by Sgt. Stephanie Shannon
Living for 20 years with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by military sexual trauma (MST) and Gulf War Illness (GWI) has not made life an easy path for Sergeant Stephanie J. Shannon. In this, first book, Battling the Storm Within, Stephanie shares how her time of military service, and the resulting trauma she experienced, continues to affect her daily life, even 20 plus years later–a common story among military veterans.
A brave and deeply personal memoir that details Stephanie’s military experiences, and especially her struggles when transitioning back to civilian life, this book is a bold step on the path for recovery for all veterans. This book serves not only as a lesson of how to reclaim your life after PTSD, GWI, and MST, but also a call for change in legislation, government policies, the VA system, and military practices and procedures that impact the veteran population and their families.
Stephanie’s story is a story of struggle, survival, and healing; that empowers others to address their own personal traumas and overcome them, bring awareness to the public the many issues the veteran population face, and provide resources and solutions to veterans and others in need.
Her mission is to empower others to face their own personal traumas, be healed, be restored and live again.
an Amazon Review
Before I read her book I had no idea what she, as well as some of the other soldiers, go through on a daily basis. Stephanie’s book will cause you to take a deeper look into the insane circumstances that our Veteran women and men have endured to protect the lives of our U.S. citizens.
Getting heard comes at a huge price.
A woman is always reminded (using subtle or not so subtle jabs,) that no matter how strong she is, or how smart she is, she will never be as good as a man; no matter the job, or the circumstances. Some women are made to feel that a woman only has one purpose for a man and when no one is within earshot, he will be only too happy to tell her. And worse, if no one is around at the time, he or she may even show her, forcefully.
Sometimes the armed forces can be an environment ripe for rape. And it is not just women being raped. Men are suffering the same brutal treatment and there is just as little being reported about this phenomenon. The sad thing is, it is not being talked about or reported. Any woman, at any time, if she is unfortunate enough, can be on a base where an accused, alleged, rapist has already been pardoned by a base commander as a “misunderstanding” or having a “lack of evidence.” That “rapist” can be reassigned, as a means of keeping the them in the military because they are a “good soldier.”
The law is especially unjust and unfair, as well as unconstitutional, considering the unsettling history and incidences of sexual assault in all branches of our military, which tends to affect the potential soldiers who will likely suffer that same fate as Stephanie, if something is not done right away. It is long past time to right this wrong. Our bravest women should not feel compelled to seek dangerous alternatives after rape, because of the injustices that they may suffer.
I know that there is an unwritten code with our armed forces among our servicemen. A bond that should not be broken, however, I feel that there is an unwritten bond, as well as a written bond, that has been written by the very hand of God, that should never be broken. I am one million percent sure that Stephanie would rather break her unwritten bond with man any day, than to let her God down. Stephanie’s bond with her God is REAL, and for her not to tell the absolute truth about what really went on, would go against her bond with God.
I know that it is her faith in God that has given her the courage to write this book and I respect her and I support her one million percent. I give a standing ovation, as she tells her story and her truths. I know that by reading her book, it will give others the courage to come forth and tell their stories as well. No one should have to suffer the indignities that Stephanie has had to face, let alone from her own comrades. It is one thing to be attacked by the enemy that you are fighting against, but to be attacked from within is senseless and sad. This book shows only a portion of the battle scars she has suffered. It is my prayer that God will show you, through the Holy Spirit, like He has showed me what really goes on behind the scenes, as I read her story.
I feel that since Sergeant Stephanie put her life on the line, the least that our government could have done was to have her back. I also feel that during her time of service, no one had her back except Jesus Christ. She is not saying that all men and women of the armed forces are bad people. There were some people who were there for her in her time of need, such as her good friend and comrade Pam.
I feel that all she was asking for was to to be respected as an equal , and for the peace that God talks about in His word; the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7.) I do not feel that this was too much to ask for. I feel great changes need to be made on the part of the Legislation and government to help our veterans who come home with MST and PTSD.
This book is highly informative and will leave you speechless. Her book draws you in so much that it feels like you are in the story with her. This is her TRUE STORY of the injustices, sexual harassment’s, indignities, and disrespect, that Stephanie, as well as others have suffered while serving her country for us. As I read her book, I could feel her pain. After reading her book I have a new respect for her. Even as I write this review tears are falling from my eyes. I don’t even know how she functions on a day to day basis. I believe every word of her story is the truth. I also believe that many others have been going through or have gone through these same types of experiences, but are too afraid to speak out.
It is my Prayer that Stephanie will become THE VOICE for those who have suffered, and may still be suffering. My prayer is that those who are in leadership will begin to make immediate changes, before many others suffer the same fate as Sergeant Stephanie. I am so proud of where God has brought her from, and how she is fighting to make things right for others. I know that she gives all of the Glory to Jesus Christ for what He is continually bringing her through.
No doubt there will be those who will be upset or may disagree with her story, and that is their right, just as she has her right to tell her story. I salute her with pride and all of the love and support that I have in my heart. She makes me proud to be a United States citizen. Our service women and men deserve nothing less than our full support and commitment as they continue to give theirs to our nation.
My question to you is: Will you join her in her fight against the enemy within? I know that I will!