[caption id="attachment_80804" align="aligncenter" width="620"] This one-cent cheque dated Feb. 28 was sent to the home of Cpl. Justin Stark. The 22-year-old former soldier committed suicide in 2011 in Hamilton. His family wants to make sure this never happens again. (Supplied)[/caption]Grieving Mother of Deceased Soldier Receives 1-cent Pay Check
Hamilton, Ontario - In May of 2011, Corporal Justin Stark took his own life shortly after completing a seven month tour of duty in Afghanistan. The 22-year-old had four years of experience working in the John W. Foote VC Armouries and returned to the same location following his service overseas. His death was tragic and has left his mother bereft and without consolation. His mother Denise cannot let go of the tragedy and move on with her life. She daily visits his grave site and has forced multiple military tribunals on behalf of her son to find a cause of death to justify her son's action. Some people close to her explain how every day is a challenge for her to get out of bed.
This underscores how unfortunate it was for her to receive a government paycheck made out to her son in the amount of one penny. Her friends say the trauma of her son's senseless death came back to her in the form of that check made out for a meaningless amount of money. Obviously, the incident is an unfortunate accident as no one was looking to inflict further pain on Cpl. Stark's surviving family.
The incident has become a high profile embarrassment for the military. During a period of inquiry in the House of Commons, one minister of parliament asked Rob Nicholsonan, the Minister of National Defence, to explain how this could have come about. While Defence Minister Nicholsonan was unable to explain how it happened, he did agree that the incident was worthy of ridicule. He also said that he had only recently been briefed about the 1-cent check. The Stark family is said to be demanding actions in lieu of apologies. However, it is not clear what specific actions they are demanding. The sad reality is they grieve for the loss of their son and preventing other similar checks from going out to families isn't likely to resolve that grief.
Grieving Mother of Deceased Soldier Receives 1-cent Pay Check