A YOUNG soldier who became a first-time dad days before beginning a six-month tour of Iraq has spoken of his heartache at not being able to be with his daughter.
Kingsman Jordan Jarvis was deployed to Erbil with the 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment just six days after the birth of his daughter Brooklyn.
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With his tour set to last until June, Kingsman Jarvis, 21, who lives in Blackburn, has admitted to being gutted at missing the first few months of his daughter’s life but said he has managed to see her most days via video chat.
It comes as his partner Demi Woods, 20, spoke of the difficulties she has faced as a new mum and with her partner hundreds of miles away.
Kingsman Jarvis said: “She is changing so much, it hasn’t really kicked in that I am a dad to be honest, because I am here and I am not seeing her every day.
“It has been hard seeing the pictures getting sent to me, and her changing so much, but it is what it is, it is my job and I have to do it.”
Kingsman Jarvis, who joined the Army in 2014, is working in the Kurdish region of Iraq alongside his battalion 2 LANCS supporting the training of Iraqi and Peshmerga forces in the fight against Islamic State.
When his tour finishes, Brooklyn, who was born on January 2 by emergency caesarean and weighing 6lb 10oz, will be nearly six months old, and Kingsman Jarvis said he hopes his daughter will be proud of him and has promised to ‘make it up to her’.
He said: “I am glad it (the tour) happened while she is newborn really because she doesn’t know any different. If she was a bit older it would have been a bit harder.”
Ms Woods said: “This has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was really upsetting when Jordan had to leave for Iraq but we got through it.
“I have had a lot of support from family and friends and I have spoken to him every day.
“He video calls us so she can see him on the phone. I am sure Brooklyn misses her dad and we’re both really proud of him. He’s a hero.”