Fallen soldier’s mother blasts secret visit
PHYSICALLY and mentally ripped to pieces by the relentless search for justice following the suicide of her military son, Glenda Weston is furious she was never invited the Interim Veteran Commissioner's fly by visit to Townsville.
Dr Bernadette Boss was appointed as interim National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention on October 1, and despite the position not yet being legislated, was in Townsville to host roundtable discussions with veteran support agencies "to start the conversation."
Charters Towers mother Glenda Weston has been part of a mother's club that she'd never wish upon anyone, drawn together in grief and with one thing in common - their son's have all died by suicide.
Ms Westons's son Bradley Carr died by suicide on Anzac Day 2019 after a lengthy battle against a mental enemy that presented after his deployment with the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
She has been relentlessly campaigning for a Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide ever since and was "disgusted" to learn Dr Boss arrived in Townsville to speak about the topic but did not extend an invite to her.
"What a slap in the face that she "Dr Boss" can come here and not even reach out, I would have loved an invite to share my experience and thoughts," Ms Weston said.
"She (Dr Boss) can have a private visit to the Oasis and can hold secret meetings with all these CEO's and Directors of these veterans groups but where were the people in the room that are living and breathing this pain every day?
"If the Major Generals and Directors were able to solve this then it would have been done but they don't want the truth, there's too many hierarchies that don't want this to come down on their head and the Army just want it all covered up because they're responsible."
Ms Weston firmly believes the role of a Veteran Commissioner would be substandard to a Royal Commission.
The Prime Minister announced the national commissioner role in February after coming under pressure from the bereaved mothers and growing noise from the defence community, however it has hit a roadblock in being legislated after lacking the support in the upper house in October.
"This is a state of emergency, not in four years time but now and we can't wait around for the Interim commissioner to maybe be legislated," Ms Weston said.
"They think the heat is going to cool down and all these women who are a pain in the backs are going to just disappear but we're not going away.
"If they can send our boys off to war and destroy them then they can look after them when they get back."
Originally published as OUTRAGED: Fallen soldier's mother blasts secret visit