Just a quick acknowlegement that my previous post on Anzac Day which referred to Pvt. Kovco’s death from a firearm discharge in a secure area strongly implied that Pvt. Kovco committed suicide, and with fuller information I now realise that this was an unwarranted jumping to a conclusion. If anyone who knew Pvt. Kovco read my post and was distressed by it you have my unreserved apologies.
My opinion was based on Minister Brendan Nelson’s statements about a gun-cleaning accident, which large portions of the gun-familiar electorate greeted with the scorn it deserved. Nelson has since stated that the situation in which the weapon discharged was more complicated than alleged in his original statement, now saying that Pvt. Kovco was not handling the weapon when it discharged.
The Kovco family is quite rightly demanding a full explanation, not only of the actual circumstances, but also the Minister’s changing story and the unforgivable mixup with sending the wrong body home to Australia (obviously this also meant that another grieving family in Bosnia had to wait an unconscionable length of time for the body of their loved one also).
My opinion regarding the Australian military’s abandonment of returned soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders has not changed, but Pvt. Kovco may well be an example of different flaws in the care of our soldiers than that one.