Scholarship established in memory of verteran who suffered from PSTD

To honor the memory of their nephew, Aaron (AJ) Jones, Patrick and Linda Skowronek of Alpena recently established the AJ Jones Memorial Scholarship with the Alpena Community College Foundation.

Born on Sept. 23, 1995 in Flint, AJ was part of theCclass of 2014 from Hill McCoy High School in Montrose. He was a Boy Scout for many years and enjoyed mountain climbing, hunting and fishing. AJ was so eager to be part of the U.S. Army, he got his GED in 2013 so he could enlist before his high school graduation. He started his Army life in December 2013.

Before his commitment to the Army was completed, AJ started showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sought psychiatric treatment. This led to his discharge from the Army and AJ returned to Montrose at the end of 2016.

AJ’s mother Andrea Prevo Jones said, “Almost immediately AJ had difficulties adjusting to civilian life even though he had a very loving and supportive family by his side. Sometimes that is not enough.”

In early 2017, AJ was taken to Hurley ER and admitted to a psychiatric facility. After his release, AJ started seeking treatment from the VA. They were made aware of his previous ER visit and resulting admittance. In addition, his mother called to make his most recent appointment and informed them that AJ was suicidal and hearing voices.

On June 28, 2017, AJ went to his appointment at the VA and he spoke with two individuals that morning. He was sent home with an appointment after the 4th of July holiday.

“AJ must have felt hopeless and he went home, broke into the locked gun cabinet, loaded the shotgun and ended his own life,” his mother said.

To honor the life of AJ, his service to our country, and to help bring a greater awareness of PTSD, the AJ Jones Memorial Scholarship will provide an annual $500 award to a student enrolled in ACC’s pre-nursing program. Applicants must be currently serving in the military, a veteran or an immediate dependent of a veteran.

Deadline to apply for this scholarship is Dec. 1. For more information, contact ACC Foundation Executive Director Penny Boldrey at 358-7297, or email boldreyp@alpenacc.edu.