Captain Shannon P. Meehan (Ret.) was a leader of a tank platoon for the storied 1st Cavalry Division of the U. S. Army.  He graduated from VMI with distinction, having also studied at Oxford University, and earned the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and an Army Commendation for Valor, among other honors while serving in Iraq.

Born and raised in Delaware County, Shannon attended Upper Darby High School, where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his accomplishments in wrestling.  He continued his success in college by lettering in a Division 1 wrestling program and graduating as a Distinguished Military graduate and president of an honor society.

While serving in the military, Meehan led over 700 combat and civil operations while commanding an area spanning 300 square miles and containing over 100,000 people.  Meehan initiated an innovative program of council meetings with local leaders that resulted in significant civil and economic growth. He also developed and secured intelligence that led to the capture of more enemy insurgents and corrupt officials than any of his peers combined.  He also managed and oversaw the investment of $800,000 to improve infrastructures and was rated his battalion's Top Platoon Leader.  Meehan was injured in an IED strike, resulting in his medical retirement and being awarded the Purple Heart.

After his injury, Shannon completed rehabilitation at Fort Hood and wrote the nationally-acclaimed memoir, Beyond Duty (Polity Press), which chronicles firsthand the challenges facing soldiers in today's wars.  Beyond Duty has become the fastest-selling book in the press's history, is an international bestseller, and was named Military Writers Society of America's Book of the Month the month of its international release.

Shannon has traveled the country sharing his story, speaking at places such as U.S.C. Law School, West Point, University of Virginia, Harvard, Syracuse University, and Upper Darby High School, and discussing his journey on CNN, NBC, and in The New York Times, where his own Op-Ed piece, "Distant Wars, Constant Ghosts," became the most-viewed Op-Ed of that week.

Shannon resides back home in the Philadelphia area with his wife, Amanda Jane, and year-old son, Brady Cole.

Roger Thompson is a Full Professor of English and Fine Arts at Virginia Military Institute.  He is an award-winning nonfiction writer whose work has appeared in academic and non-academic journals.

Roger earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at Baylor University and earned his Ph.D at TCU.

Married to Laura, Roger raises his son, Ethan, in the town of Lexington, VA.  He is currently working on a study of Iraq War memoirs. 


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