Butler’s inspirational memoir recounts how he triumphed over obstacles ranging from an absent father and birth defects to academic troubles and periods of homelessness, eventually creating a successful and stable life as a commissioned Navy officer and proud father. His passion for telling his story drives the memoir, as does his belief that everyone’s story matters and that he can be a model to inspire the reader to tell their own. The included photos flesh out the narrative, giving readers a glimpse of Butler’s world growing up.
Even though the details of how he grew up are unique, Butler’s conversational voice makes it easy for readers to connect and even relate. The book encourages and advises readers, focusing on the idea that “anyone can be somebody, but it’s up to you to decide what you will be.” Butler’s discussion of fatherhood is particularly moving. He recounts feeling the absence of his own father deeply, addressing him directly early in the book, and later revisits that lack when describing how he missed his daughter’s birth because he was deployed.