A young airman stationed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland was found dead from an apparent suicide in his home in Alexandria, Virginia on Saturday night.
Senior Airman XinHua Mesenburg reportedly died from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to his family.
In an emotional Facebook post, Mesenburg’s father, Mitch, revealed that his 25-year-old son sent an image of a handwritten note to his parents the night of his passing:
“I hope that all of you remember me fondly, I hope all of you will live a long and happy life. As I fade from your memories, please know this was nobody’s fault. The stress life has given me, finally broke my will to live.” XM Mesenburg
The said message prompted Mitch and his wife, Shannon, to immediately call 911. They tried to call their son repeatedly but were unable to reach him.
In the post, Mitch noted that his son “had an infectious laugh and fun disposition,” and enjoyed playing games.
“When he hugged you, he would not let go until you did first,” Mitch wrote.
Mesenburg, who joined the Air Force in March 2014, served as a response force leader assigned to the 11th Security Forces Squadron. He was stationed at Andrews in November 2014.
Originally from China, Mesenburg was adopted and brought to the United States when he was 8 years old. While he didn’t speak any English, they eventually found a way to teach him at home.
“There were times we sat in the driveway … I would point to a tree, he would write the Chinese characters for it in chalk on the driveway,” wrote Mitch.
“At one point the driveway was full of Chinese characters describing all the beauty that surrounded us.”
According to Mitch, XinHua developed an affinity for reading books as soon as he learned English. XinHua, who read five to 10 books a week, was also a talented tennis player.
Mitch revealed that his son had spoken about making a career out of the military soon after his recent deployment to Qatar. He said his son loved the Air Force and was hoping to enter the intelligence career field in the future.
“XinHua seemed to have the world by the tail and was ready for more,” Mitch noted.
“Being an eternal optimist, I can only hope that something good comes out of this. If you are someone with conflict in their life and these thoughts enter your mind, please take a moment to speak with someone. There is absolutely no problem that can’t be fixed,” he added.
“Hug your kids and loved ones and don’t let go, life is much too short and fragile. They say to watch for signs, sometimes they are just not there.”
XinHua’s family urged mourners to donate to a veterans organization that works to prevent suicide in lieu of flowers.
Master Sgt. Jacob Richmond, spokesman for the 11th Wing at Andrews, told Air Force Times that the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia are conducting a joint investigation on XinHua’s death.