She is the first Canadian woman to be killed in combat. She was killed in an armoured vehicle when it took a direct hit during a fire fight with the Taliban. She was a Forward Observation Officer with the 1st Regiment of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, and she died on the 105th day of her tour in Afghanistan. She had just turned 27 and had been married to her husband for only three years, although they had met eight years ago in their Basic Officer Training in St.Jean-sur-Richelieu near Montreal, Quebec.
It is still rare for women to chose to be Artillery Officers. Captain Goddard was known to be energetic, positive, enthusiastic for being on the mission, and a leader. *She wrote a letter to her home church, St. Barnabas Anglican Church, on March 4th: "The longer that we are in theatre and the more that we interact with the Afghan people, the more I feel that we are really serving a purpose here. I think these people, through the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police, are trying to achieve something that we in Canada have long since taken for granted...They lay down their lives daily to try to seize something that is so idealistic it is almost impossible to define..."
Nichola, along with the other Canadian soldiers who have given their lives so that the Afghan people may reach this idealistic dream, we salute you. May your joyful spirit, and memories of your courage and kindness to family, friends, and soldiers in arms live on. Rest in peace.
*This quotation taken from Christie Blatchford's column, The Globe and Mail, Saturday May 27, 2006