PTSD: A family’s distress

David Pugliese/Postmedia News

Fynes Public Interest Hearing

Corporal (Cpl) Stuart Langridge committed suicide at Canadian Forces Base/Area Support Unit (CFB/ASU) Edmonton on March 15, 2008. He had served in Bosnia and Afghanistan. His parents, Shaun and Sheila Fynes, maintain that he was suffering from depression and post traumatic stress disorder at the time of his death. Mr. and Mrs. Fynes have filed a complaint with the MPCC relating to three investigations conducted by the Canadian Forces National Investigations Service (CFNIS) following the death of their son.

In May 2011, the Commission began a Public Interest Investigation into the complaint and on September 6, 2011, the MPCC announced it would hold a Public Interest Hearing into the military police investigations relating to the death of Corporal Stuart Langridge.

The allegations in Mr. and Mrs. Fynes complaint include:

  • The CFNIS did not conduct independent investigations into the matter;
  • The investigations they conducted were inadequate and biased;
  • The investigations were aimed at exonerating Canadian Forces (CF) members of any responsibility for their failure to prevent Cpl Langridge’s death and for the manner in which they were subsequently treated;
  • CFNIS failed to investigate important issues; and
  • CFNIS failed to disclose the existence of a suicide note from their son to the Fynes.

The Commission’s mandate is to investigate the conduct of the Military Police in this case. The Commission’s investigation will focus on the complainants’ allegations, which include allegations that the police investigations lacked impartiality and independence and that the MP failed to provide sufficient and timely information to them.

Fynes Public Interest Hearing – Timeline

Fynes Public Interest Hearing – Witness List

From Mike Blais, Canadian Veterans Advocacy:

I have spoken to Mrs Sheila Fynes in reference to the Hearing that will be conducted in Ottawa on March 27th, 2012 into the circumstances surrounding her son’s tragic death. Let me state for the record that the Canadian Veterans Advocacy has no agenda other that offering full compassionate support to the Fynes, their quest for justice and ultimately, a sense of closure. On a personal level, I have been deeply affected by our conversation -very emotional- and am DETERMINED to ensure this proud and courageous woman has the proper support element when she is in Ottawa. The hearing is TWELVE WEEKS in length and due to the distance between Niagara and the costs of travel and accommodations…

We will need your help. There will be times when Mrs Fynes will be alone due to the travel and the travel restrictions imposed. I feel that the presence of veterans compassionate to her cause and fretful that such a tragedy could very well occur again if an honest, transparent hearing does not occur, will offer her family reassurance when she is in Ottawa alone and confronting what will undoubtedly be a very traumatic period in her life.

I am appealing to your heart. Can you help us provide a support line? Would you consider sitting beside her when I am not able to be in Ottawa? Would you consider offering me a place to sleep to defer expenses? I will be traveling up to Ottawa Monday to ensure that I am on site for Tuesday and will do my best to be there as often as i am able but… What left over from my pension only goes so far and being disabled, couch hopping is not an option.

These are the type of Canadian Veterans Advocacy pro-active humanitarian operations your donations are sponsoring. Unfortunately, due to two unexpected trips to Ottawa on the budget front and the monthly payment for our insurance, the CVA account is taking a beating. Be advised, I/we pay our own way re food and sleep cheap. Only transportation and accommodations are covered from the CVA warchest. Even still, the personal costs have not been insignificant over the past year and due to the intensity of the current schedule, to add the cost of logistics will surely affect our proactive ops and place a great deal of strain on our families.

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About Bonnie Toews and John Christiansen

Bonnie's Blog Posts invite our readers and free spirits everywhere to share life's adventures with us. I talk about writing my novels, reading books, chatting with other writers and John's and my journeys around the world. We welcome your anecdotes to our experiences and discussions.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan vets, Canadian Armed Forces, estrangement from family, Homecoming Vets, post traumatic stress disorder, suicide, veterans' affairs, veterans' assistance programs and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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