Soldier's mom seeks accountability, not apology
Published Sunday, April 29, 2012 8:57PM EDT
The mother of a Canadian soldier who killed himself after tours overseas says she doesn't expect an apology from the military, just accountability.
Cpl. Stuart Langridge, 29, hanged himself in the barracks at CFB Edmonton in March 2008 after serving in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
Family members have called the death preventable, pointing to signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A military inquiry into how the Department of National Defence handled his death is underway, but Langridge's mother is skeptical about what conclusions it may reach.
"I don't think it's in the military's mandate that they can say they're sorry and I don't think I can expect that will ever happen," Sheila Fynes said in an interview with CTV's Question Period on Sunday.
Fynes has long asserted that her son wasn't adequately treated for PTSD after his tours of duty. In the time that followed, she said Langridge broke off an engagement and withdrew from family and friends. He began using drugs and drinking alcohol in excess.
"They knew he was sick," Fynes asserted. "He was in a hospital where he was starting to get some help and they pulled him out."
Instead, she said Langridge was sent back to an isolated room on the base.
"I think it pushed him over the edge, I think he was humiliated," she said.
Family members learned of Langridge's death after receiving a telephone call from DND officials, said Fynes.
More than a year later the family would learn that Langridge had left a suicide note. By then, it was too late to hold a "small family funeral" as he had requested in the note. He had already received a full military ceremony.
Additional frustrations followed when Langridge's death was registered incorrectly, a mistake which Fynes said took much time and effort to remedy.
The events that followed Langridge's death have been at the centre of multiple investigations, but Fynes said the family isn't seeking money or compensation.
"What I do expect is that somebody has some accountability and will sit down with us and tell us 'What are you going to do differently so that Stuart's story never becomes somebody else's story again?'"