NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's a tragedy that has become sadly commonplace, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines surviving combat, only to take their own lives. A local widow hoped to raise awareness about depression after her husband, a soldier, became the latest unfortunate statistic.
Kailtin Conner said she will always remember how kind he was on their first date when things didn't go as planned.
Conner said, "My sitter couldn't watch my son, and so I had to bring him along. It's not something normal to do, bring a 1-year-old to a date, but hey it happened."
Conner said Sgt. Justin LaJoie-Grosvenor watched after her kids like he watched after his country.
They got married and she moved with him from Fort Bragg to Fort Campbell while he served with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
Conner said, "It's so hard because he just wanted to do everything he could for this country, and it's just like he felt like he couldn't do it anymore. He felt like he would fail his family."
Two weeks after returning from Baghdad, Kaitlin said Justin took his life on November 18.
His suicide took place days before his daughter's birthday.
Conner said, "It's just like when you pass away, your family is left with everything. Left to handle everything, left with 3 kids, it's just so hard because it's Christmas time and it was my daughter's first birthday, he didn't even get to see her turn one."
Through her tears, Kailtin said her husband told her to stay quiet about his depression.
She regretfully honored his wishes.
Conner said, "We all just loved him, and it's the fact that the military has a stigma against depression, they basically tell you, you can't be a human, and care about the fact that you just watched hundreds of people die..."
A grieving widow, now left to fend alone for her 3 small children.
Conner said, "I honestly believe if my husband thought he could get help and not lose his job, he'd probably still be here right now."
Now she wants other military wives to not be afraid to speak up, and possibly save their loved one's life.
Conner said, "Screw the money, screw taking care of your family cause you won't have a family if your husband or wife... if they don't get help..."
She hopes through this story, others will find the courage to be strong and seek help.
Conner said, "It's not a sign of weakness at all, some people can just handle so much."
On Wednesday there will be a memorial service at 10a.m. at the Liberty Chapel on base.
A Go Fund Me Page has been started for Kaitlin and her kids to help them pay the bills during this difficult time.