LINDON, Utah, Sept. 14, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Neal Anthony Currey, a social media influencer, gun advocate and owner of Ready Gunner in Orem, died Saturday, his wife, Casey Currey, confirmed on Instagram.
On Tuesday, she also shared a link to funeral details and an account that says her husband took his own life, which had not previously been revealed.
Neal Currey, 42 and a Lindon resident, was the father of six, and a former Army Ranger, who served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Although Neal lived what many considered to be the ‘perfect life,’ it is also important that people know that there was another side of him that reminds all of us that life is never as perfect as it seems and that the struggles we face in life, especially those of soldiers who have seen the horrors and trauma of combat, are real no matter who we are and what our lives seem like on the exterior,” says a statement signed by “Casey Currey and family.”
“Neal struggled, like many of you with the unseen wounds that follow soldiers home from war and continue to live within the recesses of their psyche for the rest of their lives, long after the battles are over and the accolades of their service go silent.
“Although Neal was able to compartmentalize this part of his life most of the time, the struggle would periodically surface and become an internal war which, not unlike combat, sees days of triumph and days of loss. Despite his incredible ability to fight and persevere, Neal unfortunately and ultimately lost this war and took his own life on September 10th and tragically became one of many in a long line of statistics that has come to be a long-term and painful reminder of the costs of our twenty-plus years of war.”
Neal Currey had 68,000 Instagram followers. He posted photos from his gun shop, his family’s outdoors adventures, and his various business endeavors.
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In July, Currey documented the opening of his Black Rifle Coffee Company shop in Spanish Fork, thanking Evan Handler, founder of the Orem company, for his trust and support.
He also documented family life, including videos of his kids’ first days back to school, and his playful prank, hiding in a walk in clothing closet to scare his wife. She shared recordings of his family’s outdoor adventures, including hunting and white-water rafting trips.
On Sept. 9, the day before his death, Currey posted video of himself surfing.
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Currey’s followers, commenting on his last post as they heard of his death, turned it into a tribute. Some of the individual comments follow:
- “My heart is shattered…. Neal I love you brother.”
- “I’m in disbelief. I met Neal and Cas just a few years ago and I instantly knew how special they were! My heart is shattered and I couldn’t imagine in a million years getting this news. I am praying for you guys.”
- “Neal, you are a good man. You have a solid heart. You don’t have a mean bone in your body. I love you. I will miss you. Your kindness and sound of your laugh is my favorite memory over all these years. I have no doubt you are at rest and I will see you on the other side!”
- “I just heard the news and almost fainted. I’m hurt for your family and you were literally one of the best men to ever walk the planet with open arms, open heart and one hell of a gorgeous soul. Rest Easy, forever.”
- “RIP to a true American warrior. The happiness you brought upon your family during your life was seen by so many, and inspired so many to be the best man possible to their own family. Thinking of the family during this hard time.”
- “RIP Neal, my heart is heavy today. You were a genuine soul with a heart of gold. You will be missed.”
- “Till Valhalla, brother.”
- “Deepest sympathy and condolences to the entire family. Neal was such a fun guy to follow. Even though, I only knew him through social media, he’ll be missed.”
Casey Currey’s statement said she shared the cause of death information “primarily to show that despite the fact that many soldiers live among us as our family members, loved ones, and closest friends, the pain and scars they carry with them are real and many continue to struggle no matter what kind of life they may live or how successful they are. The ones fighting their own personal battles aren’t only those isolated or show the signs of struggle in their outward, daily lives. They are our husbands, fathers, children, and friends who largely hide those pieces of themselves from the public and primarily in times of stress or periodically and the painful reminders of their service surface, only we can see.
“In the midst of our collective grief, and if there is any positive that can be derived from this tragic event, it is my profound hope that we can all become more vigilant in seeing the signs that someone needs help and offer it to those that we see living through these struggles. If you are personally struggling, ask for help and see that there is a better alternative to choosing a path that destroys the lives of loved ones and friends and leaves a hole that can never be filled, no matter how much time passes. A path where we refocus our efforts to support our returning soldiers and end the cycle of veteran suicide in any way that we can.”
The post also asked people to consider donating to Warfighter Made, which helps struggling veterans with therapy, vehicle adaptation, and other tools to improve their lives.
Those struggling with suicidal thoughts are urged to call the national hotline at 988.