Little Trooper of the Month

Willow Deane

June 2023

Willow Deane from Fulwood, Preston, has been named ‘Little Trooper of the Month’ as she has spent more than 22 months of her life with one or the other parent serving overseas, missing several of Willow’s birthdays and Christmases.

When Willow was just three weeks old, her Dad was deployed overseas for four months and just a few days after he returned, Willow’s Mum was also sent away. Over the next two years, the couple played ‘tag team;’ taking it in turns to go on exercises and military operations around the globe.

With the back-to-back deployments understandably putting strain on the couple’s relationship, Willow’s parents decided to separate in early 2022. Since then, Willow’s Mum, Alex, has completed two further deployments as a single parent, spending nine of the last twelve months away from home. During this time, Alex’s Mum, Willow’s Nanna, Sue, moved into the family home to look after Willow.

On top of the challenges of military life, Willow was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis when she was just 18 months old. As well as causing her daily pain and discomfort, the condition is also frustrating for Willow as she struggles to keep up with her friends and she tires easily.

Willow’s Mum, Alex, nominated her for the Little Troopers award and explains: “Willow has been an absolute superstar with all the upheaval and change that she has experienced in her life. She does get upset and sheds a few years when I have to go away, but she understands that it is my job and she takes it in her stride and carries on being the phenomenal little girl she is. I nominated her for the Little Troopers award because I want her to be recognised for how well she has handled not having her Mummy home so much, especially in the last 12 months. She’s so excited to have her very own medal, just like Mummy and Daddy. It’s made her one very happy little girl.”

Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, comments: “Having a parent deployed is one of the most difficult parts of being a military child, so to have both parents serving and going on multiple deployments in such a short space of time must have been really hard for Willow and her family. This is why our charity exists. To recognise children like Willow who are growing up in our British Armed Forces community and deserve to be supported through these experiences and celebrated for being special little troopers. We hope Willow wears her medal with pride.”

Willow will receive a medal, certificate and a gift voucher as her prize.


Willow Deane

Nominate a Trooper of the month!

We want to recognise Little Troopers; children with parents serving in the British Armed Forces who have been exceptionally brave, inspirational or just extra special against all odds. 

This is an opportunity to really celebrate and shine a spotlight on the lives of incredible military children, hear the special stories and give them the recognition they really deserve.

Our monthly winner will receive a special prize, certificate and lasting recognition of a customised, unique medal. We will also shout about how amazing our winners our on our website, social media and other related publications.

Nominations welcomed from Unit Welfare Offices, Community Development Workers, Schools/Nurseries and of course YOU!

If you are not the parent or guardian of the child you are nominating you must ask permission and advise them you are nominating. We will need to contact them directly to progress a nomination if successful.

Unsuccessful nominations will not be contacted.

Please upload a recent photograph we can use for certificate and hall of fame if they win:

Eligible children: ANY child with a parent or step parent currently serving with the British Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force; wherever they live, reserve or regular, parents married or unmarried. Children can only win once. Please only nominate one child per nomination. Children of any age can be nominated. Please ensure all the information you submit is true and correct stating if the child is a step child/has a different father or mother to serving person.