Imagine you are the widow of a dead soldier and they gave you the wrong body to bury. I think you’d be pretty pissed off. But this is exactly what has happened …
The grieving family, friends and fellow soldiers of Private Kovco had been preparing for his burial in Gippsland today with full military honours.
But the wrong casket containing an unidentified body was flown into Melbourne early this morning instead of Private Kovco’s, the first Australian soldier killed in Iraq.
The body will now not be returned to the family until at least Saturday.
Private Kovco’s mother Judy said: “They’ve told us at some stage that it’s a Bosnian in that coffin.”
And now as we have all expected, Private Kovco wasn’t cleaning his gun when he got shot. But it is still classed as an “accidental discharge”.
[Defense Minister Dr. Brendan Nelson said], “It was near him in his vicinity and he made some kind of movement which suggests that it discharged.
“There was obviously a live round in it which there should not have been and that’s as much as I should probably say at the moment.”
Did that clear up anything for you? If they weren’t hiding anything, would he end his statement with “that’s as much as I should probably say at the moment”? Suicide or accident, I think the family deserves the truth in a timely fashion. And not after reporters have had to dig it out of the Army or the Department of Defense reluctantly.
But being the cynical me, I doubt that the authorities involved would ever utter the word “suicide” because that will just open up a whole new can of worms for them. Why was he suicidal? Why didn’t the Army notice this? If they had, why didn’t they do anything about it? Are there programs to adequately deal with psychological stress and depression? There isn’t? Why not?
Frankly, if I were them, that’s just too many questions that I would want to deal with.
Added 12:44PM: As always, Dominic Knight has a good write-up. I’m such a fanboy.
[tags]Kovco, war, suicide[/tags]