By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
October 11, 2019
NASHVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) -- Turning tragedy into a mission for change; Jon's Mission for 22 is hosting its second annual fundraising event on Saturday.
The organization was founded by Laura and Fred Busbin after their son died following a long battle with PTSD.
The family hopes to raise awareness so no other parents will have to go through the same heartache.
"He was just one of those people who would do anything for anybody," Laura said. "He was just a loving kid."
A lifelong dream to protect and serve, Jonathon Busbin fulfilled his mission, serving in the infantry army right out of high school.
"There was no doubt in his mind he was going to go into the army," Fred added.
But just a few years later, everything changed.
"You could see it in his face, in his eyes and in his expression," Fred said.
"We knew he was having problems, there was no doubt," added Laura. "We knew that. But I think he got really good at trying to hide it from us. So that day, it really hit us hard."
October 14, 2017: The Busbins got the call.
Jonathon was just 23.
"It's been hard for us to come up and step up and say, 'Yes, we lost our son to suicide,'" Laura said. "I refuse to say he committed suicide because he did nothing wrong. And he lost his battle with PTSD. He wanted peace, he wanted the pain to stop. And that's the only way he knew how."
But their story is one shared by far too many.
22 veterans take their lives in the United States every day.
"We went through all of the emotions of, shoulda woulda coulda, and still go through it today," she continued. "And that's one reason why we're doing what we're doing, with Jon's Mission for 22."
In his honor, the Busbin's started Jon's Mission for 22, raising awareness for PTSD.
"We want to make sure that we share those resources with every everybody, because the last thing I want is for another set of parents to go through what we went through," Laura said.
On Saturday, the group is holding a fundraiser and a celebration of life, so that no more families have to do the same.
"We want to do what we can in this area to bring as much awareness of what's going on and the resources that are available," Laura explained.
Saturday's second annual event will take place in Ray City. There will be a raffle drawing, Jeep show competition and more.
The family said donations have been pouring in from all across the nation to support Jon's Mission for 22.
All the proceeds will go to support Project Zero, Mission 22 and TAPS.
The Buspins said right now, the organization is serving as a go-between for families to get them in touch with the help and resources they need.
They hope to eventually provide support themselves as they continue to grow.
For more information, click here.