The DeMarco Project Speaks
Sergeant Stephanie J. Shannon – SHERO
By Kim J. Clark
Aka Expanding Love
In preparing to write this article, the author asked Sergeant (Sgt.) Stephanie Shannon what
message did she want to convey to the reader. We realized one article would not fully address
what needs to be said. Sgt. Shannon, a Gulf War US Army veteran is one of our own local
Sheroes. She is the Founder and CEO of Michigan Women Veterans Empowerment, a 501 (c) 3
non-profit, a faith–based organization committed to honoring female veterans. Stephanie is also
the author of the #1 Amazon best seller, “Battling the Storm within.”
In this three–part series, Sgt. Shannon will address and dispel the stereotypical myths regarding
female veterans. Unfortunately, many people do not understand the damaging affects of some of
the military related issues females struggle with and quite often misinterpret their behavior.
The intent of the series is to raise awareness of service related traumas female veterans live with.
In addition, provide a platform for those women and men who have successfully addressed their
issues, and share tools that may help empower their brother and sister veterans. While at the
same time, raising public awareness and educating citizens on how to more effectively
communicate with male and female veterans, alike.
Sgt. Shannon shares common myths and truths about female military service personnel and
Myth – Females who join the military are either gay, lesbian or promiscuous.
Truth – The fact of the matter is, just like men, women join the military for many reasons.
It is a way to fund college. They have the desire to serve their country. It is a way to see
the world, just to name a few.
Myth – Because of the military training, the women are “rugged” and therefore, not feminine.
Their sexuality is always in question.
Truth – Many women in the military are mothers. War veterans understand, family is not first.
The reality is, the mission is first. If one thinks about it, service people are required to put
their emotions on the “back burner” and stay focused on the task at hand. Men who are
able to do this are seen as heroes. Women…unstable damaged goods… The elephant in
the room that no one wants to talk about is, 1 in 3 women suffer from military sexual
trauma (MST) in addition to post traumatic stress disorder (PTST).
Myth – Women are not capable of leading. The assumption is, female veterans are full of
emotions and are not able to lead or walk in authority.
Truth – Female veterans make very powerful leaders. Military training teaches; discipline andself -control; strategic thinking; solution driven thought processes, among other skillsnecessary to be a success in business.Sgt. Shannon’s life’s work is a demonstration of how to use adversity and misperception toempower one’s life. Her message to her sister veterans is, “Brave enough to serve. Brave enoughto heal.”Hear more from Stephanie on her upcoming interview. She has been invited back for anotherinterview on the Comcast Newsmaker for Women’s month on February 15th.Kim is the mother of a veteran who loved his country and was willing to lay his life down for thefreedoms he believed in. She is the President of The DeMarco Project, Non-profit organization.Her life’s mission it to save veteran lives and improve the quality of life for traumatized militaryservice persons. If you would like to support her in the work, donations are welcome. Visit thewebsite; www.TheDeMarcoProject.org.Read more here www.detroitnativesunonline.com