THREE children from Melksham received the best Christmas present they could have wished for this festive period – a chance to spend Christmas Day with their dad.
The Babington family were given a surprise reunion with their Royal Air Force service father Rod, at Lapland UK, after not seeing him since July due to him serving in Qatar.
Unbeknown to Rod and Hollie Babington’s three children, Santa had the perfect present to give them on their magical visit. After being told their dad’s return had been delayed, the children – Ashton, Amelia and Aden – were surprised beyond belief when their father snuck into Santa’s Grotto behind them.
This opportunity was brought to the Babington family by Little Troopers and caught on camera by Channel 5 news for them to look back on. Little Troopers is a registered charity which supports children with parents in the British Armed Forces, providing them with resources to help ease and aid the separation period.
Hollie Babington told Melksham Independent News, “The kids didn’t know anything about it; it was a really amazing surprise. They thought their dad wasn’t going to be back for Christmas, so when Father Christmas brought him in, it was such an emotional moment. Ashton was in complete shock, he could not believe he was actually there and Amelia would not let him leave her side for the rest of the day, just in case Father Christmas wanted him back! It was lovely to watch.”
Due to the day being such a whirlwind, the children were invited back to the snow-covered park at Ascot a week later, to get the full experience of cooking with Mother Christmas, making toys with the elves and petting huskies.
Louise Fetigan, founder of the Little Troopers said, “It was so lovely to witness two military families being reunited for Christmas. Hundreds of families will have Christmas without mum or dad at home this year due to deployment with the Army, Royal Navy and RAF. I started Little Troopers to help these families through the time they spend apart, which is difficult, but is always felt more during the festive period.”