“The guys in Special Forces knew him as JD. He was a man of great strength, loyalty and was always highly spoken about down range as a man that had your back. Jon joined active duty in 2002 as a mechanic. Later went to selection for Special Forces in 2004. He spent 2004-2006 in the qualification course to earn his Green Beret. In 2006 he was assigned to 5th Special Forces group at Fort Campbell, KY. During the course of 2006-2013 he deployed numerous times, completed many JCETs and a lot of training.
Changes in him started happening in 2012. I asked him to get help, but he didn’t want to because of his TS security clearance. Finally in May of 2014 he got help. He was diagnosed with severe PTSD, depression and anxiety. The laundry list of medications they had him on was insane.
I watched the man that I loved, the father of my children turn into a shell of a person that once was. He became weak, uneasy, and was battling the nightmares. There were many restless nights and he just wanted to be out of this life, as he would say.
Sadly on October 29, 2015, he lost his battle with PTSD and committed suicide. He couldn’t deal with the pain any longer; the guilt, the remorse, and the pain. Jon leaves behind a 16-year-old son, 9-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son. We loved him with everything we had and still do. Not a day goes by without missing him and thinking about him.” Written by his wife Vanessa.
Jonathan Michael Downing, of Cumberland City, TN, formerly from Lake Worth, FL