John (Jack) Joseph McCliment ll April 23 1992- August 25 2017 Jack grew up in Illinois and Wisconsin. He was a wonderful son, brother, and friend. When Jack became of age he joined the Army where he became a Cavalry Scout and Paratrooper. He was respected and loved by all who came into contact with him. John served in the 4-73 recon with the 82nd Airborne. John’s deployment to Maiwand, Afghanistan came up in 2012. John served at the front of his platoon clearing the way with his mine detector. In one hard fight with a sizable Taliban attack he personally applied bandages to a wounded Afghan soldier stopping the bleeding. Upon returning to the states he spent his last year in service training new soldiers and even represented the 4-73 recon in the best scout competition that draws from all Cavalry Scout units across the country. John’s team took second place. He was well liked and respected by his fellow paratroopers and was a firm friend. Jack lost his battle to PTSD on August 25th 2017 when he took his own life. To say he will be missed is an understatement. We must share our stories and our truths. We must band together to #end22. This is a club we never thought we would be a part of but we are here and we must #end22. I’ll close with my brothers own words. “So, yea..PTSD. Thought it was a myth. Found out it’s real. Now I’ve become something of a person I’d rather not be. I’m working on it, though. I hate being angry, and I miss the innocent guy that everyone became friends with.” -John McCliment
Shared by his sister, Kara:
“What an honor it was to stay at The Hilton hotel where my brother worked. I soaked every second in. Did he walk this hallway? Did he sit on this bench? Did he head down to the restaurant after a long shift? Did he touch this? Or hang in the gazebo? The 3 hours of sleep I got were very comfortable and I wondered if he was making his rounds from family member to family member, checking in on us. As quite a few of us were staying there. I kept feeling him with me so strong.
The services were beautiful and went off without a hitch. So M A N Y friends and family were there. So much love
Oh my goodness so much love. It was the most difficult day of my life. Knowing my baby brother was in that small box destroyed me. I wept for him. I wept for a while. The pain was so bad it clenched my soul like an iron fist and wouldn’t let me breath. He really is gone, the reality of that had no mercy on me. So many faces, so many names. So many mourning this young soul, gone way too soon.
Not too far in it was time for the flag folding. As I sat there and experienced this perfectly intricate chain of folds and oaths I began to think how much I hated being in this moment. Can I be someone… anyone other than me right now. Surely these perfectly pressed pants and stunning decorated soldiers weren’t there for Jack. This could not be my reality, our reality. Sure enough that soldier started to walk towards me with that flag of honor. That flag that was folded with such care and love and respect. “On behalf of our President we give you this flag.” I didn’t want that flag. I want my brother back. Breathing, with blood in his veins. I want his perfect handsome face whole again. But that will never be; I’m starting to accept this.
Then that awkward pause where the flag portion is over and now everyone sits there afraid to move. I mean we are all just in shock after being a part of the dreaded flag folding ceremony. I mean beautiful tradition, but no one ever wants to actually see it 1st hand. I feel my Mother fill my belly. A small still voice in my ear, “Get up. You can do it. Stand up and address your brother’s family and friends. Let them know it’s ok now.” My Mother must have pulled me up before I knew it I was looking into the eyes of so many sad hearts. I don’t remember what I said but seems like it was appreciated. Everyone continued paying their respects to Jack.
I finally have the opportunity to meet the priest who will do the eulogy, my step father and I listen to his plans and they are just perfect. He wants to give everyone the chance to speak about Jack. A memory, a feeling, a tribute – Whatever was on anyone’s heart. Love the idea but will anyone be brave enough to get up there? Sure enough there are 2 people at a time getting up to speak. I heard wonderful stories about my brother. I laughed I cried. It was beautiful. My brother would sweep for mines. Do you know how brave that is? He did the job no one wanted to do. Jack went before any of his unit and made sure it was safe from bombs. My brother also had a shag rug in his barracks and did you know he was planning on buying land in Kentucky? Yup, he was. Most importantly I learned yesterday what a stellar friend my brother was. I am so proud of what a firm friend my brother was. If you can be anything. If you can leave a legacy behind, you’d want to be known as a great friend. He showed me that yesterday.
Unfortunately my brother has another legacy left behind as well and that is SUICIDE. Yup I capped that word to make it more powerful than it already is.
Suicide took my brother
Suicide took a future
Suicide took my future nieces and nephews
Suicide took my children’s Uncle
Suicide ruined my family
Suicide ruined countless relationships
Suicide caused financial hardships
Suicide caused hundreds of lives to be forever changed. Forever chaos. Forever guilt. Forever in a state of devastation. Forever cold. Forever wondering. Forever missing. Forever hurting. Pain. Pain. Pain.
Suicide is so much more than one person. Suicide is so much more than my one perspective on yesterday. Hundreds of people formed their own nightmare of yesterday. Nightmare of someone so cherished G O N E FOREVER.
Seriously seek help if you ever get into as dark of a place as my brother Jack. This must be hellish but think about THE BIG PICTURE.
I will continue to tell the world my brother’s story and my own. What’s left post suicide. Picking up the pieces to this new life – my new existence. What Jack ran from, what ultimately killed him.
#22toomany #OurHeroes are #NeverForgotten