Family mourns loss of man who helped PTSD patients like him

Family mourns loss of man who helped PTSD patients like him

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The search for Jonathan Darden ended tragically Sunday.

His body found in a car off Interstate 20 in West Monroe.

"My little balloonatic or balloon man is alright now," said Carla Barber, Darden's mother.

"I know he is in Heaven. I know he is. He just had a hard time fighting for this country."

Darden was an Army veteran who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

April Thomas, a close friend and neighbor of Darden, said it affected him in many different ways.

"With his PTSD, he had a hard time with memory. He was afraid to be by himself all the time."

But even though Darden struggled with PTSD  himself, he would try to help other veterans who were suffering from it, too.

He did more than just serve our country and help fellow veterans.

Thomas said he never met a stranger.

Chad Darden remembers one year when his brother Jonathan bought almost $1,000 worth of coats and jackets for homeless people even though he really didn't have a ton of money.

"As far as Jonathan, I can't say enough good about him. I really can't," Barber said.

To help with his PTSD, Jonathan Darden made balloon animals for children.

"He would fix so many animals. One child had a zoo, but he then started doing dresses," said Thomas.

Barber said she she went to five fashion shows with him.

Even though Barber will never see her son again, she hopes this will bring light to soldiers who are suffering from PTSD.

"Not taking care of our babies who fought for our country. We're tired of them not getting the help they need."

Wendy Bertrand, a close friend, will hold a fundraiser Saturday to help with Jonathan Darden's funeral expenses.

It will be in the parking lot of First United Methodist Church in Shreveport.

Bertrand hopes to raise money by making balloon animals in his honor.

A GoFundMe account also has been set up to collect donations.

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