William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

NEWS POETRY
Articles From The Victoria Times Colonist 28 And 29 March 2012

Jim Lowther, David MacLeod and my friend Dave Munro;
They try to take homeless veterans in out of the snow.
Dozy MP Rob Anders a fellow member on the VAC committee.
Was obnoxiously sleeping on the job for the whole world to see.

Sleepy sees a commie behind every tree – even good guys in our NDP?
I hope at his new committee on Scrutiny of Regulations he’ll be free
To catch up on the deep sleep that he missed on the VAC Committee
Because veterans deserve undivided attention in this land of the free.

Corporal Stuart Langridge suffered operational stress injuries, or so it seems?
He came home from Bosnia and Afghanistan with nightly suicidal dreams?
He tried to kill himself five times but the Army did not say too much about that?
On the sixth try he was successful: where were the head shrink team members at?

His parents want answers and they have hired our own Colonel Mike Drapeau.
Colonel Mike he does not lose cases and he is very thorough, as you all know.
The Forces failed a suicidal soldier and for what reasons did they just let him die?
As these hearings continue, perhaps our Colonel Mike Drapeau, will learn why?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Forces Failed Suicidal Soldier: Family’s Lawyer

Postmedia News

OTTAWA – Despite the experience of an increasing number of suicides among returning Afghanistan war veterans, the Canadian Forces failed to prevent the death of a suicidal army corporal who had attempted five times to kill himself, a military inquiry was told Tuesday.

In only the third case in its 13-year history, the Military Police Complaints
Commission began an inquiry into the March 15, 2008 death of Cpl. Stuart
Langridge, who had served in Bosnia and had been part of a high-risk reconnaissance unit in the mountains around Kabul in Afghanistan.

Langridge, who was allegedly left hanging and uncovered for four hours while Canadian Forces Base Edmonton’s military police conducted their initial investigation, was buried on his 28th birthday.

According to Langridge’s mother and stepfather, Sheila and Shaun Fynes of Victoria, their son left a suicide note addressed to his family that military police kept from them for more than a year, and that included a request that he not have “any kind
of fancy funeral … just family.”

The Department of National Defence held a full military funeral for Langridge anyway.

There have been three military police investigations into the corporal’s death, all of which his parents say were biased and incompetent.

A subsequent military inquiry comprised a panel of one military engineer and two infantry lieutenants who, said family lawyer Michel Drapeau, were not qualified to rule on a medical case.

“Inexplicably, the military board of inquiry refused to acknowledge that Stuart was suffering from an acute form of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder],” said Drapeau. “Instead, it fixated on blaming Stuart’s suicide on the divorce of his parents, and the subsequent estrangement of his father when Stuart was five years old.”

Langridge’s family had to use the Access to Information Act to get a copy of the panel’s report, and still hasn’t received one from the Defence Department.

The family has launched more than 30 allegations against 13 military police officers.

The case is about a soldier’s suicide and the treatment of his family after the death, Sheila Fynes said outside the hearing.

The hearing will continue next week.

Times Colonist: Canada – Thursday, March 29, 2011

Veterans Pleased Drowsy MP Bounced From Committee

JEFF DAVIS: Postmedia News

Drowsy MP: MP Rob Anders
Drowsy MP: MP Rob Anders, right, is seen sleeping in the House of Commons in this video screenshot from 2011
OTTAWA – Calgary Conservative MP Rob Anders has been removed from the Veterans Affairs Committee, a move applauded by the two Halifax veterans Anders
called “NDP hacks” after he fell asleep in committee earlier this month.

“Wow!” Jim Lowther, president of Veterans Emergency Transition Services, said Wednesday when informed of Anders’s removal “It took a while, but they made the right decision.”

Lowther said veterans were poorly served by Anders and had simply had enough of his antics.

“If you’re going to be on the Veterans Affairs Committee, committed to protecting veterans, you can’t attack them,” he said. “Veterans are joining together like never before and we’re not putting up with it anymore.”

Anders has been replaced by rookie Toronto-area Tory MP Corneliiu Chisu, and reassigned to the House-Senate Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulation.

After nodding off in a committee meeting held in Halifax some weeks ago, Anders denied falling asleep. He later went on the offensive, describing two Afghan war veterans, who volunteer their time to help homeless former soldiers, as “NDP hacks” and supporters of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Anders has been absent from all Veterans Affairs Committee meetings held since the meeting in Halifax.

Despite an apology in the House of Commons, the two veterans in question – Lowther and David MacLeod – demanded Anders step down from the committee.

Liberal MP Sean Casey said Anders – who was also caught dozing in the House
of Commons in November – has a history of falling asleep on the job.

“Quite simply he frequently falls asleep,” he said. “My estimate is that in probably one third of the meetings, he dozes off.”

 Sheila and Shaun Fynes
Sheila and Shaun Fynes of Victoria show a photograph of their son, Cpl Stuart Langridge, a Canadian Forces Soldier who hanged himself in his Edmonton barracks in 2008

Victoria Family of dead soldiers hopes enquiry helps others

Hearing to examine circumstances surrounding corporal’s suicide

ROBERT HILTZ: Postmedia News

OTTAWA – The Victoria family of a soldier found dead in his barracks in 2008 is relieved that a public inquiry into the circumstances of his death is going to begin today – the day after what would have been his 34th birthday.

Sheila and Shaun Fynes said their biggest hope is that some good can come from the suicide of their son, Cpl. Stuart Langridge.

“We’re not wallowing in self-pity,” Shaun Fynes said.

“We try and look for the positive in everything and this is a way to bring a positive from Stuart’s death that something can be done to help others.”

Both parents said they hope the hearings before the Military Police Complaints Commission – an independent, civilian-run investigative body – will shed light on the factors that led to Langridge’s death.

On March 15, 2008, Langridge was found hanging in his Edmonton barracks.

A veteran of tours in Afghanistan and Bosnia, Langridge was diagnosed with depression and posttraumatic stress disorder and previously had attempted to take his own life on six separate occasions.

The family hopes the hearings will determine how their son was able to kill himself when he was under the care of military doctors.

Military police also withheld Langridge’s suicide note from his family for almost 15 months.

“We’re absolutely delighted that the Military Police Complaints Commission paid heed to us and took us seriously,” Shaun Fynes said. “This is very personal to us. We’re very serious about it.”

“No family should ever go through what we’ve gone through … to get answers,” Sheila Fynes said. “It’s been a long four years.”

Sheila Fynes said the best outcome from the hearing would be if it prevented
another soldier from taking his or her own life.

“I think I speak for all mothers when I do this. I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful there will be lessons learned,” she said.

Though the experience has been tough on the family, they have received nothing but support from veterans and veterans groups. Sheila said several veterans were coming to Ottawa to support the family. Her husband added that none of the groups had a political agenda and they were simply showing support for the family of a veteran.

Despite their determination to see the process through, the family came close to being overwhelmed by the hearings when their lawyer had to withdraw his services because they couldn’t afford to pay him.

However, Michel Drapeau learned [on] March 16 [that] his legal fees would be covered by the government, four days after he was forced to drop the case because he could no longer continue at the demanding case following months of pro-bono work.

“It was at the 11th hour – we’ve been waiting since October,” Shaun Fynes said. “We don’t have the means to get involved in a public-interest hearing for two-and-a-half months with our limited resources. We were going to have to go it alone.”

Legal costs could run as high as $200,000 due to the complex nature of the hearing, involving thousands of pages of evidence and testimony.

The hearing is expected to take two and a half months, at the end of which the commission is expected to issue recommendations based on its findings.