Mother 'humiliated' by military after son's death
Published Thursday, October 28, 2010 10:16PM EDT
The mother of a dead soldier says that the military has humiliated her and put her through "bureaucratic hell" simply because she has tried to tie up issues with her son's estate.
The Department of National Defence even went so far as to ban Sheila Fynes from calling their offices as she attempted to get a death certificate for her son, Cpl. Stuart Langridge.
Langridge, who served in Bosnia and Afghanistan, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and killed himself at CFB Edmonton in 2008.
Fynes said that DND kept the family at arms length, withheld her soldier's suicide note and named the wrong estate executor. The soldier's girlfriend was put in that role.
"I think it's deliberate," Fynes told CTV's Power Play on Thursday. "I think they decided to keep us at arms length … because they messed up."
Fynes recently discovered that her son tried to kill himself six times before his death.
"They didn't provide the treatment that he so badly needed," she said.
Fynes added that the military has dragged the decorated soldier's name through the mud by using his alcohol and emotional issues as weapons against the family during the two-year ordeal.
Fynes, who travelled to Ottawa from her home in British Columbia this week to make her ordeal public, said that it finally appears that her case is being heard.
"This is a little bit surreal today; someone is finally listening," she said.
In Parliament, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Thursday he was "outraged" by the way Fynes has been treated.
He added that it was "unacceptable" that the military had kept the family from accessing important documents about their own son, and that the matter would be dealt with "post haste."
Fynes said that the family has racked up thousands in legal fees, and that their mood has shifted from despair and shock to anger over the two-year nightmare.
Following the death, the family was told that someone else had been assigned the important next of kin role.
When the family finally got a copy of the death certificate, "everything on it was wrong."
Fynes said that there have been four different versions of the certificate, adding to the bureaucratic nightmares the family has encountered.
Fynes is also asking that her son's medals be returned to the family.
"He was a fine soldier and a fine young man."