The picture above is an edit I did of one of my favorite pictures of one of the most amazing, fun-loving, and caring people I knew. His name is John McConnaughy, also known as John-John by some of the people who worked with him. He was in the Army Reserves, and when he wasn’t deployed he lived in Orlando, Florida and worked as an Orange County Sherrif’s 911 Operator. He was deployed twice, once to Iraq and another time to Afghanistan. After he returned from his second deployment he’d been accepted into the OSCO academy to become a deputy, but before he even got the chance to start it he took his own life. When my mama got the call and told me I thought she was talking about another person she worked with, just because it was something I couldn’t see John doing, but she informed me that it was John and not the other person. I didn’t know how he’d died until a couple days later and it was just overwhelming, and to this day it still is, I broke down crying when I found this picture on his facebook after not looking on there for over a year, and I broke down again while editing it. It turned out that he’d been suffering from PTSD, and had only told his closest friend. He went untreated for it because he knew that if he were treated for it he wouldn’t be able to become a deputy. When I see pages for people who have killed themselves on Facebook, I just feel heart broken, because those people, mostly teenagers, are getting all this media attention, and John, a man who served his country, and his community was just overlooked, he didn’t get any national attention, he was only given attention by those who knew him or met him, and it just… I just think it’s wrong, he wasa hero, and he saw and did things that others couldn’t imagine. I mean, I’m not trying to say that people who are bullied and commit suicide shouldn’t be grieved, I’m just saying, the fact that they get so much hype to them while service members and members of law enforcement get over looked is just… hurtful… and it just upsets me that people are showing more sadness and concern over a 16 year old than the men and woman who deal with mental illness after serving their country.
I’ll just end this with saying, that I still miss this man, some days I can think about him and smile, and other days are like right now, where I just want to breakdown and cry and would do anything to get him back in this world, even though I know he’s much better off and he’s no longer suffering, but the people that knew him, his friends and his family will never forget him, how much of an amazing person he was to be around. I’ll see you someday, John-John, and when that day comes, I’ll give you the biggest hug ever.