PTSD is a common affliction among veterans. For one Ashe County local, this trauma has been a lifelong struggle. John Longo is a retired 66-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran who has served in Vietnam and has been stationed in various countries all over the world, from Thailand to Japan t0 Saudi Arabia, to name a few. Time serving in the military made adjusting to domestic life very challenging for Longo. It brought on a divorce with his first wife and a complicated relationship with his children. His PTSD has also created issues with his 32-year-old marriage with his current wife, Becky.
Despite the struggles Longo has gone through, he finds healing through his faith in God, his relationship with nature and his dedication to community service. Longo volunteers with Musicians Missions of Mercy, a volunteer organization in West Jefferson dedicated to providing members of the Ashe community in need with life essentials. Longo feels compelled to be a servant towards others. He also has a close friendship with the co-founder of the organization, Catherine Steele, and aims to help veterans like him by opening an equine center so they can find therapy with horses.