kennedy, Nixon, and Ford. The book comes out tomorrow, May 3, 2016.I am looking forward to reading Mr. Hill’s book. He always has some interesting stories, and I am so glad that he took the time to remember them, and to share them with us. Today, Clint Hill is as busy as ever. He is currently on a book tour to promote his new book. I will be reading his book, and will do a book review of it as soon as I can.

Yes, Clint Hill was a man who, if you ask him, was merely doing his job. But, what a fascinating job he had. Protecting the First Family, and traveling around the world. It helps to be in the right place, at the right time!

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