An Arkansas "country girl" who never expected to be sent into ground combat, Shannon Morgan became a soldier who experienced the darkest side of war. In Lioness, the film, she struggles to come to terms with her inner conflict between faith and duty.
"Women are evolving into roles that have been previously closed to us in the military and we are more than capable and ready to meet this challenge head on."
-- Specialist Shannon Morgan
What have you been doing since filming ended in August 2007?
Mostly taking care of my parents and spending time with my family. I just take things one day at a time.
How do you think your experiences in combat as a woman differ from those of men?
I think women differ because they are more nurturing than men. We deal differently with the mental and emotional aspects of combat, but that isn't to say that we're not just as tough.
What was/is your day-to-day role during active duty?
Track Vehicle Mechanic. Repairing the tanks and keeping them fully mission capable.
What most surprised you about your time in Iraq?
How the Iraqi women are treated there. They are the heads of the household, in my opinion, but are not allowed to ride in the front seat of their cars... or even walk side by side with their husbands.
What about your experience would you like to communicate to the American public?
I would like to let the public know that women are evolving into roles that have been previously closed to us in the military and we are more than capable and ready to meet this challenge head on.
How has your service affected your family?
My family has been through Vietnam a few times but I think this gave my family a little different perspective because it was their daughter in combat instead of their son. It has brought us closer than ever.
What would your advice be to an 18-year-old woman entering the military?
Have confidence in yourself and be efficient at your MOS (military occupational specialty). It is a wonderful opportunity filled with experiences you won't find anywhere else.
What is your relationship like with your commander?
My commander and myself were as close as an officer and enlisted soldier can be. I gave her the respect and recognition she deserved as my commanding officer and always knew that she did the same for her soldiers.