Injured Canadian soldier dies after apparent suicide


A Canadian soldier who had a foot blown off in Afghanistan has died of an apparent suicide, raising questions about the distress faced by combat troops.

Private Frédéric Couture of the Royal 22nd Regiment died on Wednesday at his parents' home.

His left leg had been amputated below the knee after he stepped on a land mine in December. His mother felt that he wasn't acting the same after he was sent home, according to former army sergeant Georges Dumont.

Mr. Dumont is part of a veterans support group that sued Ottawa for failing to provide proper treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr. Dumont said he had called Pte. Couture, offering help. Pte. Couture's mother, Linda Lagimonière, answered and told him that her son had changed but that he felt he didn't need counselling.

Mr. Dumont's contacts at CFB Valcartier told him that Pte. Couture committed suicide at his family home in Roxton Pond, 90 kilometres east of Montreal.

A friend of Pte. Couture who spoke to the TVA network, said the 22-year-old soldier shot himself even though he had said in recent days that he was fine and looked forward to returning to Valcartier.

Pte. Couture's mother had said “something wasn't working right” with her son, Mr. Dumont said. “It's possible he was in denial. You can't twist a guy's arm to make him admit he's ailing.”

Withdrawal and moodiness are warning signs, said a psychotherapist helping military post- traumatic stress disorder sufferers. “You feel like you're nobody and absolutely nobody understands what you went through,” said Rob Tyler, a retired army captain.

He said many are reluctant to seek treatment because they would be seen as weak and lazy. “There's this whole cult in the military about being tough,” he said.

In interviews earlier this year, just after he was discharged from hospital, Pte. Couture, sitting in a wheelchair, played down the impact of his injury. “That's part of the risk of my job,” he told the Journal de Montréal.

But he was more despondent when he was initially wounded. A correspondent with the Sunday Telegraph newspaper was embedded with Pte. Couture's unit as it conducted a foot patrol in December. The reporter described a loud detonation when Pte. Couture walked on a mine.

“I'm 21 and I've lost my foot,” the young man repeatedly said as another soldier applied a tourniquet. “What do you think I'm going to do?”

A news conference at CFB Valcartier was initially planned, then cancelled.

Defence spokeswoman Sarah Kavanagh said all efforts were being made to detect distress among combat veterans and give adequate support to those who require special treatment.

She added that Canadian Forces medical experts had been in contact with Pte. Couture and his family since his return from Afghanistan and were closely monitoring the soldier's progress.

The federal minister for the Quebec City area, Josée Verner, announced yesterday more than $1.4-million in additional funding for a local outpatient program to help soldiers and veterans deal with PTSD.

“We're all powerless when confronted by suicide,” Ms. Verner said.

With a report from Rhéal Séguin in Quebec City



Our commentary in the Globe and Mail

  1. You (Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa - Home of family court flagrant abusers of judicial POWER., Canada) wrote: Private Frédéric Couture did not blow his own foot off, it was not his fault, it was not his fault that he suffered depression. It begs the question, what sort of psychological support was he receiving? His comments indicated a need for help. If you think Private Frédéric Couture had reason to be depressed, spare a thought for all the fathers in Canada who end up victims of gender apartheid and never see their children again. Take lawyers like Lesley C. Kendall of the Kingston Ontario law firm Cunningham Swan Carty Little & Bonham or Joanne Barber or Timmins Ontario. Both personally fabricated evidence to prevent a father from ever seeing his child again. Joanne A. Barber provided a false written submission to a Justice Robert N. Fournier stating that the father admitted perjury when no such admission was ever made. That father was then repeatedly arrested, thrown in jail, where an associate of Joanne Barber and the mother had a jail guard tell prisoners he was , one of the worst in society, when that did not work, he personally took the father into a private room and threatened to kill him. Later a judge in Sudbury ordered a "fast track of trial of custody" and threw out a local order that he was a "vexatious litigant", The mother responded by hiring Lesley C. Kendall who had no evidence of any harassment so she fabricated a threat against her self and gave her own evidence while arguing a motion. Justice Denis Power gave her a restraining order against the father, not for any threats or danger, but "to end the litigation" that was ORDERED BY A JUDGE. Fathers are second class citizens in Canada. You can feel the hatred towards men O O Z I N G out of the court room walls. Throw in a judge like Denis Power with a seething anger problem and a propensity to flagrantly abuse his judicial power and you have enough to make many man depressed, in fact, more men kill themselves than die from HIV or for that matter than those killed in Afghanistan.



  1. You (Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa - Home of family court flagrant abusers of judicial POWER., Canada) wrote: Today I'm grieving the loss of yet more Canadian lives in Afghanistan. I'm also getting very annoyed at seeing all those bumper stickers saying "if you not behind our troops, then feel free to stand in front of them" This is childish simple minded logic. I think all Canadians support our troops without question. The other question is should we be in Afghanistan and to do that we have to ask why are we in Afghanistan before considering the question of when and how to pull out. We are in Afghanistan as a "feel good" move to appease the Americans who were the ones who decided on a Hollywood shock and awe military "crusade" and then who left a stinking festering mess for the rest of the world to "clean up" or pacify without any thought to how the residents of that country might view foreigners. Now we are stuck with the moral question of how and when should we get out but, we need to remember of how and why we ended up there. In hindsight, we can see that the American administration, fabricated a stack of bullshit evidence to justify an invasion of Iraq. Any reasonable knowledgeable person would have and did predict the incredible loss of life and that begs the question of was it worth that just to "get rid of Sadam"?. The reality is that after the USA decided to invade Afghanistan they had the responsibility to follow it through till the end, no matter the cost, BEFORE they embarked on "another crusade". Just why should Canada have to loose hundreds of lives to clean up a festering mess that is an American responsibility. Lets hope that can Americans can find their way to do their obligation and fix the mess that they created.