Jonathan Whitt, of Wisconsin, who served at Fort Riley, Kansas, in the U.S. Army from 2005 to 2007 was surrounded by strangers, yet loved nonetheless as they sent him off to his last resting place.
Whitt was struggling with mental health issues like so many other veterans. He died by suicide on Sept. 5, according to Spectrum News.
“He had a really rough life growing up from what we can tell by just looking through the history of him, and he joined the service and he got hurt in the service, and had to leave service early. And, we can only speculate, but when he went into the service that was like his new family. And, then he go hurt and he lost that family again and he had a lot of loss in his life. And, I think all of that piling on top of him. It was just too much for him,” explained Brown County Veterans Service Benefits Specialist Matthew Franklin.
The 31-year-old veteran was laid to rest with no family members but he did not get sent off alone, WFRV reported.
“When you serve, when you got to basic training and serve with a group of individuals, it becomes a worldwide camaraderie,” said Joe Aulik, director of veterans services in Brown County. “We served our country and we love what we do and we love each other.”
Whitt’s family is largely disconnected; both his mother and step-father have passed. A group of veterans and community members gathered at his funeral at Nicolet Memorial Park in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to make sure he had company when he was laid to rest.
“To let this man know, wherever he’s at: your country supports you, we support you, and his family—wherever they are—that people love and support him, as well,” Susan Powers of Freedom said. “Even in his final hours here.”
Whitt was buried with the closest family he had left.