The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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March 4, 2010

Soldier-author to sign books Saturday

JOHNSTOWN — Shannon Meehan, a soldier injured in Iraq, and his co-author, Roger Thompson, who wrote “Beyond Duty: Life on the Front Line,” will be on hand for a book signing Saturday at The Galleria.

The signing will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at GZ’s Used Books & Art.

Meehan exemplifies what wounded and traumatized soldiers can obtain through treatment and rehabilitation at Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center – Johnstown.

As an Army lieutenant, Meehan was a decorated tank commander leading his unit on duty in Iraq. While conducting a house-by-house clearing of insurgents in one dangerous area, Meehan called in an airstrike on a suspected insurgent location.

Despite all precautions, the U.S. bombs killed an innocent Iraqi family.

The young lieutenant soon began having symptoms of depression. The mental issues were compounded by a traumatic brain injury Meehan suffered in another attack.

Although he continues to be haunted by the experience, Meehan has been able to redirect his energy in a creative direction.

Store manager Kristy L. Richardson said the book signing is first of several special events at GZ’s, which is an outreach of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.

The store, formerly along Gazebo Park in downtown Johnstown, features a variety of books and handmade arts and crafts, including scarves, candles, paintings, woodcrafts and Amish rocking chairs.

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