Robert James (Bob) Gannon
Storyteller and Author
Bob Gannon was born on the first of August, 1942, and grew up in a quaint little town called Argyle, Missouri. Bob had a severe learning disability and grew up in a dysfunctional home with an alcoholic and abusive father. Still, he strongly desired to make something special out of his life, and he decided the Marine Corps could be the opportunity to do just that.
In 1962, while stationed in the Philippines, he swam on the Marine team, where he won the interservice championship swimming at 400 meters. His athletic skills caused him to be selected to join Charlie Company, First Recon Battalion. (Only 1% of all the Marines are selected to go through Recon training, and about half of this select and elite group make it through the training.)
He was sent to Vietnam, and three months into the mission, the original platoon sergeant was wounded. Bob was then selected to replace that platoon sergeant at only 24 years of age. He led 25 missions deep into enemy territory and was awarded the Navy Commendation medal for leadership.
In 1968, Bob was again sent back to Vietnam as a platoon sergeant; however, after five months, he was injured and sadly received a medical discharge from the Marines. Despite only testing at a sixth-grade level, he courageously decided to attend college and was determined to graduate. This he accomplished with degrees in electronics and computer maintenance. He worked for the Explorer Pipeline for 33 years until retirement. Because of the two combat tours in Vietnam, he suffered posttraumatic stress syndrome and struggled for 30 years with alcohol, anger, nightmares, and flashbacks. In 2015, the symptoms became so severe he was bordering on suicide. Because of childhood struggles and years of struggling with posttraumatic stress, Bob has developed a compassion for helping others in recovery programs such as:
Developed a Gold Star service to honor families of veterans killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Spent three years taking the gospel into the jail in Mt. Vernon, Missouri.
Introduced a program called Celebrate Recovery in Fordland Prison, Fordland, Missouri. There were 140 to 160 inmates per week. Over 2000 men have graduated from this step study which takes eight months to complete. It became a model program for Celebrate Recovery in the United States. He then presented a seminar for people who wanted to take Celebrate Recovery into prisons.
Bob spent 13 years performing the third Sunday church service at Victory Mission, Springfield, Missouri.
Bob is also a storyteller and has spoken at many churches and programs, including large groups of people at the Marian Conferences in St. Louis in 2021 and Nashville in 2022 and 2023. He has been interviewed by several radio and television stations. Michael McGlinn of Sistine Films has recently done a documentary on Bob regarding his life and focusing on his deep feelings of Adoration and involvement in that program at his church. The documentary should be ready for viewing by April 2023.
Approximately 500 copies of his first book, NEVER GIVE UP, by Robert J. Gannon, have been sold. It is on Amazon and is doing exceptionally well. It is also available when he speaks at groups, including his signature. His second book is now also available, TURN IT AROUND. We have a website which includes information about speaking events, Bob's bio and other history. Now you may also see the books and shirts on our website! www.nevergiveup.company