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Grace Cullis -April 2016

grace cullis

As often happens when your other half is away from home you are faced with many challenges to overcome and deal with.

The first upset for Grace was that her dad wouldn’t be here when she started year 4 or for her 9th birthday as he’d just left for a six moth tour in the Falkland Islands. Some might think this isn’t such a big deal but to Grace these were big events that she wanted to share with her dad. To my amazement though she wasn’t upset for herself, she was upset that her dad was missing such things!

What we faced next really shown Graces strength.  Grace always looked forward to sharing her news with her Great Grandma who always phoned to hear news about what we were all up to. Sadly Grandma passed away the day before Graces birthday. This was a massive upset to us all as we were very close. Grace has never lost anyone before so this was a whole new experience for her to deal with on top of dealing with her dad being away. I was very close to my Grandma and was devastated by her passing but I will never forget how brave Grace has been and although she was dealing with her own grief she never failed to show me and her younger sister support, love and care.

Time ticked by and it was getting closer to R&R and we were all getting very excited to being a family again. Before my husband went on tour we were in the middle of buying a house which unfortunately wasn’t completed before he had to leave. This meant that by the time R&R came round we had to move.  As you can imagine the 10 days that he was home was extremely busy and quite tense at times! it was the quickest 10 days we have all ever had!

Then came the first time we would be spending Christmas apart as a family. I tried to reassure Grace and her younger sister Elsie that we would get through it and that we would have a special Christmas once daddy returned. Her response was that although she was upset we wouldn’t be together she was mostly upset because she thought her dad was alone. Once again I was amazed and blown away that she puts her own feelings aside and worries about others.

There have been times when Grace has cried, been down and struggled to understand why her dad has to go away for such a long period of time but both my husband and I are so very proud of her and this particularly hit home when she received ‘Praise Child of the Week’ from her teacher at school. The reason he gave was “because of her positive attitude to learning, her helpfulness and her bravery whilst her dad has been away”.

Although the past six months have been a roller-coaster of emotions I will always be in awe of how my beautiful 9 year old daughter has never failed to amaze me throughout it.

Grace was nominated for the award by her Mum, Sarah Grace’s father Mike serves in the British Army with the Royal Engineers.

Louise Fetigan founder of Little Troopers says “Grace has faced so many challenges over the last few months as a military child and has remain strong and positive, a real Little Trooper!”

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