Veterans Affairs 'spitting on his memory' says sister of deceased war vet
Lisa Brumsey says Veterans Affairs Canada was more concerned with retrieving back pay than respect
A Deer Lake woman says Veterans Affairs Canada has failed her family following the death of her brother who battled mental illness after serving in Afghanistan.
Lisa Brumsey's brother, Shawn Brumsey, 50, died more than a year ago at his home in Kelligrews. He had a heart attack in January 2015 but his body wasn't found until police entered his home four months later.
Brumsey said she's had a difficult year dealing with the aftermath of his death.
"I haven't been able to grieve. I haven't been able to realize that he is really gone, and dealing with so many things...trying to get his house done, fighting with the insurance and to me, it just about broke me," she said.
Brumsey believes Veterans Affairs should have done more for her family.
"They weren't much help. They told me about the Last Post Fund but the Last Post Fund wouldn't pay for the funeral," she said.
Concerned about back pay
Brumsey said Veterans Affairs was more concerned with recovering the money that Shawn, a retired Corporal, was sent after his death.
"They were too worried about back pay. Where he died in January he was still getting deposits in his bank account until May. So they were more interested in getting the back pay," said Brumsey.
"I was horrified and I was like 'I just need help.' I said 'who cares about the money. I want honour and respect for my brother. I need help.'"
She said Veterans Affairs showed disregard for her brother who was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression related to his 28 years of service in the military.
"I think the government and the military should honour him and respect him and help get his things in order. It was a tragedy. My brother protected this country for 28 years and this is the respect that they gave him. They gave him nothing. To me they spit on his grave," she said.
"I asked for help and every time I got no one helping me. I'll check into it. Nothing came of it. I felt like they were spiting on his memory."
CBC asked Veterans Affairs what assistance it offers families after a vet dies but no one was available for comment.