Aunt says young soldier’s idealism ran up against harsh Afghan reality

Christian Bobbitt went to Afghanistan determined to help civilians, but an aunt says it wasn’t long before the young soldier’s idealism ran up against harsh reality.

Sapper Matthieu Allard

Sapper Matthieu Allard

TORONTO — Christian Bobbitt went to Afghanistan determined to help civilians, but an aunt says it wasn’t long before the young soldier’s idealism ran up against harsh reality.

Geneva Bobbitt says her nephew sent messages home “to thank the good Lord” for allowing him to get through some close calls after a bloody month.

The messages were sent just a couple of hours before the young Quebecer and another Canadian soldier were killed by a roadside bomb on Saturday.

Bobbitt’s aunt says his thoughts of helping Afghans had long since shifted to hope of survival.

“I’m pretty sure he would have come home, given the chance,” she told the Globe and Mail. “He went to help, but he didn’t find what he expected when he got there. They never tell us everything, of course, but you can’t imagine what it must be like to see your friends getting blown up.”

The 23-year-old soldier vividly described the oppressive heat while wearing heavy equipment, but he wasn’t one to complain, his aunt said.

“He was always very calm, he was not one to whine if he had a problem,” she said.

The soldier joined the military out of school at 19. In his hometown of Sept-Iles, Que., he was remembered as a young man full of life who was devoted to family.

He is survived by his spouse, Felicia, his brother, Jonathan, and his parents, Liane and Yvan.