Brave young Sheffield brothers travel to Washington to support other bereaved military families
Two Sheffield brothers have visited Washington DC for Memorial Day Weekend, to show support for bereaved military families in the US.
Austen and Cooper Hargreaves jetted off across the Atlantic last month to join a group of six bereaved Forces children on the trip, thanks to children's Armed Forced charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers.
The boys, aged eight and four years old, lost their dad, Staff Sgt Christopher Hargreaves, in 2017 after he took his own life.
Organised by the American military bereavement charity, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, the 25th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar and ‘Good Grief Camp’ welcomed over 2,500 participants to Washington over Memorial Day weekend.
The boys, who joined Scotty’s Little Soldiers in 2017, embarked on the trip with their mum, Jilly.
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Jilly said: “The trip was absolutely fantastic, it was not at all what I anticipated. The boys got a lot out of it, but so did I. At first, if it hadn’t had been for the boys, I would never have gone, but meeting other Scotty’s families and other military families was so valuable. This was a big step for all of us.
“As part of the weekend, we took part in a sharing group, which, to begin with, I was unsure about, but by the end I was so pleased I went. It was difficult hearing everyone’s stories, and there were a few tears, but we all got so much out of it. For the boys, it was great to see them bonding with their mentor and so comforting to hear from them that they were both in a good place.”
The boys also visited the Smithsonian, National Zoo and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and met stars of the NBA for basketball training.