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Relief and grief for grateful mothers

Four mothers who vowed to never give up until their children's deaths were "properly investigated" have been left "overwhelmed" by Scott Morrison's announcement of an independent commissioner.

Glenda Weston, whose Afghanistan veteran son Bradley Carr, 34, who was born on Remembrance Day and died on Anzac Day last year, said the news was "hard to process", but was a welcome relief.

"We are so proud of each other and especially Julie-Ann Finney for getting to this point. It has been emotionally draining," Ms Weston said.

"Hopefully now the changes that are required can be implemented and our veterans receive the help they so desperately need."

Julie-Ann Finney at her son’s gravesite on Tuesday night.
Julie-Ann Finney at her son’s gravesite on Tuesday night.

Ms Finney led the charge, backed by the The Telegraph's Save Our Heroes campaign, after her veteran son David died last February aged 38.

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Private Bradley Carr.
Private Bradley Carr.

 

Nikki Jamieson had to bury her army private son Daniel Garforth, 21.

"I wholeheartedly welcome the announcement and commend the Government for doing it," Ms Jamieson said. "The most important thing is to make sure they appoint the right Commissioner who can look right into Defence."

 

 

Glenda Weston and Nikki Jamieson in Sydney last year for the Save Our Heroes Summit. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Glenda Weston and Nikki Jamieson in Sydney last year for the Save Our Heroes Summit. Picture: Jonathan Ng

 

Jan Hewitt, who lost her Afghanistan veteran son Brock, made it her mission to be his voice but never thought she would see "any change."

"I know it won't bring our boys back, but if it saves just one family from going through what we have been through then the job is done," she said.

 

 

Jan Hewitt, mother of Brock Hewitt. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Jan Hewitt, mother of Brock Hewitt. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Colleen Pillen from Sydney whose son Michael Powers died before he was due to be deployed said: "I was absolutely elated at the announcement but the raw grief reared its very ugly head.

"I didn't realise how much I've had it on hold for."

 

 

Colleen Pillen, mother of Michael Powers. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Colleen Pillen, mother of Michael Powers. Picture: Jonathan Ng

SANE Helpline: 1800 18 72 63

Lifeline: 131 114

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

Private Bradley Carr in Afghanistan.
Private Bradley Carr in Afghanistan.


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