Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

I hope Channing made a difference, says hero's mum

Inspiration: Cpl Channing Day
Inspiration: Cpl Channing Day

The heartbroken mother of a Northern Ireland Army medic killed in Afghanistan has spoken for the first time about the loss of her daughter, saying she hoped she made a difference.

Corporal Channing Day (25) was on foot patrol in Helmand's Nahr-e-Saraj district when she was shot dead by two Afghan policemen on October 24, 2012, alongside her colleague, Corporal David O'Connor (27).

Cpl Day, from Co Down, of 3 Medical Regiment, was the third British servicewoman killed in the fighting since the first foreign troops arrived in Afghanistan in 2001.

Revealing her ongoing grief, her devastated mother Rosemary said she'd like to think that Channing made a difference during her short life.

"It's been a year. The year for us has just gone in a blur," Mrs Day said.

"At her anniversary it just really hit us that this is all real; the last year has been true.

"You hope that when you go to bed at night and you wake up, that it's all been a dream, but October and November has really made it real."

Mrs Day said that people always ask her if she believed it has been worth the UK going to war in Afghanistan.

"To me, they should never have been sent to Afghanistan. It's not our fight and I'm angry," she told BBC Radio 4's World At One programme.

"I'm angry at who killed David and Channing but if I, as a parent, say no it hasn't been worth it, then the life of Channing and the life of all the other soldiers who were killed... are they saying that it didn't make a difference?

"I'd like to think that Channing did try to make a difference and that hopefully what she did out there did."

At an inquest into the deaths of both soldiers at Oxford County Hall in September last year, the coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

The Comber-born soldier had been deployed a month earlier to provide medical support to 40 Commando Royal Marines, Cpl O'Connor's unit.

The pair were on their way to train local police in first aid and spot roadside bombs when their patrol was attacked near the village of Char Kutsa.

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