WATCH: For seven years, former Mountie Krista Carle helped bring light to abuse and harassment within the RCMP. In July, she committed suicide after struggling for years with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). At her memorial service today, friends and family remember the woman who made such an impact.
The poignant notes of the Last Post played at the end of the memorial service for former RCMP officer Krista Carle on Thursday.
Carle committed suicide in the backyard of her Sooke home on July 6.
But for seven years, she fought to bring to light abuse and harassment within the RCMP.
She spoke with CHEK News on October 6, 2016, after the RCMP apologized, and announced a $100 million settlement for past and present female employees who suffered harassment on the job.
“If you don’t stand up and do the right thing or help people that have been victimized then you’re no better than the people that have committed the crime,” Carle said.
Coming forward wasn’t easy for her.
She started with the RCMP in 1991.
Others in her graduating troop also suffered sexual harassment and bullying.
Janet Merlo started at the Nanaimo detachment with Carle.
“She was the one that was always together. she was always together. When you are having a bad day, she was, she would have her ups and downs. no doubt,” Merlo said. “There is lots of time that she reached out to us. and we did the same with her.”
Carle’s sisters, Kathryn Jarboe and Karen Carle, spoke about growing up with their baby sister, but also the important work she did after she left the RCMP.
“These women suffered. But the perpetrators they went on with their careers. And I think she wanted to fix that. For future women in the Mounties,” Jarboe said.
“She wanted to bring light to it, and make it a safe place for any young kids coming in to the RCMP that it’s a safe place in your workplace,” Karen Carle said.
Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur got to know Carle when she introduced herself to him at the Sooke RCMP detachment after she moved to the community.
“My memories of her are of a happy, fun-loving person who despite the adversity, despite her torment, remained committed to helping others,” McArthur said.
But Carle’s struggles with PTSD from her time in the RCMP took a turn for the worse.
And her family wants to highlight her struggles, and they are not hiding from her death.
“I would also like to highlight Krista did commit suicide. I don’t want to say she died,” Jarboe said. “I want people to know that suicide is epidemic these days.”
Carle leaves behind three siblings, a partner, and two children.
Many of her former colleagues stood with Carle’s family as they released 27 balloons as a remembrance of her life.
“Krista, we love you!”