This Mother's Day we asked RAF personnel past and present to tell us about the inspiring mothers in their lives. Sgt Jonathan Wilcox, stationed at RAF Marham, sent us this tribute to his wife Victoria.
She genuinely never ceases to amaze me, working full time as a busy accountant, looking after our two daughters Evie, eight, and Annabelle, five. I know that when I am away on deployments or courses that in reality I've ended up with the easier end of the stick!
My story dates back to Afghanistan June 2011. Recently posted back to a squadron because I had wanted to go away on ops, Victoria couldn't have been more supportive of my decision. Evie was four and Annabelle only three months old at the time of my departure. With them being so young it was my first proper experience of leaving my young family behind, both Vic and I found it tough.
Being on maternity leave, Vic knew that she would have time on her hands so she decided to fly, on her own with a toddler and baby to Boston in the USA to visit her Dad and step mother. Not only did she do that but she flew on standby and had to endure getting all the way to the gate only to be told there was no space on the flight. So all her bags, the push chair, her and the girls had to be processed back through security to the check-in desk in order to see when the next flight was.
She returned a week later and successfully made it out to Boston. Her return was equally as difficult and she managed to fall ill with a stomach bug just before flying. She didn't know this until she became sick on the plane half an hour into a 6.5hr flight. The staff on board came to her aide and effectively built a small crèche in the galley at the rear of the plane to amuse the children whilst she made repeated trips to the bathroom.
The fact she did all this, with a smile on her face has always amazed me. She is incredible. During my four and a bit months away there were over 100 rocket attacks and one truck bomb. And I think I would have coped far, far worse doing what she did than I did whilst on ops.
She is heroically brilliant as a mother and a wife and for that I love her and salute her.
Jonathan is a great supporter of the Fund and is currently in training to compete in the Bespak Grand East Anglia Run (GEAR10k).
He added: "I am currently still serving in the RAF (approaching my 17th year) and the RAF Benevolent Fund is a charity that I have long been aware of. The help it gives to current and former serving members of the RAF is incredible."
You can sponsor Jonathan by clicking here.