This is the emotive moment the founder of military charity Little Troopers tells Forces Radio BFBS why heartfelt messages from mums and dads in the British armed forces matter so much to their children on special occasions like birthdays – and how she helps wrap them up in love.
Louise Fetigan, founder and operations manager of Little Troopers – a charity that allows serving parents to never miss bedtime stories or special moments with their little ones – tells how her service captures the voices and faces of parents so that children can see and hear mum or dad reading to them from anywhere they are deployed around the world.
She told Jay James and Hal Stewart, during a visit to Forces Radio BFBS HQ in the UK for the #BigFridayShow that children can watch mum or dad reading to them over and over again whenever, and wherever they are, thanks to her Little Troopers app.
She said the charity has a “gorgeous community” that has lots of initiatives so that people serving in the British military can be empowered to help their children while the grown-ups serve their country.
"Do all the voices, go through the stories, zip it up, wrap it up with love... No service person will ever miss bedtime stories again."
It has been set up to help keep serving men and women connected with their families through being able to read bedtime stories to their children while they are away.
The free tablet app will record not only your voice but your face as well meaning that your children will be able to listen and watch their mummy or daddy while they are deployed overseas.
Louise, speaking about children’s birthday as one example, said: “We’ve got some really gorgeous little initiatives and a lot of them are free for British armed forces families.
“Our birthday card scheme, really important for mum or dad, say they are in the Royal Navy, they’re away on ship or submarine or wherever it may be, for a really long time, and they can come into us, go on the website, put a really gorgeous personal message.
“We hand write the cards, so they get written, you know ‘Hi son, sorry I can’t make your birthday, hope you have a great day – we personally write a really gorgeous card, pop in a little badge and the messages and the photos we get from these children going ‘How did they manage it?’ I’ve got a birthday card on my birthday – that’s just one of our initiatives.”
Louise also tells of military activity sheets and other initiatives from the charity that gives ideas and ways for serving mums and dads to engage with their children “whether they are based in Cyprus, or Germany, or in Bulford’.
She said: “It’s all about a community. Military children are little troopers and we are just enabling them to cope with some of the daily unique challenges they may be facing.”
The idea has really gathered steam and is now fully operational even if it did take, as Louise admits, three years from conception to reality.
The military charity 'Little Troopers' supports children of the British Armed Forces. You may have known Little Troopers previously as My Daddy Is A Soldier Adventures but the message is still clear as it has been since the charities inception in 2011, to support children with parents serving in the British Armed Forces, regular or reserve.