HE’S been supporting our soldiers for years, and now patriot Jay Jay Davey has finally joined them.
The 20-year-old, from Havant, thought he would never realise his dream of joining the Army because he had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and was overweight.
But being knocked back from applying just made him more determined than ever.
Jay Jay, who won the hearts of readers of The News when he sent parcels to troops in Iraq as a nine-year-old, went on a major fitness regime.
Now he is fitter than ever, and wants to become a physical training instructor with the Royal Signals corps.
‘When I passed my training it was the proudest day of my life, I was so emotional,’ said Jay Jay, of West Street.
‘It was a big struggle in my life but I proved you can get through it and succeed.
‘Now I want to show that anyone can do the same. The Army has totally changed my life. I felt alone, like I wasn’t part of anything.
‘But it’s so different now, everyone becomes your family.’
Jay Jay, who was 18st, lost 6st by putting himself through a disciplined fitness regime while on a uniformed services course at South Downs College.
After getting in shape, he was selected for training and is now enjoying Army life.
He added: ‘I went to the gym every day and would run up South Downs on a regular basis. My mum was my inspiration throughout.
‘I didn’t want to let her down.’
Jay Jay now says he hopes his story will inspire others with his story.
Pauline Smith, 44, pictured left, is Jay Jay’s mum.
She said: ‘I am just so proud of him.
‘As a mother I feel complete, because my eldest son is very academic but that side of things was a struggle for Jay Jay.
‘Seeing him flourish now and being able to do what he wants to do makes me so happy.
‘Joining the Army is what he has always wanted to do. When he was small I used to have to take him to the beach and let him patrol up and down with a toy gun, defending the seafront.’