Welcome All Book Lovers

Welcome All Book Lovers

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tough As They Come by SSG Travis Mills

Thousands have been wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Five have survived quadruple amputee injuries. This is one soldier's story. 

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 would never again be able to lead his squad, stroke his fingers against his wife’s cheek, or pick up his infant daughter.

Travis 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. 

Travis inspires thousands every day with his remarkable journey. He doesn’t want to be thought of as wounded.  “I'm just a man with scars,” he says, “living life to the fullest and best I know how @goodreads



OMG! This book had me sobbing at parts. I'm really glad I got to read this man's story.


This is the story of SSG Travis Mills and how he became the 4th out of 5 quadruple amputee's and survived. Travis talks about life growing up, what it was like, what he wanted to do with his life, things like that. He really wanted to play football but he didn't make the grades out of high school to get asked to play. He decided to go to community college and decided he was wasting his money and then joined up with the military.

Travis talks about the squadron he was in charge of, his friends there, his family, how he met his wife, his baby girl, parents, everything. He's a tough man to go through all the went through and felt that he let his men down. There were a few times in the book that he lost his spirit but he came back and fought all of that away.

The journal entries from his wife in the book and thoughts from his parents just about keeled me over. I cried and cried, and Travis talking about how he felt like he couldn't take care of his family. But his strength and will to fight back as he has done all of this life was a thing of inspiration.. and yeah.. I cried at that too.

I'm going to leave the rest of the review to mostly excerpts from the book because they are just too good. I will comment here and there. I would recommend this book to anyone in the military or that would just like to read about this man. It's truly heartfelt.



My rank was staff sergeant. I was an NCO, part of the backbone of the army. Specifically, I was a weapons squad leader in 1st Platoon, Bravo Troop, 4/73rd Cavalry Squadron, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. It's a long title, I know. Basically I was a paratrooper and a combat infantry soldier. I was a frontline soldier in a war without front lines.

I called Riot up to me and asked him where he thought we should put up the gun. I knew where it should go, but I wanted to let him decide, making sure he knew his stuff. He motioned to exactly where I thought we should put it, a good spot, and I said, "All right. Go get Neff and bring him up here." That was it. Riot left to go get Neff, and as he did, I set my backpack down. The backpack touching the dirt was all it took.
Such a simple act of war.
My world erupted.

Travis goes into great detail of what happens from there and what he remembers, no holds barred, the bad and the ugly and the gore.

The book backtracks back and forth between things that happened.

Okay then, that's what I'd do. For my first deployment, I was going to be one small part of the greater force of ISAF, helping to fight the war against global terror. It felt a lot more purposeful to me than sitting in community college, worrying I was wasting my money.

The morning of April 10, 2012, dawned bright. It was four days until my twenty-five birthday, and we were now six weeks into this deployment.

This was the day he got blown up.... the first family member called was his brother-in-law, Josh Buck, he's in the military too, but was able to get to him and spend the time with him before anyone else.

The nurse brought Josh some of my personal effects that I'd had on me when I was wounded. Among them was my wedding ring. My ring finger had been destroyed, but one of the medic at the scene had thought to find the ring. It was caked with blood and dirt. Josh asked the hospital staff for a couple of alcohol wipes. He sat in the hallway and painstakingly scrubbed until every bit of blood and grime was gone. I was still sedated, and this gave him something productive to do to take his mind off things, he said. He vowed that theh ring would not be out of his possession until he could give it to Kelsey.

When the job was finished, he put the wedding ring in his pocket next to my Purple Heart.

There are some funny parts that happened with Travis and his dad trying to cheer him up. I'm not going to put that here, but I will put in a little convo him and Josh had that cracked me up from all of the crying.

Josh was in my room.
I could see him clearly.
"Josh," I said.
"I see dead people. Don't you?"
"There are no dead people in the room," Josh said flatly. "Go back to sleep, Travis."
Five minutes went by. "Josh?"
"Those dead people are still here."
"Are you serious?"
I cracked a grin. "I'm just messing with you, dude."

I loved this part because I hate when parents don't correct their kids or try to at any rate.

Normally I like kids, and I tried to shrug it off. But the kid kept staring-and staring and staring- and the kid's parent saw her do this but didn't do anything about it. Finally, fed up, I hissed to the kid, "You know who did this to me? The bogeyman in your closet and the monster under your bed."

I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!

I'm leaving you here with one last excerpt:

I don't think what I've gone through is particularly harder than what plenty of other people go through. Maybe your mom has gone through terminal cancer. Or maybe you lost your job. Or maybe you struggle with addiction. I don't compare the degree of difficulty in my story to anybody else's. We all have our unique challenges to go through. The point is that you can keep going You can choose to never give up. You can choose to never quit.


Travis also started the Travis Mills Foundation, which benefits and assists wounded and injured veterans. Check it out:

*I would like to thank BLOGGING FOR BOOKS for a free print copy of this awesome book in exchange for my honest review.*


Travis, his wife Kelsey and their daughter Chloe.



  1. Oh my this looks like a major tearjerker, but very Interesting too.

  2. I saw this book on Blogging for Books and I wondered if I would like it. It really does sound like an amazing story. Wonderful review!

    1. Thank you Carole! I loved it so much, I just can't believe it. I'm glad I got it off there while I had the chance. If you read it let me know. :-)