Northern Ireland news

Parents of Co Down army veteran say he was failed by the Ministry of Defence

Brett Savage struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after returning to civilian life. Picture by Beyond the Battlefield/ BBC

AN army veteran from Co Down who is believed to have taken his own life was failed by the Ministry of Defence, his devastated parents have said.

Noel and Dolores Savage said the Army "did nothing" to help their son Brett who struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after returning to civilian life.

The 32-year-old from Newtownards, who had served in Afghanistan, was found at his home last weekend.

He had previously spoken of how he believed there was not enough help given to young soldiers when they left the army.

In an emotional interview, his heartbroken mother told of how they were "totally and utterly heartbroken" by his sudden death.

"He was my world," she told BBC NI.

"He would've done anything for anyone, he was so kind."

Mr Savage said his son would lock himself away as he struggled to cope with his condition.

"He just couldn't fathom his demons that he carried, and he carried them big time," he said.

"Unfortunately they got him in the end."

Mrs Savage said they believe more support should be given to soldiers returning home.

"When they go back from tours like that, they should have someone who can help them deal with all the emotions, with what they've seen and been through," she added.

"I feel very sad for all the ones who are going through all of this and I hope that if what happened to Brett is made public it'll maybe help somebody else and maybe the Army will step back and think of what to do when they're in these situations."

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