“Tuesday Takes Me There” reminds America everything will be OK

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The cover of “Tuesday Takes Me There: The Healing Journey of a Veteran and his Service Dog”

Courtesy of Luis Carlos Montalvan

Reading “Tuesday Takes Me There: The Healing Journey of a Veteran and his Service Dog” is like having a book holding onto the reader’s hand through an exciting, caring and meaningful adventure.

“Tuesday Takes Me There” (with Bret Witter, photography by Dan Dion, Post Hill Press) is the story of a service dog named Tuesday, guiding his best friend, former Army Capt. Luis Carlos Montalván, on a cross-country trip to an important destination. The book starts with Luis and Tuesday staying with Luis’ friend Mike and ends with, well, spoiling the ending would not be nice.

Capt. Montalván also wrote the New York Times bestseller, “Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and

the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him.” Before separating from the military, Capt. Montalván illustriously served two tours of duty in Iraq and returned home with physical wounds and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because of his injuries, Capt. Montalván underwent an above-the-knee leg amputation earlier this year.

“Tuesday Takes Me There” is published at a particularly poignant time in our nation’s history. Political and social dysfunction seem to permeate every aspect of society. Republicans cannot agree about much with Democrats and they cannot seem to agree with other Republicans about much, either.

And let’s not forget the time Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, scared the heck out of a little girl in Texas.

Sofia, 8, was watching the news with her grandmother one day while her mother, Melissa Chance

was at work. Sofia, who is Muslim, heard Donald Trump’s plan to bar Muslims from entering the country and to deport illegal aliens. According to her mother’s Facebook post, Sofia “began collecting all her favorite things in a bag in case the Army came to remove us from our home.”

Motivated by Sofia’s concern, Kerri Peek, an Army veteran living in Colorado, messaged Melissa. Peek asked Melissa to show Sofia a picture of Kerri in her army uniform, and to “tell her I am a Mama too and as a soldier I will protect her from the bad guys.” Many other military veterans also stepped up, offering their protection to Sofia.

With the malfunction and negativity overtaking America and stories like Sofia’s, this writer asked Capt. Montalván why he and Tuesday keep moving forward, keep advocating and writing, especially after Capt. Montalván’s amputation.

Capt. Montalván’s answer perfectly encapsulates the spirit of national healing for which he has long fought, “[O]ur mission of advocacy continues as we believe in the importance of discussing subjects like war and peace, trauma and healing as well as the profound connection we share with our beloved furry spirits. Continual betterment of ourselves, individually and collectively, is an essential truth.”

Continual betterment is one underlying theme of “Tuesday Takes Me There.” Capt. Montalván, shepherded by Tuesday, takes the reader on a wonderful journey, seeing some of America’s greatest sites and using various modes of transportation to do so.

Like any trip, Luis and Tuesday face challenges along the way, but at journey’s end, the reader is left with the comfortable feeling of knowing everything is right with the world. And with the challenges facing America right now, knowing that everything will be okay at the end of the journey is what the Sofias of America need to know.

“Tuesday Takes Me There” is available at all major booksellers, including Barnes & Noble,

Amazon.com and Books-A-Million.

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-11-59-06-amTimothy Mucciante

Detroit Nonpartisan Examiner

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