Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tough As They Come

I don’t typically gravitate towards books about the actual fighting in a war but the few I’ve read have stayed with me. And TOUGH AS THEY COME by SSG Travis Mills will too. He begins the book with the day he goes out on a routine mission that nearly killed him. I cannot even imagine living through something like this, but he not only survived (a great miracle), but is now helping other veterans who’ve been severely wounded to live theirs. I enjoyed getting to know this small-town young man; I have always loved small towns and he captures all the fun and closeness of living in one where football rules and boys grow up to be men. And become brothers in arms. The thing that impressed me most was how seriously he takes his role as a man, as a husband, as a father, and as a soldier. He is a leader through and through.

The fact that he was wounded so severely does not make him pitiful. Of course, he wishes he still had all his limbs, but he is moving forward, pushing himself. His courage and determination are infectious. I loved how he encouraged other soldiers who’d arrive at Walter Reed. And this memoir inspires me to never give up.

The bulk of the book describes his three deployments to Afghanistan with the famous 82nd Airborne Division. Until I read this book, I had no idea the how very dangerous it’s been for our men to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan where you couldn’t necessarily trust the Afghanis either. But here they were, fighting to give them a better life. And today we “sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” Thank you SSG Mills and all the others who have served our country so fearlessly so that we might sleep in peace. God bless you!
Thanks to Blogging for Books for a review copy of TOUGH AS THEY COME. I highly recommend it to all who are 14 years or older.
When I read this book, I remembered Trent Reedy’s WORDS IN THE DUST, based upon his experiences serving in Afghanistan. He paints a picture of what it’s like to be an Afghani girl. I’m reading another one of his books, IF YOU’RE READING THIS, that I am enjoying immensely. And he has a new series of books of what it would be like if America were divided.
Right before I picked up TOUGH, I’d read Padma Venkatraman’s free-verse novel A TIME TO DANCE. The two books are completely different but what they have in common is the indomitable spirit of people who face tragedy with courage.
Happy reading, say Benny and Jules :) 


Mirka Breen said...

Thank you for honoring the heroes by highlighting these book, Vijaya.

Vijaya said...

Heroes indeed! I know many of them don't liked to be called that because they were just doing their job, but to serve and sacrifice is heroic.

ClaudineGueh@CarryUsOffBooks said...

I'll have to check them out. Our world needs more Bravery.