Afghanistan army widow: I’m hurting now but the nation will

#1
From The Sunday Times
December 20, 2009
Afghanistan army widow: I’m hurting now but the nation will be hurt for generations
Christina Schmid, whose husband Oz died in Helmand, says we have yet to realise the lasting impact of injured troops

(Dwayne Senior)
Oz, pictured, and Christina talked about what would happen if he was killed in Afghanistan and he asked her to speak up for other soldiers
Margarette Driscoll
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One morning last week, with the end of term approaching, Christina Schmid and her six-year-old son Laird were brushing their teeth together before dashing out to school. As the little boy went to replace his brush in the holder, he said: “What shall we do with Dad’s toothbrush?”

“It stopped me in my tracks,” says Christina. “I hadn’t even noticed that Oz’s toothbrush was still there. And this happens all the time — you think you’re having a normal day and suddenly the pain is so searing, so strong, it takes your breath away.”

Six weeks ago, Christina, 34, caught the nation’s imagination as she stood among the crowd at Wootton Bassett, applauding her husband’s coffin as it returned from Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Olaf “Oz” Schmid, a “high threat” bomb disposal expert with the Royal Logistic Corps, had been blown up as he attempted to defuse an improvised explosive device (IED) on what should have been the last day of his tour.

They had talked about what would happen if he died and Oz, 30, had said he was worried about what his team would think if they saw Christina “in bits”. So when the day came for her to take her place at the repatriation, she pinned his medals on her lapel and put a smile on her face. “I’m very, very pleased to have my husband home. He’s an absolute hero,” she said.
More
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/Afghanistan/article6962663.ece?
 
#3
Seconded - a very dignified lady.
 
#4
Ive had to come back to this thread as its quite a moving piece. This statement alone is enough to validify the torment people go through when deployed, especially now..

The last time she and Oz spoke, on Thursday, October 29, two days before he died, he was emotional, drained and exhausted. “I’m hanging out, hon, come and get me,” he said (“hanging out” being a commando term suggesting you’ve fallen over a cliff edge and are clinging on, with no hope of rescue).
'Hanging out' is an intrinsic term, when used, and heard, it is generally accepted that someone is struggling, Ive heard it uttered from the lips of many an ox like man, many will agree, out of everywhere Ive been, bar a couple of isolated incidents elsewhere, Afghanistan was quite taxing. In the infancy, when no lead was being thrown around I heard it was all good stuff, lot of yomping about but quite tame, later though it certainly left its mark on me, a savage land populated and adopted by some savage people..

Point being, my dear old Mum is not unlike Mrs Schmidt, she waved my old man off to the Falklands and Northern Ireland, and has proverbially waved off 2 sons to most sh*tholes we have been involved with in the last decade and never uttered a word of worry and was as dignified as dignified gets, she once sent me a letter detailing the womans working week just to keep contact, Ive heard men crying through timber walls burning up the issued phone cards, no shame at all in that, Oz's wife is a f*cking gem and I think she may go on to bigger and better things, Im of the assumption he would be extremely proud of her and the boy..
 
#6
"two days before he died, he was emotional, drained and exhausted. “I’m hanging out, hon, come and get me,”
respect to him and her, i cannot imagine how hard it can be to be in bomb disposal, there is nothing worse than being up sh*t creek. and knowing it.
RIP.
 
#8
Your right, its very dusty......
 
#9
That, like every report I have read about her, was hard to read. What a remarkable woman, everything I read about her impresses me. Like others have commented - damn dust, gets everywhere.
 
#10
Mrs Schmid is the public face of all the familys that have lost loved one's , her dignity and grace are just awsome , but more than that she is now able to articulate for many others the pain and loss they feel .

At this time of year my thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost loved one's , Mrs Schmid is spot on ... the legacy of the current op's will live on for many years after Blair & Brown have been put in the rubbish bin of history.

Oz no doubt would be very proud of his Mrs .
 
#11
The risk of getting KIA is part of the job; its those that are left behind that will suffer for 30-40 years.
 
#12
Bravo_Bravo said:
The risk of getting KIA is part of the job; its those that are left behind that will suffer for 30-40 years.
Longer than that my friend, longer than that.

One of my toughest memories is being on duty as a special constable at the Cenotaph in the late seventies. After the ceremony is over and all the dignitaries have gone off for their lunch, it is the veterans turn to march past. We stood around the cenotaph and laid wreaths passed to us by the marchers. I've never forgotten the large number of very elderly ladies giving us their poppies to lay if they had nothing else. All were dressed in black, all were weeping, all were clearly widows all were clearly still suffering. More than SIXTY years after the end of the Great War. Never forgotten them, and it is bringing a lump to my throat thinking of it now.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
I cannot fail to be impressed by this lady and the continuing way she conducts herself

I wish more of the country would sit up and take more notice and get back to conducting it's self more like her instead of the wailing bawling their eyes out people who feel the need to to be hysterical on behalf of someone they didn't even know
 
#14
My old man smashed my Mum around for 2 years after the Falklands, good on him, that and a bit of rugby kept him on the straight and narrow..and her rightfully submissive.
 
#15
I was privileged to meet, only a few years ago, a lady in her 90's, whose husband had been a young army medic in the 39-45 war and imprisoned by the Japanese. His health from his return after the war was never again good and for his last couple of years until he died the 1950's he was confined to a wheelchair.

She had worked in physio at the hospital he had joined as a surgeon after the war, where he had worked with Sir John Charnley at Wrightington pioneering hip replacements until no longer able; and after his death she continued there herself until nearly 70 in full time and voluntary roles.

By her neatly quilted single bed was a table with a picture of the young soldier taken days before he had left in late 1941, a young man about 26, taken prisoner by the Japanese, to return at about six stone, less than half his normal weight, over four years later, and to be remembered by this lady over forty years after his death every day.

Talking with her over the period of a few month, I could not but think what work he might have done, and, had it been possible, how the children of such a couple, their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren would have turned out!

It is an ongoing tragedy that we lose of the best of our younger people in war, not the lazy and idle, not the drunks and scroungers drug users and pushers, not the greedy and thieving, nor even the power-crazy, dishonest and profiteering; simply the ones who get on and would otherwise quietly achieve good things, bring their families up and get most of their satisfaction in having contributed a little to the human race.
 
#16
When I was in `the Mob`, I tried very much not to make my wife a widow.
I was very lucky...long time ago now.
Sorry for your loss.......a lot.
Go careful. Have a good life.
Any...any problems...shout us.
 
#18
reni_77 said:
My old man smashed my Mum around for 2 years after the Falklands, good on him, that and a bit of rugby kept him on the straight and narrow..and her rightfully submissive.
hmmm shocked you think wife-beating is funny! hope you're single!!!!
 
#19
I have to say that when you have a shitty day, and you think that your life is crap, you read of instances like this brave lady and you realise that your problems and issues are zero. In a perverse way, reading her interview has made me feel better about my lot. I haven't got problems. She's going to have a sh1te christmas, but she strikes me as the sort that will put a good face on for her kids, suck it up and get on with things.

I wish that I had that sort of backbone.
 
#20
patient_cow said:
reni_77 said:
My old man smashed my Mum around for 2 years after the Falklands, good on him, that and a bit of rugby kept him on the straight and narrow..and her rightfully submissive.
hmmm shocked you think wife-beating is funny! hope you're single!!!!
Shocked you take it seriously, you fcuking moo.
 

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