Living 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 Sgt. Stephanie J. Shannon. In her 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 year later—a common story among military veterans. 

brave 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. 

This is Stephanie’s story. 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 faces and provide resources and solutions to veterans and others in need.


I was sure that joining the U.S. Army Reserves would give me the freedom and flexibility I craved. Before enlisting, I had been thinking of going for Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I already earned an Associates Degree in Applied Arts and Science from Grand Rapids Community College in 1989.
Sgt. Shannon's book offers lessons 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. 
served in the U.S. Army as a Sergeant/Non-Commissioned Officer for 8 years and in the Desert Storm/Desert Shield Persian Gulf War 1990-1991. I was proud to earn these medals. United States Service Ribbon for Service in the Persian Gulf/Desert Storm War/ National Defense Service Medal/Southwest Asia Service Medal/Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal.

I then attended Grand Valley State University where I studied Psychology and earned a Bachelors degree in 1996. I spent 27 years in the business world in varying capacities.

I am now a disabled Gulf War veteran and a strong advocate for veterans and especially the women veteran population. I am a facilitator for a Women's Vet to Vet support group in Genesee County, Michigan. I am also a powerful inspirational speaker that is gifted to empower others and invoke change in the mind of the audience. 

I am a licensed and ordained minister in the Christian faith and a strong intercessor and have my own Intercessory Prayer Ministry. I believe that change happens in the mind and in the spiritual realm first so a strong prayer life is essential. So if you want change then make it happen is my motto! My mission is to empower others to overcome their own personal trauma, be healed, restored and live again. I'm available for speaking engagements, workshops and seminars, so please contact me for booking. ​Peace and blessings to all!

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1. Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with mental illness or PTSD?
2. Have you or someone you know experienced military sexual trauma or a traumatic life event?
3. Have you or someone you know thought about or tried to commit suicide?

If  you answered Yes to any of these questions, this book will aid in healing and recovery!
"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 manno 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 rapedMen 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 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 Tammie."

"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!"

Pastor Karen Showell ,
So Much Love Ministries,

"Never Give up, you can make it!" By Evg. Benjamin Tamakloe 

"Stephanie J. Shannon was prepared from her infancy by her mother in ways we will term “hard or strict” but that has turn out to build up the character that saw her through those life storms in the civil and military society. Her life in totality before enlistment into the military were not pleasant, but has build her up strong- strength of character and to suffer long in the army through the Persian Gulf - Desert Storm War." 

"This book “Battling the Storms Within” is an adventure of a woman in the Army at war and after, you are blessed to have such a book as a compass to direct many that are going through similar internal battles, veterans , non-veterans , young and old. Many who could not stand it like Sgt. Stephanie Shannon were led into their early grave."

"This book is out to accomplish great purposes in the life of every reader to overcome this unseen battle of storms within us, to prevent you from being killed softly and committing suicide. I am convinced this book will be a hand book to many who are “Battling Storms within” as a Military Veteran,’ Marital veteran, Academic veteran, Political veteran, you cannot avoid it but tell all others about this book “Battling the Storm Within".

"We should be very grateful to God, her mother and Sgt. Stephanie Shannon for making herself available to produce such a malady to people in a battle stricken world of ours, a copy of this guide will help you and your loved ones to win the unseen battles within to keep you from your early grave.She went through deep rooted racism, sexism and corruption in the army but she was courageous and determined to get to her throne (NEVER GIVING UP) for if you can dream it, you can make it."

"Some incompetent high rank leaders were made through manipulation or sleeping with those in authority to get these ranks instead of earning it, it calls for everyone to work to earn promotion to leadership position so you can be operativeDespite the human impediments around her in the Army, she had a mindset that no man was going to stop her from reaching her goal, for what boys/men can do girls/women can do even better. She went through it all and finally walk away honorably discharged as a good soldier."

"There are positive lessons for us all about the disciplinary nature the army and the need for you to sacrifice your life for your nation, be obedient and loyal as a good soldier. The lesson of unity in the Army is very relevant, for united we stand, divided we fall. “Battling the Storm Within” is a curative balm to the Battle stricken world in which we live, so get yours now and spread the news about “Battling the Storm Within” book." 

"A very vivid picture of what her life has been like." By Emma Rostic

"Through the sharing of her personal experience, Stephanie paints a very vivid picture of what her life has been like for the past 20 years. In great detail she tells her story. A story filled with heartbreak, disappointment, and pain both physical as well as mental."

"I highly recommend the book Battling the Storm Within for any one who wants a realistic look and a better understanding of what to expect during and after serving in the Military. I found the book to be very informative and helpful. The book provides a look into what it's like to go into the military and how you're transformed and return differently. The book also shows how difficult it can be to navigate the system that is designed to help you. Stephanie's determinations is inspiring."

"A great read, my heart goes out to Sgt. Stephanie Shannon." By Diane Hoodon 

"I found this book to be a great read, my heart goes out to Sgt.Stephanie going through so much as a young person and then to have to go through it at a position where you think you will be protected against the things that went on in your life I have to say your are a strong beautiful woman, stay strong - the book was well written and I enjoyed reading it.

Great Story, Well worth reading. by Rodney Patterson 

A very personal story that highlights the utter failure of our military in protecting our female warriors. No one, male or female, should have to fear their team members and leaders. For years now DoD has paid lip service to the staggering number of assaults that take place every year to soldiers in uniform. It's a shame that memoirs like this still need to be written, but I'm proud to see women like Sgt Shannon stand-up and tell the world about her experience. Hopefully, by exposing this aspect of life in uniform, the military will begin to do the right thing and stand by these victims, as we all should. 

- Semper Fi Sgt. Shannon

Enlightening and Compelling By Author Richelle Rodgers  

"I am a U.S. Army veteran who served during the Vietnam-era and Stephanie and I spoke candidly together regarding our experiences, particularly regarding the chemical warfare exposure during the Vietnam and the Persian Gulf Wars. Stephanie speaks vividly about her experiences in her book which makes this book enlightening and compelling and anyone contemplating joining the Armed Forces needs to read this book before making such a commitment."  

"In reading this book, I was drawn into the realities of war something I never experienced first-hand in spite of being a veteran. It is indeed a “Must Read” for those contemplating the military, however, it is also a great book for those currently serving in the trenches today. Stephanie’s message needs to get out there so everyone can benefit from her personal trials and tribulations while and after honorably serving her country. She brings out the truth regarding the “unspoken” but very real atrocities of war, military life and life as a returning civilian."

"Stephanie is a true casualty of war having experienced living undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and Gulf-War Illness (GWI). Being undiagnosed with these conditions and trying to live “normally” was truly a “Battling Storm Within.” How she managed to remain strong enough to deal with these disorders and later write about it so vividly can only be attributed to her Christian upbringing and her undying faith in God. Stephanie’s transition has been anything but smooth, however, she has managed to survive, thank God. This is her book and how she perceived the conditions she was exposed to before, during and after her life in the Persian Gulf. This is Sergeant Stephanie Shannon’s story. A true testament of faith."