34-Year-Old Veteran Dies By Suicide After Attending Funerals Of 9 Friends Killed In Conflict

34-Year-Old Veteran Dies By Suicide After Attending Funerals Of 9 Friends Killed In Conflict

“He was screaming for help but no one was listening," said Hayley Gough, his wife.

Image Source: GoFundMe/In Loving Memory Of Lance Shingler

It is extremely difficult to see someone you love die before you. There's a lot more to being a soldier than meets the eye, and the trauma that they go through during their stint with protecting and serving the country catches up to them sooner or later, and that is exactly what happened to this Iraqi war veteran who is said to have "taken his own life." The Mirror reports that 34-year-old Lance Shingler was devastated after he attended funerals of nine of his comrades who lost their lives during the conflict. He was reportedly haunted by their death and is said to have died of an overdose.


Shingler, a dad-of-two, lost the battle to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He died in front of his wife, Hayley Gough, who told their children, Riley, eight, and Elliey-Jaye, six, that their dad wasn't coming back. Shingler served in Iraq between 2003 and 2008 with the Fourth Battalion The Rifle, where he experienced a fair share of personal loss while in action. He left the army in 2008 and since then, he had been battling PTSD. While dealing with this, he attended the funerals of nine of his friends, all of whom lost their lives in the line of duty. 


"While he was there nine of his friends died. He went to the funeral of each one," Leanne Poole, a close family friend, told Birmingham Live. "When he left the army he found it hard to cope at times and he didn't receive the support he should have from various groups and organizations." The tragic incident took place on February 12, where he was found collapsed at home. He was soon rushed to the hospital but unfortunately, he couldn't be saved. Though the family has requested an inquest, they feel this could have been prevented if he had had more support after his service.


"We will be highlighting the struggles of ex-military and the lack of support for PTSD so Lance's death isn't in vain. So much more needs to be done for ex-servicemen because, at the moment, not enough is being done," Poole stated. Shockingly, Shingler's death last month had been the 12th suicide by members of The Rifles regiment since 2017. Shingler personally knew at least six of them who had died by suicide. “He was screaming for help but no one was listening," said a devastated Gough. “Too many members of The Rifles have taken their own lives and no one in Government seems in the least bothered.”


The minister for veterans, Johnny Mercer is also concerned about this pattern of deaths that seem to have been become a norm. He says that he is especially concerned about the recent deaths involving "a unit that served at a specific time in Afghanistan" which is considered to be the bloodiest time.  “Lance suffered from ­survivors guilt. A lot of his friends were killed. Lance ­wondered why he survived. One of his friends had been shot in the head. He tried to push his brains back inside.” Gough revealed that this was not his first attempt, either. In 2018, he tried to choke himself, and a year later, he tried to overdose.


Gough knew that he was going to try again, and she said, “He needed help but no one seemed to listen or care.” Though Shingler was under the care of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust, Gough strongly believes a lot more could have been done to help him, and it would have prevented him from taking such a drastic step. “The ­treatment he received was disgusting. Not one person seemed to understand what Lance was going through. I told the medical teams that this was serious, that it was a life and death situation, I stressed that he needed help and that if he didn’t get it there was a real possibility that he would take his own life, I just kept hitting hurdles all the time with no one really ­taking responsibility for what Lance was going through.”


Daily Mail reports that Shingler was a family man who loved to spend time and make memories with them. Their favorite place to visit as a family was Brean. "He was always walking up Brean Down with the kids and loved little random road trips to the seaside. He was also a huge Birmingham City fan and loved to go and watch them," Poole said. "His death has come as a huge shock to the family and everyone who knew Lance." A fundraiser was set up at the time to help with the funeral and to help support the family during their times of, need, so if you'd like to make a donation, click here


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