Torrey Shannon works closely with organizations like Challenge America and Challenge Aspen as an advocate, helping veterans and their families improve their quality of life in the face of military injuries and post traumatic stress disorder.
Torrey 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, Torrey 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. Recounting her story of her family, marriage, crisis, and healing, 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
, The Virginian Pilot
, Entrepreneur Magazine
In addition to her advocacy work through programs like Challenge America and Challenge Aspen, she is the National Spokesperson for the non-profit organization Helping A Hero
. She also works as a consultant with a major filmmaker 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.