Sleaford military child receives medal for being a ‘Little Trooper’

An eight-year-old boy from Sleaford whose dad serves in the Royal Air Force has been awarded a medal by military children’s charity, Little Troopers.

Little Trooper - Joshua O’Connor.
Little Trooper - Joshua O’Connor.

Joshua O’Connor has been named ‘Little Trooper of the Month’ for showing resilience and bravery following the death of his twin brother earlier this year.

Joshua’s brother James was diagnosed with an aggressive and cancerous brain tumour aged just two and Joshua supported his brother through many brain surgeries and different treatments over the years including chemotherapy and radiotherapy. James sadly passed away in February this year.

At the beginning of the school holidays in July, Joshua fractured his finger playing basketball and had to have his hand strapped up all summer. He was nominated for the award by a family friend who wanted him to be recognised for how much he has gone through this year and how positive he has been throughout. As ‘Little Trooper of the Month’, Joshua has received a Little Troopers medal, certificate and a £50 voucher.

Dad, Carl O’Connor, said: “Joshua was just the best brother to James, helping him every single day, and always being there by his side. He was with James right up until the end, and speaks about him every day since.

"When he broke his finger this summer he was brave throughout, just like how he faced James' treatments and passing. And after the fracture was confirmed he spent the whole summer with his hand strapped up. He didn't complain once, and somehow managed to find the positives in everything. That is just how Joshua faces life, he always looks for the positives, and does everything with a smile. He is our hero.”

Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, said: “Our Little Trooper of the Month award scheme is about recognising military children who have been through exceptional circumstances and have shown bravery and resilience. Joshua is an incredible young boy who has been through so much in his short life. It’s amazing to hear how he was such a supportive brother and how he has stayed positive this summer after such a turbulent year. We hope he wears his medal with pride and that it helps him to see what a special little trooper he really is.”

Little Troopers is a registered charity supporting children who have parents serving in the British Armed Forces. The charity has a number of resources that parents can use to support military children at home including the Little Troopers Separation Pack and Little Troopers Treasures story recording app. The charity is about to launch a new Therapy Programme funded by the National Lottery and more than 850 schools are also signed up to the charity’s dedicated Little Troopers at School programme. For more information visit www.littletroopers.net