- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Convergent Books; Reprint edition (October 25, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781101904800
- ISBN-13: 978-1101904800
- ASIN: 1101904801
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 313 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tough As They Come Paperback – October 25, 2016
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“[Mills is] thriving, not just surviving, and inspiring others to overcome their own seemingly insurmountable obstacles.” – TribLive
“A story of hope and resilience, and a reminder that no matter what life may throw at us, as Travis says, as long as we “Never Give Up, Never Quit”, we can achieve anything we set our hearts and minds to. He is quite simply a great American and an example for us all.” – Gary Sinise, Actor, Director, Veterans Advocate and founder of Gary Sinise Foundation
“This book exemplifies the qualities that made Travis an outstanding soldier: it is gutsy and honest, filled with humor even in the darkest moments, and always driven by a love for both family and country.” – Troy Aikman, NFL Hall Fame Quarterback
"The problem with guys like Travis, is they make guys like me look like lazy whiners. What this man did for our country is heroic. What he sacrificed is unimaginable. And what he's written is simply unforgettable. Read it. I promise you'll feel better about whatever ails you." – Mike Rowe, TV host, writer, narrator, producer, and actor
About the Author
Retired U.S. Army staff sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne is a recalibrated warrior, motivational speaker, and international advocate for veterans and amputees. He is one of only five 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 assists wounded and injured veterans. www.travismills.org
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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.
It is against this background that I read Travis Mills’ powerful memoir, “Tough as They Come”. As is emphasized at the beginning, Mills is one of – to date – five surviving quadruple amputees among the wounded veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. His injuries occurred on April 10, 2012, when his unit was attempting to clear IEDs, and missed one. Simple math tells us that in the three years since that event, Mills has made an incredible journey to recovery and a full and productive life. Not only is he completely functional and self-reliant, driving his own car, participating in sports such as running, cycling and skiing; he is also an active promoter of programs to rehabilitate others. He started the Travis Mills Foundation which benefits and assists wounded and injured veterans, and is a much sought-after motivational speaker.
The story itself is told with a great deal of honesty and simplicity. Although profoundly patriotic and completely convinced that he was fighting to uphold the ideals of “the American Way”, Mills does not sugarcoat the difficulties of the particular conflict with which he was involved. His descriptions of the conditions in the FOB where he spent most of his second deployment are stark indeed. He makes it clear that for him and most of the men with whom he served, it is not high-minded altruism but simply commitment to one another and to doing their best in the tough situations in which they were placed that kept them going. He states that attitude is everything, and explains that for him, the choice to respond to frustrations and pain with humor rather than anger and bitterness made a huge difference, both during the time of his active service and afterwards during his recovery and rehabilitation from his injuries.
Thus, despite my profound skepticism about our “war culture” in general, I have to validate Travis Mills and the depth and humanity of his story with the highest rating.
Could not put this book down. Thank you Travis Mills
for your courage, determination and the love you have
for your country, your friends and, especially, for your family
But Travis Mills? He is the kind of guy you would want as your brother, husband, son, or best friend. He's so down-to-earth that his first thoughts are about others. You root from him from the first pages of the book, and marvel at his great attitude & humor.
His injuries and adjustment are not white-washed - he shares in detail the horrible physical and emotional pain that only a few other people in the world can relate to. Reading about his intense, solitary, intimate pain makes his victory over it all so much more miraculous. His humor & desire to help others is not only what saves him, but what saves others.
His wife is what every wife should endeavor to become - she is strong, yet gentle & kind, and absolutely full of love for her man, come hell or high water. Their little girl has wonderful role models who know what adversity is & how to help her through whatever may come.
I wish their family the best - I know they will use it for good.