Tough As They Come by Travis Mills {book review}

Tough As They Come by Travis Mills with Marcus Brotherton {book review}

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

Mills - Tough As They Come


Thousands of soldiers die each 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.”

My Reaction:

This story is fabulous.  Travis Mills has a story to tell, and you should read it.

This review is difficult to write.  It is difficult to evaluate a book that is an expression of the author’s life.  Who am I to comment on his person or how he deals with life as it happens to him?  My difficulty in commenting on his time in Afghanistan is that my son was in the army’s 4th Infantry Division team which took over for the author’s 82nd Airborne Division’s team at the end of his second deployment.

My first observation is that the author, Travis Mills, is a bit arrogant from the get-go.  After reading the whole book, I believe this is what made him such a good leader in the Army.  His description of deployment:  “Life in the Afghan outback was the military version of Seinfeld , an endless show about nothing.”

I was surprised to learn that the Taliban is basically a drug cartel, which controls the bulk of the world’s heroin business, 87% of which originates in Afghanistan.  According to SSG Travis Mills this war is not religious, it’s about money. (page 154)

The story is overwhelming, more so in light of the fact that the author is not yet 30 years old.  The amount of life experience is incredible.  It is beyond me to comment on the deployment part of the book, except to say that it will leave you, the reader, feeling as though you were there.  It is an honest account without being unduly terrifying.  I will leave it at that.

As to the author’s rehabilitation for losing four limbs, he has an incredible support system.  His wife and her parents, and his parents, have been incredibly involved in his rehabilitation.  The fact that he does not have PTSD is an amazing blessing.  My son is not an amputee, but has PTSD and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).

SSG Travis Mills is an incredibly strong young man.  Thank you, Travis, for your service, not only in the Army, but now as you continue to support your fellow warriors and fellow amputees.  Your book moved me greatly.  God bless you in your brave life as husband, father, son and brother.

The author’s message to his readers on 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 never to 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.

I highly recommend this book to those who want an inside look at overcoming adversity with great courage and determination.  Travis Mills is a great example to anyone who lacks motivation in his or her circumstances.

I received my copy of Tough As They Come from the  publisher in exchange for my honest review.  My opinions are my own.

My rating:  four stars

For more information about SSG Travis Mills, his foundation and social media sites, please visit his website.


“[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

Marcus Brotherton


Marcus Brotherton is a journalist and professional writer, known internationally for his literary collaborations with high-profile public figures, humanitarians, inspirational leaders, and military personnel.

He is the author of the national bestsellers A Company of Heroes, We Who Are Alive and Remain, and the coauthor of Call of Duty with Lieutenant Lynn “Buck” Compton.

To read more about Marcus Brotherton please go to his website.

My review is also posted on Goodreads.

I have posted this review on Blogging for Books, who supplied me with the book in return for my honest review.

This review is posted on where it may be purchased.


2 thoughts on “Tough As They Come by Travis Mills {book review}

  1. Karen says:

    Hi Joyce, may I join you in thanking Travis for his service and your son and all of the brave men and women who fight for us – and all the families, all the sacrifices all of their families have made – it is so appreciated. And thank you to you, as the mom of a son injured – may God bless and keep you all in His loving care ♥


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