Howdy! My name is Shannon McCain, born and raised in Northeast Texas. I don’t really have to tell anyone where I’m from, all they have to do is talk to me and can tell I’m not from around here. My accent is a little different. I graduated from Texas A&M University in 1994 with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. The week after graduating college, I married my high school sweetheart. It has been a whirlwind ever since. We seem to move every 10 years and in 2013 we landed in Houston. We have a teenage daughter that is a Junior in high school. I began volunteering with the Lone Survivor Foundation (LSF) in the Fall of 2014.
I never thought the Lone Survivor Foundation would hit home for me as much as it has. My husband read the Lone Survivor book and the minute the movie came out we went to see it. I was reluctant to go because of course when we left the movie theater I had the UGLY cry in full throttle. Months rolled around and I was whining about life in general and how I had no friends in Houston so I decided to volunteer somewhere, but didn’t know where. I was surfing the internet and came across the Lone Survivor Foundation and was so excited they were based here in Houston.
- Why have you chosen to support our wounded service members?
The reason I’m so passionate about LSF is because I am so proud of Marcus Luttrell for SHARING his struggles and forming LSF. He could have gone off to his ranch and never shared his story. By sharing his path to healing, he has helped so many wounded service members to realize you do not have to do this alone. I believe sharing is the first step in the process of healing and getting connecting with those who can relate to your pain and thoughts. My grandfather is one of those who thought he could “white knuckle” it alone through the invisible pain no one wanted to talk about during his era. He was a Chief Warrant Officer in the Navy for 20 years (1939-1959). Anytime a war movie would come on the TV, he would change the channel abruptly and his demean0r would change. While he was in the Navy, he had several ships shot out from under him and he would float in the water for days waiting for help. My grandfather kept to himself and drank a lot. I just remember this as one of many instances as a grandchild growing up. I cannot imagine how my grandmother, mom and aunt managed their daily lives with my grandfather each day. On November 26, 1992 my grandfather committed suicide on Thanksgiving Day. Was it PTSD, traumatic brain injury, health issues or mental illness? Who knows? No one will know because the technology and resources were not there to help him. The only reason I’m sharing a very small part of my story is because I want wounded service members to take that first step, contact LSF and get connected so they know they are not alone. There are resources available that can help bring you out of this darkness. The pain and invisible wounds not only affects you it affects generations to come. I am so thankful that Marcus and LSF had the foresight to see that the tragedies each service member has faced affects the whole family. This is what makes LSF unique from the rest of the other organizations. LSF focuses on the individual and the family.
- What is it about LSF that has kept you coming back to volunteer for our organization?
I continue to support LSF because I see the individuals and the families coming back together and growing together in the right direction mentally and physically.
- What has been your favorite volunteer opportunity and why?
There are so many volunteer opportunities, which makes volunteering great because all the events are so different. I have helped out in the office, Lone Star Rally, BBQ cook offs, Battle Frog, Texas Frog Fest, Ten Man Jam and many others. I have truly enjoyed all the people I have met at each event. The Gala each year is a blast! I just need to keep my husband’s hand down from buying too many auction items.
- What would you like to share with the supporters who make our program possible?
I would like to thank everyone at the Lone Survivor Foundation for having such a great vision for the organization. I have seen it first hand; this organization is 24/7. They truly Never Quit! Two LSF retreat facilities have been built with the help of amazing donors. I believe it is our duty to help our wounded service men and women. I am amazed at our service men and women for protecting our country and giving their best unselfishly every day! I want to thank all the supporters of this organization because it definitely takes their funds to keep this operation running, and we couldn’t do it without you.
If you are interested in joining the Lone Survivor Foundation Volunteer Force, please sign up at www.lonesurvivorfoundation.org/volunteer.