AN ARMY-barmy little boy had his dreams come true when he was whisked away to spend a day with his heroes.
Four year-old Ethan Naisbitt was invited to York to join a homecoming parade for troops just back from Afghanistan.
And he was presented with his own bravery medal for the courage he has shown in coping with a host of problems during his short life.
At just two days old, Ethan, of Garden Street, Accrington, had to have his left leg amputated due to problems with his circulation.
He has also battled two serious heart conditions which may need further treatment as he grows older.
Ethan's dream to become a soldier for the day was made possible by Accrington Rotary Club as part of its Make a Wish campaign, after he had been nominated by firefighters.
He went with his dad Simon, mother Anne, brother Brandon and sister Rhiann to join soldiers from the Second Signal Regiment.
The regiment were due to be presented with medals for their service by the head of the UK's Theatre Troops, Major General Hamish Rollo.
Ethan was given time to explore the general's helicopter and was then given his own VIP tent to watch the parade.
Major General Rollo presented him with a small bronze soldier statuette and a special bravery medal.
Ethan’s day began with a tour of soldier Sid Clarke's living quarters.
He was allowed to see how equipment and uniforms were laid out and cleaned before he judged whether or not a good enough job had been done.
He was also given a rucksack full of Army goodies including a T-shirt, camouflage paint, polish and laundry bag.
But the highlight of his day was when he was treated to a ride in a Scimitar light tank and three other large vehicles.
His mum said: “Ethan could not have had a better time and we can’t thank Accrington Rotary enough.
He really is Army-mad and I would like to thank everyone involved for really making this day special for the whole family.
Hyndburn Fire Station Watch Manager, Phil Whittaker, said: “It was a terrific day. The Army really pushed the boat out for him and he loved it.”
Malcolm Baldwin, vice-president of Accrington Rotary Club, said: “The Army really made the day very special and we hope this will be the first of many dreams that we help make come true.”
l Anybody wanting to nominate a child from Accrington, Baxenden, Huncoat or Clayton-le-Moors for the Make a Wish Campaign should contact Jacquie Hide on 07720721640 or in writing to 5 Country Mews, Blackburn.