Today we 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 our little troopers (children with a parent serving in the Armed Forces).
Submitted by families from across the three services – Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force – the images will make up the Little Troopers 2020 Military Moments calendar.
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: “I love putting together this calendar each year. 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 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. 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 our top three winning images:
- Two year old Evie Robson (2) is pictured with her Daddy, PO Marc Robson, on the Plymouth Hoe on Armed Forces Day. Evie’s mum, Carly Robson, comments: “The photo was such a beautiful moment between father and daughter having a cuddle together after she missed him at work. It is definitely hard having a husband who works away for long periods of time.”
- Eli was just eight days old and Eli’s dad, SAC(T) Dominic Cooper had recently signed up to the RAF. Eli is now three and his Dad is currently deployed overseas until January 2020. Ciara Cooper, comments: “This photo is a really special military moment for us as we were all very new to the RAF community, as well as new to being parents!”
- Alisa (then two-years-old) at ballet class standing on ‘tippy toes’ balancing on her Dad’s army boots. Mum, Gift Munford, explains: “The photo shows such a meaningful moment between Alisa and her Dad that for us expresses strength, vulnerability, and protection. Being a mother and a military spouse, I see that service children go through some tough stages during transitions when moving or being away from family and friends. We’ve moved to three countries in the last five years and Alisa’s Dad has recently returned from serving away in New Caledonia.”
You can see all the winning images in our Facebook album here. 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 Treasuresstorytime app and Little Troopers Separation Pack.
*100% of the money raised from the calendar goes towards the charity’s work thanks to sponsorship from a number of companies and organisations who have generously sponsored pages, which covered the printing costs. Our thanks goes to them all.