Torrey Shannon shares her story of triumph over tragedy after her husband, SSG John Daniel Shannon, was critically wounded in a gunfight in Iraq in 2004 and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Determined to hold her family together, she helped her husband and children in the long road to physical and emotional recovery, only to learn there was a new battlefield once the troops come home.
Shannon and her husband took on the entire Department of Defense and exposed the broken military health care system. SSG Shannon appeared on the front page for three of the six Pulitzer Prize winning stories by The Washington Post in 2007 covering the Walter Reed Scandal. SSG Shannon, despite his disfiguring and disabling injuries from a gunshot wound to the head, gave hours of Congressional testimony and became the “Face of Walter Reed.”
Their David and Goliath story of military advocacy resulted in Congressional action and widespread improvements and changes in veteran health care.
Above and beyond her own personal ordeal, Shannon made the decision to help others suffering from the residual effects of military sacrifices. Understanding the unique challenges of our military service members, she became an advocate to help create awareness for military members and their families. Shannon brings a human element to the problems our military communities face by addressing topics relating to finances, consumer rights, disability rights, and veteran care.
Recounting her story of her family, marriage, crisis, and healing, Torrey Shannon delivers an inspirational testament of strength, determination, integrity and compassion for those fighting their own battles.
Torrey has been featured in a variety of publications and media outlets including: The Washington Post, National Public Radio, Reader’s Digest, CBS Evening News, WAVY-10 News, NBC4-TV, The Virginian Pilot, GQ Magazine (Italy and Germany), Entrepreneur Magazine and others. She is a consultant with a major film maker for an upcoming movie about their experiences at Walter Reed, and has helped The Sesame Workshop develop a series of Sesame Street episodes serving military families covering topics like deployments, changes, grief and homecomings.
Torrey is one of the select experts featured on DailyStrength.org, a community of over 500,000 members with support from over 500 online support groups for health and life challenges. Her articles discuss topics relating to military families and veteran care issues, including (but not limited to) parenting, marriage, deployments, reintegration, combat injuries, recovery, traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress, paralysis, amputees, and life as a caretaker of a severely injured spouse.
Torrey is working on a book about their experiences at Walter Reed. You may follow the stages of development for the book via her Facebook Page. In addition to writing her book and authoring her blog at TorreyShannon.com, you can also find her writing via the following sites:
Torrey has served on the State of Colorado American Legion’s VA&R Committee for the last two years and is currently serving as one of the 20 inaugural Caregiver Fellows of the newly-formed Dole Foundation, working directly with Senator Elizabeth Dole. In the past she served as the Executive Director of Cleaning for Heroes, a grassroots nonprofit that grew to a national nonprofit within the first year of her term.
Torrey and her family reside in a remote location in the Rocky Mountains. Their log home is situated at an elevation of 9,100′ above sea level. Their oldest son joined the Army and is serving in the Infantry. They have two children still at home and enjoy sharing their acreage with two horses and one dog.