Friday, April 6

Afghanistan The Ultimate Sacrifice

Christina Schmid from Cornwall is the widow of army bomb disposal expert Olaf Schmid who was killed on his final day in the field in Afghanistan. Her story shows the real awfulness of war.

Christina touched all Cornish and British hearts with her dignity and strength following Olaf's death. She now says that he 'knew' he wouldn't be returning alive from Afghanistan and gave her 'instructions' as to how she should conduct herself when his body was returned.

Olaf told her it was essential that she should retain her composure out of consideration for the rest if his bomb disposal team. He told her, "If they've seen me blown up, the last thing they need is to see even more pain and devastation."

Olaf was killed six months later, on his final day in Afghanistan, as he was trying to defuse his third bomb of the day.

Grieving desperately Christina somehow had the strength to meet the plane flying back his body and to be at the side of the road as his hearse was driven through the town of Wootton Bassett. As the car approached she and Olaf's mother stepped forward with flowers. She somehow managed a smile and started to clap. She said, "It was instinctive - the only way I could think of to say publicly 'I'm so proud of you.'" She believes that Olaf gave her strength that day to carry out his wishes.

Being in the army Olaf had seen terrible things like when he was serving in Kosovo in 1999. Thousands of Albanians were slaughtered. One of his duties had been to shovel scores of bodies from trucks, dripping with blood. After this he was unable to tolerate such things as a dripping tap, some sights and sounds never go away.

The couples dream of a house in Cornwall, where they would one day keep chickens, kept them both going through tough times, as when she had a miscarriage while he was far away in Afghanistan.

Christina tells of her feelings the day prior to Olaf being killed, "That night I had an overpowering premonition ... at one point I got up and emailed him: 'Don't go out on the ground tomorrow. Cut the last day - don't do it.' He never got the message."

The next morning she had a heavy feeling, unlike she had ever felt before. She describes it as being as 'powerful as thunder.'

That night she put her son to bed at 9.20pm. Shortly after two men in Army uniform were at the door. Her worst fears had come true.

Christina now says that her husband, "... still keeps me going - by sending messages through a medium."

The more I read about Afghanistan the more wrong the war seems. Equipment is poor, the men are doing more duties than they should and horrifically lives of young men are being lost (from lots of countries).

Here's what Christina says about when Olaf was preparing for Afghanistan:

"We'd had to buy everything, as the stuff issued by the (UK) Army was rubbish - like heavy protection suits that were too hot to wear and provided a target for the Taliban.  Olaf gave me a list of websites so I could order more and send it on to him."

Olaf told her, "Let everyone know what's going on out there. Let them know of the shortages and the corner they backed me into.  None of us mind doing our job, but we shouldn't be doing 25 other people's jobs too."

Christina actually collapsed weeping, at the very moment he died ... enough said.

Christina Schmid has written a book: Always By My Side: Losing the love of my life and the fight to honour his memoryAlways By My Side Christina Schmid

Further Reading:
Is Afghanistan History Repeating Itself?

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  1. My heart went out to Christina at the time of her husband's death. She was so strong. I don't fully understand what we are doing in Afghanistan, we shouldn't be there. Soldiers are still being killed.

    1. I don't think any of the population are sure why we are in Afghanistan.

  2. Poor lady! You cannot help but want to give her a hug!

    I really wish humans could just get along. Duping the sincere and idealist minds into thinking they are protecting something besides the wealth of the bankers is a disgusting ploy that seems to work quite well for our elite.

    1. Duped! But nothing unusual in this, unfortunately.

  3. well said the war is wrong 100% wrong. we cant win and should pull out. lots of sympathy for christina

  4. A sad story. This war, like most wars, is terribly wrong and has been since it started. What's the point?

  5. A sad story. I've never understood the point of this war. It was wrong when it started and it's wrong now.

  6. One of the first songs that Crosby,Stills and Nash sung on Friday night at the Byron Bay Bluefest was
    "Military Madness",and it is as true today as it ever has been,unfortunately.

    "Military Madness" lyrics

    In an upstairs room in Blackpool
    By the side of a northern sea
    The army had my father
    And my mother was having me
    Military Madness was killing my country
    Solitary Sadness comes over me
    After the school was over and I moved
    To the other side
    I found another country but I never
    Lost my pride
    Military Madness was killing the country
    Solitary sadness creeps over me
    And after the wars are over
    And the body count is finally filed
    I hope that The Man discovers
    What's driving the people wild
    Military madness is killing your country
    So much sadness, between you and me
    War, War, War, War, War, War

    I feel sorry for all the victims of this military madness,including Christina Schmid and her family.