Shannon Meehan and Roger Thompson

Friday I listened to Shannon Meehan and Roger Thompson speak about their new book, “Beyond Duty.” I have only attended a few author lectures, but this speech was by far the best. I spoke to Dr. Pittman and several other students who attended the lecture from my Expository writing class, and all agreed that this was one of the most open book lectures we have heard.

I was shocked by the amount of humility that Meehan showed, by the emotion still locked in his eyes. Just looking at him, one can easily tell that he has been through a lot, and continues to sort through his pain. I love that he and Thompson are encouraging other soldiers to write through their experiences and pain. I have always found journaling therapeutic, so to see Mehaan use journals to aid in writing a book for his own well being and for the education of others was inspiring to me.

I can not imagine living through the conflict Mehaan has seen. He has had to deal with being responsible for the deaths of innocent children. I love that he was so honest in answering questions at the speech. Flipping through his book, I can tell that he is just as honest and shows just as much humility in his memoir. He and Thompson, his ghost writter, wrote this book in four months and edited in a month and a half. That is amazing!

I was ecstatic to have my book signed by these authors, and can not wait to read through Mehaan’s confession and experiences in a war that has dominated my youth. I hope they are successful in their mission to reach out to soldiers, and to inform civilians of the multifaceted and shaded nuances of the “goods” and “bads” of a war where one day American military blows up a building, and the next day they build a church for Iraqi children.

Keeping Faith

Photograph by Shannon Mehaan while in Iraq.

Picture posted at URL: up-C780JLSVAF5SV1Q3.jpg


7 thoughts on “Shannon Meehan and Roger Thompson

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review | Load up Molly

  2. I just listened to an interview on CBC’s “The Current” (you can listen to the podcast). I’ve never felt so emotional listening to someone speak. He feels so responsible. I hope he can forgive himself.


  3. I was equally surprised by the short amount of time in which the book was written and edited. I wonder if a lot of what went into the book was pulled from his journal directly or if he only took ideas (and not actual text) from the journal.

    I also loved how honestly Meehan spoke about his faith and how his relationship with God was affected by his experience. Most people wouldn’t be that open about that kind of spiritual struggle.


  4. Gah, I wish I could have been there to hear them speak but thanks for the post. It is good to read what everyone thinks to try and put together some pieces of the lecture. And how lucky that you got a signed copy of their book. I am looking forward to a book review once you’ve finished reading!


  5. I love that you added some of Meehan’s photography. I agree with you, the honesty, humility and vulnerability displayed by Meehan made for an incredibly engaging and impacting speech. I think those are really essential aspects of good writing.


  6. That lecture affected me, too. I was so drawn to the stories they told and to the journey Meehan has been on since then. It’s amazing how he used writing to come to grips with what happened, as well as his emotions and feelings. Writing does matter, and this book is evidence of that.

    I was also struck by Thompson’s comment that we have been at war for almost 10 years. That is so hard to believe! It surely has impacted us in ways that are yet to be seen.


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