Military children’s charity, Little Troopers, has released a collection of real-life photos that capture the highs and lows of life as a British Armed Forces family as seen through the eyes of forces children.
Submitted by families from across the three services – Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force – and published for the Little Trooper’s 2020 calendar, the photos offer a snapshot into the special military moments lived by forces children, from sad goodbyes to jubilant reunions, love, pride and belonging.
It’s been five years since the UK officially ceased combat operations in Afghanistan (on 27th October 2014) and military life has all but faded from the headlines. Yet there are still over 100,000 children with a connection to the Armed Forces in the UK and thousands of British serving personnel who are constantly sent away on overseas deployments, exercises and other military commitments; leaving behind their brave little troopers.
Little Troopers founder; army veteran and military parent, Louise Fetigan, explains:
“These images encapsulate the special bond that military children have with their serving parents and behind every photo is a heart-warming story.
“Being part of a military family brings with it a great adventure, but also unique challenges; the biggest of which is being regularly separated from a serving parent or parents at unpredictable times and sometimes at very short notice. It’s easy to forget that this is still a big part of day-to-day life for military families, many of whom will be spending October half term without their loved ones. That’s why Little Troopers exists, to champion and support all our military children, whatever forces life sends their way.”
Highlights in the 2020 calendar include:
- 20-month-old Eleanor Owen, who was reunited with her Dad after a long deployment on HMS Westminster. Eleanor’s mum is also serving in the Navy.
- Brothers Owen (9) and Brayden (6) Hollinshead who couldn’t contain their delight when their Dad surprised them by coming home from a long exercise a few weeks early.
- Harry Sharkey (2) waving goodbye to his Daddy’s ship as it set sail in Portsmouth. In the last four years, Harry and his brother have watched their Daddy’s ship sail in and out of the harbour many times.
- Baby Georgia Baring who’s Dad raced home from a 9-month deployment to be home in time for her birth and returned to his overseas duties just six weeks later. His deployment included a trip to Georgia’s namesake.
- Theo Lema (3) trying on his Dad’s RAF uniform to feel closer to him while he was serving away in the Falklands.
- Neave Walsh (7) helping her mum out on HMS Albion dressed in a mini Navy uniform that her mum had made for her to wear to feel closer to her while she was away.
The ‘Military Moments’ 2020 calendar is now on sale, costing £7.50, with all proceeds helping Little Troopers to continue providing fundamental resources and initiatives to support military children such as the Little Troopers Treasures storytime app and Little Troopers Separation Pack.
For more information visit www.littletroopers.net