A woman whose son took his own life after a decorated military career has revealed what the government offered her after his death.
The mother of an Australian soldier who died by suicide has urged the government to stop trying to appease her and to do something to address the problem.
The mother of a suicidal veteran shot the prime minister and said he offered her and other grieving mothers a medal because their sons committed suicide.
Julie-Ann Finney’s son David served his country for 20 years before leaving the Navy with post-traumatic stress disorder.
He turned to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and said he needed help. But his requests fell on deaf ears.
Its tragic story is by no means an isolated incident. Since we first sent our forces to Afghanistan in 2001, over 600 veterans have committed suicide. Nine ADF veterans – including eight men and one woman between the ages of 20 and 50 – have committed suicide in the past three weeks.
Since losing David, Ms. Finney has been pushing for a royal commission on the suicide of veterans, and this week the fate of that proposal rests in the hands of the federal government.
She burst into tears on live television today talking about how the Prime Minister tried to « calm down » her and other mothers by giving them medals after their sons died.
« This government offered me and other mothers a mother medal. I don’t know what that would look like, but maybe a little rope or a bottle of pills that I can carry and say, « My child committed suicide, » she said.
« They made up things to calm us down, and that’s all they do. « . They appease us. I am not appeased. My son is dead.
« You want to give me the opportunity to tell me a story. My son is dead. I have to live with it. This is my story. That is not enough. We need an investigation. ”
She appeared alongside Labor leader Anthony Albanese and said the government’s alternative to a royal commission to be voted on in parliament this week fell far short of the expectations of veteran mothers.
In an interview with News. com. Au last week she said the two years since her son’s death have been driven by a desire to make sure other veterans do not suffer from what her son has done.
« Two years ago I was nothing but a mother. I am still very grateful that I was allowed to be his mother. But now I’ll fight for him. I’m not foolish enough to think I can bring him back, but I can help other veterans who are suffering, ”she said.
In February of this year, the Prime Minister announced that he would appoint a National Commissioner for Defense and Suicide Prevention for Veterans. However, as Ms. Finney points out, the position would not provide independent oversight and would not act until a veteran has taken on her own life.
« My son will be part of the data analysis. We don’t need data analysis. We need accountability.
« It’s a waste of money. We, the parents who ask for this royal commission, . . . it is important to us. They say they want to listen to us, but they don’t. The commissioner is a soothing law. There won’t be anything for veterans. ”
Mr Albanese said the legislation would effectively provide for someone to be like an additional coroner when tragedy occurs.
Anthony Albanese said government legislation does not go far enough. Image: NCA NewsWire / Joel Carrett Source: News Corp Australia
Ms. Finney said the legislation passed by the Morrison administration « does nothing for veterans ». .
« No veteran is helped. We do not need any changes or adjustments to this legislation. It just has to be defeated, so let it go through the Prime Minister and let it be defeated, ”she said.
« Today I am incredibly grateful, I am incredibly grateful that Labor really heard the families. In the past it was said we were heard, but no one listened to us. We need well-being for our veterans.
« They signed a blank check for us, and the only way to get well-being is with a full Royal Commission. And today I feel emotional and I apologize.
« I apologize, but my son and many other children, many other families, deserve nothing less. If we take care of them, we have a royal commission. ”
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Veteran, US military veteran’s suicide, Jacqui Lambie, Shayne Neumann, government
World News – AU – Veteran suicides: Dead soldier’s mother slams mother ??? Medal offer
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