Iraq War veteran, 34, took own life after losing nine friends in conflict

An Army veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder took his own life after losing nine friends in the Iraq War.

Dad-of-two Lance Shingler, 34, bravely fought PTSD which had crippled him since he left the Army in 2008.

Lance, from Birmingham, was rushed to hospital after being discovered at his home on February 12 but died a short time later.

Leanne Poole, a close family friend, spoke on behalf of his devastated wife Hayley, 32, and children Riley, eight, and six-year-old Elliey-Jaye.

She told BirminghamLive : "Lance was just an unbelievably kind man. He would do anything for anyone.

"He adored his wife Hayley and his two young children. Whenever he got free time he spent it with them making memories.

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"He loved taking his family on holidays and their favourite place to go 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.

"His death has come as a huge shock to the family and everyone who knew Lance. However, Lance suffered from PTSD ever since he left the army back in 2008."

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Lance served in Iraq between 2003 and 2008 with the Fourth Battalion The Rifles and suffered personal tragedies during his service.

Leanne said: "While he was there nine of his friends died. He went to the funeral of each one.

"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 orgainisations.

"An inquest will be held but the family do feel he was let down.

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"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 need to be done for ex-servicemen because at the moment not enough is being done."

Leanne has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for Lance's funeral costs. To donate to the fundraiser click here .

She posted: "We have suddenly lost a great man in Lance Shingler who died suddenly yesterday after a long battle with PTSD he sadly took his own life.

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"He leaves behind his beautiful kids and rock Hayley.

"Anyone who was lucky enough to know Lance will know he was always there for people in their time of need, so it feels only right to repay his kindness and thoughtfulness."

She added: "This fundraiser is to give him the true HERO send off he deserves and to support his family at this devastating time.

"Gone but never forgotten Lance."

Birmingham City fans are planning a minute's applause at the game at St Andrew's on Saturday against Reading.

* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at   [email protected]

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