Calls for royal commission after veteran commits suicide on Anzac Day
Calls for royal commission after veteran commits suicide on Anzac Day

Battle with bureaucracy too much for brave veteran

PRIVATE  Bradley Carr was born on Remembrance Day and died on Anzac Day - a veteran and a victim of Veteran's Affairs, but "politicians don't see us at the cemetery screaming at the ground hysterically", his heartbroken mother says.

The 34-year-old was a war veteran and, his mother says, a victim of the Department of Veteran's Affairs.

His final years were plagued by the torment of fighting bureaucrats and by pain from injuries and also trauma sustained from witnessing horror, including the explosion that killed his friend Private Benjamin Ranaudo in Afghanistan.

Private Bradley Carr saw horror and destruction during his deployment in Afghanistan.
Private Bradley Carr saw horror and destruction during his deployment in Afghanistan.

His mother Glenda Weston said her son struggled with the DVA for six years after his discharge in 2012 trying to get a health care Gold Card.

"My issue is with DVA's point system where you need so many points to get this Gold Card just to cover your healthcare needs," Mrs Weston said.

"And once you start progressing, the DVA would call and say you failed a step and push you back to stage one. This process was a constant kick in the head for Bradley."

Bradley Carr’s mother Glenda Weston and sister Gayette Burt have joined the calls for a royal commission.
Bradley Carr’s mother Glenda Weston and sister Gayette Burt have joined the calls for a royal commission.

Her son endured years of physical pain after being prescribed pain killers to mask injuries acquired in the army.

"His first major attempt at suicide was two days after his discharge and he ended up in hospital for 12 days," she said.

Mrs Weston has joined The Daily Telegraph's campaign supporting fellow grieving military mother Julie-Ann Finney 's calls for a royal commission into hundreds of military suicides.

"The Defence Force and politicians don't see us going to the cemetery and screaming at the ground hysterically," she said.

"But once you're gone from the ADF, you're gone."

Private Bradley Carr as a young serviceman.
Private Bradley Carr as a young serviceman.

In 2017, Mr Carr finally received mental health treatment before taking his life this year on Anzac Day. He only received his DVA Gold Card in 2018.

"In the last eight months, Bradley became paranoid, was on prescribed drugs, and drinking alcohol," she said.

After his death, Mrs Weston went through a "whole big folder" of papers from his discharge.

"I was horrified at what I saw and the horror and destruction he witnessed. I wish I had read them before but I didn't," Mrs Weston said.

Mr Carr at Townsville Private Clinic in November 2018.
Mr Carr at Townsville Private Clinic in November 2018.

LNP Herbert MP Phillip Thompson, who served with Mr Carr, said he will be meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison next week and will be "considering every option", including a royal commission.

"I'm not in government to hear another talkfest and see another report. I want to be part of actual change," he said.

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Mr Carr in 2017 in his Townsville home.
Mr Carr in 2017 in his Townsville home.