I could not talk about my experiences in Bosnia for a long time. It doesn’t hurt now, and I think the war experience changed me for the better
Iva Valdmanová, neé Vebrová, was born on June 17, 1955 in Ústí nad Labem. She grew up in Ostrava, where the family moved due to her father’s work in mining. She graduated from the secondary technical and agricultural school in Nový Jičín. She refused to join the unified agricultural cooperative (JZD) and instead she joined the army. She completed a military training and a one-year school for flight control assistants in Prague. For about eighteen years she worked at the military airport in Mošnov, first as an assistant of a manager of flying and then as a flying manager. In 1994, she went on a mission to the former Yugoslavia as an UNPROFOR international observer. In the then capital of the Republic, the Serbian country of Knin experienced a Croatian offensive in August 1995. She mapped the consequences of an operation called the Storm, she provided humanitarian aid, and examined the corpses of civilians. From 1996 to 1997, she was sent on a peace mission to Iraq. After returning to the Czech Republic, she left in the rank of lieutenant in the reserve, because she did not find a suitable position at the airport. She has served as an international observer in the Bosnia and Kosovo elections several times. She worked as a bartender, cleaner, accountant or a maid and masseur on a river ship. Eventually, she opened a private massage salon. She and her husband raised three children. She gained the status of the war veteran.